Beware! WDC Markets is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
WDC Markets is a broker that advertises trading in Forex, Stocks, Commodities and Indices. They offer 3 types of accounts depending on the type of trading. There is no option for a Demo account – a red flag since every respectable broker offers one.
The registration form for all three of them, however, is the same – it asks for first and last names, email address, phone number, country and account currency (EUR or GBP). There was no success message upon completing it and no email was sent to our mailbox – another red flag. We were taken directly to the client area with the Deposit user interface opened:
WDC Markets Regulation and Safety of funds
The brokerage is completely anonymous – on their Contact Us page there is only a UK phone number and an email, but no physical address. Because of the phone number we decided to check in the UK regulator’s, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), register if the broker is authorised by them. The FCA’s database search did not return any results, however.
What we found out about WDC Markets instead was that first the Spanish financial watchdog (Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores – CNMV), then New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) have issued warnings against them:
As it turns out, WDC Markets is an anonymous, unregulated broker. That does not prevent them from claiming that their clients’ “funds are 100% safe and secure.” Respectable regulatory agencies, such as the FCA and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) have a number of rules and policies to safeguard investors’ interests. Among these are Client Account Segregation – clients’ money must be kept in separate accounts from the broker’s operational funds, Negative Balance Protection – traders may not lose more than the initially invested funds, Minimum Capital Requirements for the broker of €730 000 to guarantee their good financial standing, and participation in Compensation Schemes which provide additional guarantees to investors’ funds in case the broker goes bankrupt – up to 85,000 GBP in the UK and 20,000 EUR in the EU.
In view of these warnings, we believe WDC Markets is not only unregulated and anonymous, but a scam broker too! They are not bound by the rules and policies listed above, and any statements regarding adherence to them are misleading or outright false claims. We advise our readers to choose a regulated broker instead.
WDC Markets Trading Software
The broker offers some kind of proprietary, web-based trading platform, and they are not short on superlatives about it. They call it “award-winning” and “superior platform with cutting edge functionality”, but to be honest we were not very impressed – the software is quite basic with limited features and poor design – see for yourself.
In contrast, respectable brokers offer established trading software to their clients. The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platforms are available as Desktop, Web and Mobile (Android and iOS) applications.
MT4 is the world’s number one platform, preferred by more than 80% of users worldwide. It offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy and auto-trade options. It can be further customized to create different trading strategies using its proprietary MQL4 programming language. Its successor, MT5, has some advantages – it allows traders to execute trades on different financial markets through a single account and there is a hedging option.
WDC Markets Trading Conditions
The EURUSD spread we see in the platform screenshot above, 3 pips, is not at all competitive. Regulated brokers usually provide spreads between 1 and 1.5 pips for this most traded currency pair; wider spreads make the cost of trading high for the traders, and guarantee good profits for the brokerage.
WDC Markets offers basic leverage of 1:100 but one can request leverage of up to 1:500. Trading on leverage can be tricky as it entails significant risks, especially to inexperienced traders. Although it allows for making bigger profits, one may incur great losses too, often much greater than the invested funds. That is why, most regulatory authorities impose leverage caps for non-professional traders: in the USA it is 1:50, while for brokers licensed in the EU and the UK it is 1:30. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will also start restricting leverage for major currency pairs to 1:30 starting from March 29, 2021.
WDC Markets Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
The broker offers only two payment transaction methods for deposit – credit / debit cards and bank wire transfer. Popular payment methods, such as PayPal and preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller are not mentioned in the site or supported in the client area. Actually, in the client area there are two payment options, as seen in the screenshot above, of which the one with the VISA and MasterCard logos returned an error “Something went wrong. Please try again later”.
The other one uses a Cypriot payment solution provider, Praxis, to process credit cards. WDC Markets’ minimum deposit requirement is 250 EUR/GBP for credit cards and 500 EUR/GBP for Wire transfer. This is significantly higher than what regulated brokers generally ask from traders – $100 on average. The minimum amount for withdrawals via a wire transfer is 500 EUR/GBP, which is also quite excessive – respectable brokers usually do not put a limit on withdrawals.
The broker claims they do not charge “any fees, costs or other charges for the processing of your withdrawal requests.” The withdrawal processing times, however, come with a caveat – they will make every effort to process them within 5-10 business days, but depending on the withdrawal method, settlement of the funds may vary significantly from one use to another.
What is most disturbing, though, is the trading commissions – they can be “anything from 0 up to 100 EUR/GBP/USD per 1 lot invested depending on the account and terms and conditions for every client and account by itself.” Basically, that means they can charge you whatever they want!
In conclusion, considering the lack of regulation and company registration information, we want to warn our readers that WDC Markets is most probably a scam broker and they should not invest with them!
How does the scam work?
Here we will outline the most common scamming scenario. The first step is to capture the users’ attention with ads promising fast money. When they click on such an ad, they are redirected to a website that would ask to provide their email address and phone number. This personal information is then used by the scam brokers who will start calling and asking to invest with them. The initial deposit is usually around $250 from which these brokers will make a fat commission.
After that, users are transferred to senior brokers. These are expert con-artists who will sweet-talk them into putting even more money. When the traders decide to get out, however, it turns out it is not that simple. The scammers will talk them into postponing their withdrawals or will draw out various reasons to deny the request. All of this is with the objective to miss the limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and get their money back.
We should note that VISA and MasterCard have recently taken measures to combat online scams and are classifying all forex transactions as high risk. Furthermore, they have increased the period for filing a chargeback from 6 months to 540 days.
What to do when scammed?
In the event you become a victim of such a scam there are some things you should know. If you used a major credit card to fund the account you should immediately file for a chargeback with your bank or credit card provider. In case you supplied sensitive financial information to the scammers, such as account details and passwords, you should cancel your credit card or change your pass.
If you used bitcoin or bank wire, however, chances of recovering your funds are slim. Do not get hooked by any “recovery agents”, who prey on scam victims, using their hopes of retrieving their money. These are just another type of scammers who will ask you for an upfront fee in order to get your money back, but once you pay them, you will not hear from them again.
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