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Forex Broker Scams in 2023: How to Avoid Being Swindled Before and After Registering with a Broker

The Best Forex Brokers for 2024

HF Markets Group Review

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HF Markets, also known as HF Markets Group, is a prominent brokerage firm offering comprehensive trading services in the Forex market. With a global presence and a commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction, HF Markets has established itself as a trusted name in the industry.

FxPro Review

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FxPro is a prominent name in the world of online forex brokerage, recognized for offering a wide array of trading services to clients globally. Founded in 2006, FXPro has established itself as a leading player in the forex market, catering to both retail and institutional traders.

OctaFX Review

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OctaFX is a well-recognized online Forex broker that has carved a niche for itself in the competitive world of Forex trading. Since its inception in 2011, OctaFX has been committed to providing a high-quality trading environment designed to cater to the needs of traders globally.

Exness Review

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Exness is a globally recognized brokerage firm that offers online trading services. Founded in 2008, Exness has grown rapidly to become one of the largest and most trusted Forex brokers in the industry. With a focus on innovation, transparency, and client satisfaction, Exness strives to provide traders with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the financial markets.

FXTM Review

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FXTM, also known as ForexTime, is a leading online brokerage firm specializing in Forex and CFD trading. With a global presence and a commitment to innovation and client satisfaction, FXTM has established itself as a trusted name in the financial industry. The broker offers a wide range of trading instruments, advanced trading platforms, and competitive trading conditions.

XM Review

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XM is a well-established online brokerage firm offering trading services in the foreign exchange market. With a strong commitment to providing transparent and reliable trading solutions, XM has become a popular choice among traders worldwide.

FXCC Review

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FX Central Clearing Ltd., commonly known as FXCC, stands as a distinguished online brokerage, excelling in Forex and CFD trading. Its dedication to transparency, integrity, and ensuring client satisfaction has garnered a commendable reputation within the financial sector. FXCC provides an array of trading instruments, cutting-edge trading platforms, and favorable trading conditions.

IronFX Review

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IronFX stands out as a distinguished online brokerage firm in the Forex trading sector. Launched in 2010, IronFX has rapidly climbed the ranks to become a prominent figure in the industry, offering traders a broad spectrum of financial instruments, sophisticated trading platforms, and favorable trading conditions.

HF Markets Group Review

HF Markets Review

HF Markets was founded in 2010 and has since grown into one of the leading Forex brokers worldwide. The company's journey began with a vision to provide retail and institutional clients with access to a wide range of financial markets and innovative trading tools. Over the years, HF Markets has expanded its offerings and enhanced its services to meet the evolving needs of traders in today's dynamic market environment. HF Markets operates under the strict regulatory oversight of multiple regulatory authorities, ensuring compliance with international standards and the protection of client funds. The broker is regulated by reputable bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in Cyprus, and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Mauritius. These regulatory licenses demonstrate HF Markets' commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and transparency in its operations. The headquarters of HF Markets is located in Cyprus. Additionally, the broker has regional offices in various countries, including the UK and Dubai, reflecting its global presence and commitment to serving clients worldwide.

Pros of HF Markets

Cons of HF Markets

Trading Platforms and Trading Conditions: HF Markets offers access to a range of advanced trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), which are available for desktop, web, and mobile devices. These platforms provide traders with advanced charting tools, technical indicators, and automated trading capabilities, enabling them to execute trades efficiently and effectively. The trading conditions at HF Markets include competitive spreads starting from as low as 0.0 pips, with variable or fixed spread options available. The broker offers leverage of up to 1:1000, allowing traders to amplify their trading capital. Additionally, HF Markets imposes minimal commission fees, making trading cost-effective for clients.

In summary, HF Markets stands out as a reputable and trustworthy brokerage firm with a strong track record in the Forex market. With its regulatory compliance, diverse range of trading instruments, advanced trading platforms, competitive trading conditions, and comprehensive educational resources, HF Markets offers a compelling option for both novice and experienced traders. Despite minor drawbacks such as inactivity fees and limited availability of certain services, HF Markets' overall reputation for reliability, transparency, and trustworthiness makes it a top choice for traders seeking a reputable broker in the Forex market.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews
FXPro Review

FXPro Review

The broker is known for its client-centric approach, offering access to a vast range of markets, including forex, futures, spot indices, shares, spot metals, and energies. FXPro's journey began over a decade ago with a vision to democratize trading by providing transparent and fair access to financial markets. This vision was underpinned by a commitment to offering superior trading conditions, advanced technology, and exceptional client service. Over the years, FXPro has expanded its operations globally, serving clients in more than 170 countries. The brokerage has gained a reputation for reliability, innovation, and excellence. It has received numerous awards and accolades from financial institutions and publications, acknowledging its service quality, technological advancements, and contribution to the trading industry. FXPro's dedication to transparency and client protection is evident in its choice of regulatory compliance and operational conduct. FXPro was founded in 2006 by a group of financial experts who aimed to create a brokerage that prioritized the trader's needs. Over the years, it has evolved from a small broker into a global entity, continually enhancing its product offerings and technological infrastructure to meet the dynamic needs of traders.

FXPro is heavily regulated by several reputable financial authorities, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa, and the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB). These regulatory frameworks ensure that FXPro operates within strict guidelines, offering a secure and transparent trading environment for its clients. FXPro's headquarters is located in London, UK, with additional offices in Cyprus, Monaco, and the Bahamas. This global presence not only underscores its commitment to being close to its clients but also its capacity to offer localized support and services across different regions.

Pros of FXPro

Cons of FXPro

Trading Platforms and Conditions. FXPro offers a variety of trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, and the FXPro Trading Platform. Each platform comes with its own set of features, including advanced charting tools, automated trading capabilities, and a user-friendly interface. The trading conditions at FXPro are competitive, with tight spreads, no commissions on MT4 and MT5 platforms, and a commission-based structure on cTrader. The broker provides leverage up to 1:500, depending on the client's knowledge and experience.

FXPro stands out as a broker of choice for traders seeking a reliable, regulated, and reputable online forex broker. Its commitment to providing a secure trading environment, combined with competitive trading conditions, advanced technology, and dedicated customer support, makes it a compelling option for traders of all levels. The broker's strong regulatory framework and global presence further solidify its reputation as a trustworthy and transparent broker in the forex market. Whether you're a novice trader or an experienced professional, FXPro offers a trading experience that is both enriching and secure, making it a top consideration for anyone looking to engage in online trading.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews
Octa Review

Octa Review

The broker is renowned for its client-centric approach, offering a range of financial instruments, cutting-edge technology, and a platform for both novice and experienced traders to excel. With a strong emphasis on reliability, transparency, and innovation, Octa has managed to attract a significant client base by offering competitive spreads, low latency execution, and minimal slippage. This focus on delivering an optimal trading experience is complemented by their dedication to customer service, providing traders with extensive educational resources, market analysis, and 24/5 customer support. Founded in 2011, OctaFX set out with the aim of creating a trading environment that was both inclusive and conducive to the success of traders at all levels. Over the years, it has significantly expanded its service offerings and global reach, continually adapting to the evolving needs of the Forex market and its participants. The company's growth trajectory is marked by a series of strategic developments, including the introduction of new trading instruments, platform enhancements, and a focus on sustainable trading practices. Octa operates under the regulatory oversight of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), ensuring compliance with stringent EU financial regulations. This regulatory framework mandates strict adherence to financial standards, including client fund protection, transparency, and fair trading practices. Traders can thus engage with Octa with confidence, knowing they are dealing with a broker that is held to high regulatory standards. The broker's main operational headquarters are located in Cyprus, a strategic choice given the country's status as a key financial hub within the European Union. This location not only facilitates regulatory compliance but also positions Octa to effectively serve a diverse international clientele.

Pros of Octa

Cons of Octa

Octa supports MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and its proprietary Octa Trading App. These platforms are equipped with advanced charting tools, automated trading features, and are accessible on desktop and mobile devices. Trading conditions include leverage up to 1:500, spreads starting from 0.2 pips, and a transparent commission structure that ensures traders have clear insights into their trading costs. Octa stands out as a reputable Forex broker offering a secure, innovative, and user-friendly trading environment. Its commitment to regulatory compliance, combined with competitive trading conditions and exceptional customer support, makes it an attractive option for traders seeking a reliable and efficient brokerage. The broker's emphasis on education and market analysis further supports its clients in making informed trading decisions.

In choosing Octa, traders align themselves with a broker that values transparency, integrity, and the success of its clients. Despite some limitations in product offerings and geographical availability, Octa's reputation and trust within the trading community continue to grow, underpinned by its dedication to providing superior trading experiences. For those seeking a partner in the Forex market, Octa represents a compelling choice, distinguished by its commitment to excellence and the continuous enhancement of its services to meet the evolving needs of its clientele.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews
Exness Review

Exness Review

Established in 2008 by a cadre of financial experts, Exness embarked on a mission to transform the online trading landscape. From its outset, Exness has seen remarkable growth, broadening both its customer base and global footprint. Through relentless technological investment and a dedication to superior service, Exness has risen to prominence in the Forex trading sphere. Operating under stringent regulatory oversight, Exness is committed to upholding international standards and safeguarding client assets. The firm is licensed by esteemed regulatory entities, including the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Seychelles. These accreditations underline Exness's adherence to the highest ethical and operational standards. With its main office situated in Limassol, Cyprus, Exness also maintains regional branches in key locations such as the UK, Singapore, and Cyprus. This global network underscores its dedication to offering comprehensive services to clients across the globe.

Advantages of Trading with Exness

Limitations of Exness

Trading Infrastructure and Conditions: Exness offers a suite of sophisticated trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), suitable for various devices. These platforms boast advanced charting options, numerous technical indicators, and automated trading features, enabling traders to conduct their transactions both efficiently and effectively. Trading terms at Exness are characterized by highly competitive spreads from as low as 0.0 pips, offering both variable and fixed spread configurations. The brokerage provides leverage up to 1:2000, allowing for significant trading capital amplification. Furthermore, Exness's trading framework is designed to be cost-effective, thanks to its minimal commission charges.

Exness stands out as a reliable and distinguished brokerage in the Forex arena, attributed to its regulatory integrity, cutting-edge trading platforms, beneficial trading conditions, and extensive educational resources. While it faces minor limitations like restricted service availability in certain areas, Exness's steadfast reputation for trust, transparency, and excellence positions it as an attractive broker choice for traders at all levels of experience.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews
FXTM Review

FXTM Review

FXTM was founded in 2011 by a team of financial professionals with extensive experience in the Forex industry. Since its inception, the company has grown rapidly, expanding its client base and geographic reach. FXTM has received numerous awards and accolades for its excellent service and commitment to excellence, solidifying its reputation as a leading brokerage firm in the Forex market. FXTM operates under the regulatory supervision of multiple reputable authorities, ensuring compliance with international standards and the protection of client funds. The broker is regulated by regulatory bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in Cyprus, and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Mauritius. These regulatory licenses demonstrate FXTM's commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and transparency in its operations. FXTM's headquarters are located in Limassol, Cyprus. Additionally, the broker has regional offices in various countries, including the UK, South Africa, and Nigeria, reflecting its global presence and commitment to serving clients worldwide.

Pros of FXTM Forex Broker

Cons of FXTM Forex Broker

FXTM provides access to a range of advanced trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), which are available for desktop, web, and mobile devices. These platforms offer advanced charting tools, technical indicators, and automated trading capabilities, enabling traders to execute trades efficiently and effectively. The trading conditions at FXTM include competitive spreads starting from as low as 0.1 pips, with variable or fixed spread options available. The broker offers leverage of up to 1:1000, allowing traders to amplify their trading capital. Additionally, FXTM imposes minimal commission fees, making trading cost-effective for clients.

FXTM is a reputable and trustworthy brokerage firm with a strong track record in the Forex market. With its regulatory compliance, advanced trading platforms, competitive trading conditions, and comprehensive educational resources, FXTM offers a compelling option for both novice and experienced traders. Despite minor drawbacks such as limited availability of certain services, FXTM's overall reputation for reliability, transparency, and trustworthiness makes it a top choice for traders seeking a reputable broker in the Forex market.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews
XM Review

XM Review

Established in 2009, XM has carved a niche for itself in the competitive Forex trading landscape. Over the years, the firm has witnessed substantial growth, amassing a broad clientele thanks to its commitment to outstanding customer service and superior trading execution. XM has adapted its offerings to align with the evolving demands of traders, maintaining its position as a leading entity in the sector. XM stands out for its stringent compliance with international regulatory standards, safeguarding client investments. It is authorized and regulated by several esteemed bodies, including the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). These accreditations underscore XM's dedication to upholding the utmost in operational integrity and transparency. The primary operations hub of XM is situated in Limassol, Cyprus, with additional regional offices across the UK, Australia, and Greece. This widespread presence highlights XM's commitment to offering tailored services to its international customer base.

Advantages of Trading with XM

Challenges of Trading with XM

Trading Infrastructure and Conditions: XM offers access to an array of advanced trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), compatible with desktop, web, and mobile usage. These platforms are equipped with sophisticated charting utilities, a range of technical indicators, and automation capabilities, ensuring efficient and effective trade management. XM's trading conditions are characterized by highly competitive spreads as low as 0.0 pips, alongside both variable and fixed spread options. The broker provides leverage up to 1:888, enabling significant capital augmentation. Furthermore, XM's trading model is designed to be cost-efficient, featuring minimal commission fees.

XM stands as a reputable and reliable broker within the Forex market, distinguished by its adherence to regulatory standards, advanced trading platforms, favorable trading conditions, and extensive educational resources. While it faces minor limitations such as the regional unavailability of certain offerings, XM's reputation for dependability, transparency, and excellence positions it as a preferred choice for both beginner and seasoned traders in search of a credible Forex trading partner.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews
FXCC Review

FXCC Review

Established in 2010, FXCC is a relatively fresh entrant in the Forex marketplace. Despite its brief history, the firm has rapidly distinguished itself through premium service quality and a steadfast commitment to excellence. The founders, who boast a wealth of experience in financial markets, aimed to establish a brokerage that foregrounds client interests and delivers an unmatched trading experience. FXCC is subject to the regulation of esteemed authorities, adhering to global standards and safeguarding client investments. It is regulated by entities including the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa, highlighting its adherence to the utmost standards of integrity and transparency. The main office of FXCC is situated in Limassol, Cyprus, with additional regional offices, such as in South Africa, underscoring its international outreach and dedication to catering to clients across the globe.

Advantages of Trading with FXCC

Limitations of Trading with FXCC

FXCC grants access to leading trading platforms like MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), compatible with desktop, web, and mobile usage. These platforms are equipped with advanced charting tools, technical indicators, and options for automated trading, facilitating efficient and strategic trade execution. The trading conditions at FXCC feature highly competitive spreads from as low as 0.0 pips, with choices between variable or fixed spreads. The broker also offers leverage up to 1:500, enabling significant amplification of trading capital, while maintaining low commission fees to ensure cost-effective trading.

In conclusion, FXCC emerges as a credible and dependable brokerage firm in the Forex domain, characterized by its regulatory compliance, sophisticated trading platforms, advantageous trading conditions, and proactive customer support. Although relatively newer in comparison to some established brokers, FXCC's dedication to excellence and client satisfaction positions it as an appealing choice for traders in search of a reputable trading partner.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews
IronFX Review

IronFX Review

IronFX stands out as a distinguished online brokerage firm in the Forex trading sector. Launched in 2010, IronFX has rapidly climbed the ranks to become a prominent figure in the industry, offering traders a broad spectrum of financial instruments, sophisticated trading platforms, and favorable trading conditions. Dedicated to excellence and client satisfaction, IronFX has built a reputable standing among traders globally. Initiated in 2010 by a team of seasoned financial experts, IronFX has shown remarkable growth and expansion since its establishment. Attracting a vast clientele, the firm is celebrated for its superior services. The founders of IronFX set out to merge state-of-the-art technology with personalized customer care to address the varied demands of traders. IronFX is subject to the oversight of several esteemed regulatory bodies, affirming its adherence to international norms and the safeguarding of client assets. It is regulated by authorities including the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). These endorsements reinforce IronFX's dedication to upholding the utmost standards of integrity and openness. Headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus, IronFX also maintains regional offices in key locations such as the UK, Australia, and South Africa. This underscores its global outreach and its pledge to cater to a worldwide clientele.

Advantages of IronFX

Challenges of IronFX

IronFX offers a suite of advanced trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), compatible with desktop, web, and mobile. These platforms feature sophisticated charting options, numerous technical indicators, and functionalities for automated trading, facilitating efficient and effective trade executions. IronFX's trading conditions are highly competitive, with spreads starting as low as 0.0 pips and the choice between variable or fixed spreads. The brokerage provides leverage up to 1:1000, enhancing traders' ability to increase their trading capital. Furthermore, IronFX's trading framework is designed to be cost-efficient, with minimal commission charges.

IronFX is a reputable and reliable brokerage firm with a commendable history in the Forex market. It stands as a strong candidate for traders in search of a dependable brokerage, thanks to its regulatory compliance, advanced trading platforms, favorable trading conditions, and extensive educational resources. While there are minor issues like the complex account verification process and regional restrictions on services, IronFX's reputation for dependability, transparency, and integrity positions it as a preferred choice for traders aiming to partner with a trustworthy brokerage.

  Detailed Rating & Review     Trader's reviews

Forex Guides about the Best Forex Brokers

Written by Senior Market Analyst Feng Zhou Feng Zhou, edited by Senior Market Analyst Stephane Dubois Stephane Dubois

Forex broker scams remain a prevalent issue in 2023. Last year, we uncovered at least 13 Forex broker frauds, which operated in different jurisdictions, from the EU to the offshores. We can assure you that there will be no fewer FX swindlers operating in this business, so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on any signs of deception.  

Forex broker scam is still a thing in 2023

The increasing accessibility of trading platforms and applications, along with aggressive marketing campaigns, are attracting more and more individuals to the lucrative yet complicated world of foreign currency trading. The market size, opportunities, and stories of financial freedom can mesmerize aspiring traders to the extent that they become blind to the dangers of being scammed by fraudulent Forex brokers.

At Forex-Ratings.com, we're here to help you spot a swindler and take precautions even before registering an account. It's all about being proactive and doing your due diligence. We'll show you how to check out the broker's licenses and regulatory compliance to ensure they're legitimate. You'll also learn how to resist the temptation of big signing bonuses, which could be a trap to lure you into their shady business.

Moreover, we'll offer tips on detecting when a Forex broker is cheating, even after you've already registered and started trading. Are you feeling like a target of stop-loss hunting? Is your broker marking up spreads? Do you notice suspiciously recurring slippage? These are all warning signs that something is wrong. And if you're getting requoted too often, that's another red flag to watch out for.

This article is your suit of armor against Forex broker scams in 2023 and beyond. Read it and wear it to feel invincible against tricky Forex practices.

Avoiding Forex broker scams even before registering the account

Regulation matter. How to check out broker licenses

When planning to dive into the forex market, you need to make sure you sign up with a regulated broker. "Regulated" means that a financial regulator has given a broker a stamp of approval in return for its pledge to abide by specific rules and guidelines that have been put into place to protect Forex traders and investors against frauds, bankruptcies, and other unpleasant occurrences that unfortunately happen in the Forex industry quite regularly.

Forex Broker Scams in 2023: How to Avoid Being Swindled Before and After Registering with a Broker

The regulatory framework covers everything from how a broker handles clients' money to how they promote their services. On the other hand, trading foreign currencies with an unregulated broker entails significant risks. Yes, even in 2023, many Forex brokers still operate without authorities' licenses or oversight. The reason lies in the size of this industry: with a capitalization of nearly $7 trillion, this market is too grand for a single authority to handle. Therefore, Forex regulation remains fragmented and diverse, giving scammers room to operate and even go unpunished. That is why unregulated Forex brokers are often the front-runners of Forex scams. These scams can take many forms, but they all have one thing in common: they're designed to defraud you of your money.

While it should be crystal clear that getting involved with unregulated FX brokers is a big no-no, here's a quick overview of the benefits of signing up with regulated ones:

Transparency - Forex scams and transparency don't go together because such brokers rarely disclose real trading conditions and fees. Regulated brokers, on the other hand, must provide this information so that traders have a full spectrum of vital information when developing their trading strategies.

Verifying a broker's regulatory status is actually quite easy. Firstly, you have to look for the following information that should be provided on a landing page or in a separate section on the broker's official website:

The absence of this information is definitely a huge red flag that you could be dealing with a Forex scam. Note that certain brokers may have a brand name different from the parent company's title reflected in the license. Additionally, some brokerages are subsidiaries of larger financial institutions, so it's important to confirm both names. Contact the broker directly if you have any doubts.

However, even if everything is in place, there's still a possibility of it being false which calls for double-checking against the regulator's official database. To ensure the license's authenticity, look through the regulator's blacklist. Checking all broker's licenses is critical, as having multiple licenses can indicate greater trustworthiness or greater deceitfulness. The industry's strictest and most reputable regulators include:

If your broker holds the confirmed license from one or more of these regulators, rest assured that it's not a scam. Otherwise, a thorough checkup is required.

Unrealistically big welcome bonuses or “guaranteed” returns - it could be a trap!

An unregulated broker that offers hundreds of percent in welcome or no-deposit bonuses without disclosing terms and conditions for using the bonus has a strong scent of a Forex scam. While many honest brokers offer welcome bonuses, they never come in astronomical figures. Regulated brokers are required to disclose all bonus terms and conditions, including trading volume requirements and other relevant details. A welcome bonus of 25% to 50% on the initial deposit is considered an industry standard and a part of a good customer acquisition campaign.

However, if you see an offer of 300%, 500%, or more on your deposit, be on high alert for a Forex scam. Such extremely generous bonuses may tempt new traders, but fraudulent brokers often use them to deceive inexperienced traders into depositing large sums of money with them. Huge welcome bonuses are usually attached to unrealistic demands, such as high trading volumes. Most fraudulent Forex brokers make it nearly impossible for traders to withdraw their funds through various legal tricks not disclosed in bonus terms and conditions, or by blatantly freezing an account.

Now to the topic of guaranteed returns. This is perhaps the oldest and the most foolish yet still one of the most effective scam techniques used by fraudulent Forex brokers to attract customers who later experience the bitter pain of losing their hard-earned money.

These types of Forex scams often revolve around supposed access to insider information or exclusive knowledge about market trends or news. If you encounter a broker or a social media influencer associated with a broker promoting buzzwords such as "risk-free," "foolproof," or "guaranteed profits" for a strategy, trading bot, or Forex signals service, be aware that you are dealing with a scammer.

Like most financial markets, the Forex market is highly volatile, and trading involves inherent profits and losses. Even the best Forex traders cannot predict the market with complete accuracy, nor can they foresee unforeseen events such as black swans or guarantee profits. However, scammers may resort to high-pressure sales tactics to manipulate traders into investing large sums, which they ultimately lose.

Many fraudulent practices among Forex brokers involve selling trading signals through expensive subscriptions. These are advertised as highly profitable entry/exit recommendations provided by expert market analysts. However, in reality, these signals are rarely supported by reliable data and analysis. Often, they arrive too late, and the market has already moved, frequently resulting in traders losing money instead of making guaranteed profits. We do not claim that all Forex trading signal providers are scammers, but finding a reliable one is like finding a needle in a haystack. It's not worth the risk.

Checking the background of a Forex broker is a must

We've concluded the paragraph about checking the broker's license with a regulator with the passage that a more thorough checkup is needed in certain cases. So to wrap up the section about preliminary measures to avoid Forex scams, forex-brokers.org suggests the following steps be taken before signing up with a chosen broker:

Already have an account with a broker? How to figure out if you are being defrauded

Let us draw a little analogy here: the Forex industry is like a wild tropical forest where trusted brokers are like coconut palms that nourish and protect against the blazing sun, and scammers are like the ackee fruit, which looks and tastes great but is highly poisonous. We have already taught you how to steer clear of obvious Forex scams, but what if you have fallen for the appeal of the ackee, a solid-looking broker secretly unleashing toxins and draining the life force out of your account? In other words, what if you have already signed up with a broker, but then something weird begins to happen?

Think about it, you have meticulously crafted your trading strategy and your mind is in the right place, but your broker has other ideas. Ideas that involve lining their pockets with your hard-earned cash. And you know what? They hold all the cards, from the platform to the price quotes and order execution tools. If they choose to manipulate you, you're done for. Your money's gone, just like that.

The danger here lies not in market volatility but rather in the cunning actions of the broker. Those scammers play this game so well that you may not even realize you are being manipulated until it is too late. But together with forex-brokers.org, you will see through their trickery and upset this apple cart.

Checking the background of a Forex broker is a must

How you may fall prey to stop loss hunters

Stop loss hunting remains one of the most controversial topics in the Forex community. While some dismiss it as an urban legend, others are convinced that the market is rigged. The truth, however, lies somewhere in between. At forex-brokers.org, we believe that the market itself does not conspire against a trader who places a stop loss near a major support area. However, we are certain that there are unscrupulous Forex brokers who engage in stop loss hunting by manipulating their control over trading software.

These brokers, known as market makers, deliberately drive prices to hit a stop loss level and quickly reverse it after triggering their victims' stop loss orders. As a result, they gain profits while the traders face losses. These Forex brokers are notorious for trading against their customers. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to detect whether your Forex broker is engaging in stop loss hunting. However, there are a few clues that can alert you. For instance, if you notice that your stop loss orders are getting triggered more frequently than they should, this could be a sign that your broker is onto you. Similarly, if you see sudden and inexplicable price jumps that trigger your stop loss orders, you should consider ditching that broker altogether.

Thankfully, many stop loss hunting scams are disappearing from the scene. This is attributed to the implementation of stringent regulations by regulatory bodies such as the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that had stepped on fraudsters' throats. This is why forex-brokers.org highly recommends that you opt for a trusted Forex broker that is duly registered with a regulatory agency.

Do you notice that the broker marks up the spreads?

Forex brokers their living by charging a spread, which represents the difference between the bid and ask price of a currency pair. Unfortunately, scammers may manipulate the spread to deceive their customers. Essentially, they widen the spread beyond the stated limits, resulting in the customer paying more for the trade than necessary, which constitutes fraud. This issue mainly affects ECN/STP brokers who claim to execute direct order transfers to liquidity providers, but not all adhere to the original spreads.

There are various methods that dishonest Forex brokers use to manipulate spreads. The first one involves widening the spread during periods of high volatility caused by news releases or significant market events. This practice increases the broker's profits from each trade, but it also means that traders have to pay a lot more to enter the market.

Furthermore, dishonest Forex brokers may also inflate spreads through hidden fees or commissions. The relevant details may be concealed in the contract's fine print or presented in a confusing manner, making it difficult for traders to determine the actual amount they are paying.

Needless to say that manipulating spreads is highly unethical. Moreover, it is illegal in some jurisdictions. Astoundingly, some ECN/STP brokers openly admit to jacking up spreads because they think they can get away with it. If you are concerned that your broker may be using this underhanded tactic, you can put your mind at ease by comparing their spread to the actual market spread. Standard spreads should not exceed 3 pips, even for cross pairs.

Does the slippage occur suspiciously frequently?

Price slippage is common in financial markets, whether it's Forex, crypto, or stocks. It mostly concerns the ECN brokers that act as market makers since they establish direct access with liquidity providers. The slippage itself is the situation when the price at which the trader's order gets executed differs greatly from that at which he expects it to be filled; this usually happens during periods of high volatility. Price slippage is common at times of central bank announcements, economic releases, and political events. The market can become extremely volatile during these events, and the bid-ask spreads widen. Shady Forex brokers can broaden the spreads even further (markup), making it very challenging for traders to get filled at their requested price.

In most instances, slippage results from a natural market behavior, and it's not the reason to automatically assume that a Forex broker is trying to scam you. In this case, we can pin the blame on latency, which is the time it takes for data to be transferred from the customer to the liquidity provider. When the market goes crazy volatile, the resulting time lag causes the order to be executed at a different price. This is an instance where slippage is reasonable, and your Forex broker isn't to be blamed. 

However, you may start getting concerned if the slippage happens when the market is relatively steady. And it's definitely a red alert if such a scenario occurs frequently. Slippage can be counteracted by placing limit orders instead of market orders and using stop loss orders. But if you suspect that the broker is manipulating the slippage, check out the list of top Forex brokers on forex-brokers.org and consider changing the shop.

Requoting is another red flag

Requote is a malicious practice in trade execution where a broker asks the trader to change the quote to be able to proceed with their entry. This approach often thwarts traders from profiting from a favorable position that aligns with the price trend. The process can be super frustrating as it may cause the trade to miss an optimal entry or exit point. The new quote is usually unfavorable, often leading to losses.

Requoting is particularly dominant among market makers, where the broker acts as a counterparty between a trader and a liquidity provider. The scammers usually take advantage of the trader's lack of market knowledge.

Forex brokers may use requoting to scam traders for a couple of reasons. They may use requoting to hedge their risks when they cannot instantly match the requested order price with another trader or a liquidity provider. The broker may require the trader to wait for a new quote with a different price to hedge this risk.

Another reason why Forex brokers use requoting to scam traders is to take advantage of slippage. When a broker offers a new quote, it may want to create a wider spread which may result in slippage and losses. Traders must be aware of requoting and how it can be used to scam them. To avoid this manipulation, traders should only work with reputable Forex brokers, revised by forex-brokers.org.

Bottom line

Sadly, Forex broker scams are still very much a problem in 2023. However, there are ways to protect yourself from these predatory fraudsters. Being cautious even before registering for an account is of utmost importance. Doing your research on the broker's regulation status and licenses is a must.

Try to withstand the temptation of huge welcome bonuses. However sweet and lucrative they may seem, it almost always becomes a sticky and poisonous trap. And read the fine print in those terms and conditions, even if you need a magnifying glass - it may save you a lot of money.

If you feel like you're being targeted by stop loss hunting, or if you notice that the broker is marking up the spreads, it's time to investigate further or even begin withdrawing money from that account if it's not already too late. All in all, follow our advice but also do your own research, stay alert for red flags, and be proactive. This way, you may minimize the risks of being scammed by a Forex broker.


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