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Guide on How To Avoid Forex Trading Frauds

By Stelian Olar, Updated on: Jul 12 2024.

The exponential growth of the forex market over the last 20 years has provided an appealing investment opportunity for many new forex traders.

However, where money flows, scammers follow.

Forex trading scams and forex trading frauds have become common, so new traders ask:

"Is forex legit?"

“Is forex trading a scam?"

The answer is that forex trading itself is legitimate, but traders need to watch out for shady forex brokers, unrealistic trading bots, and sketchy signal services. With over 20 years analysing the forex market, I want to help fellow traders avoid falling victim to forex scams.

According to the Bank of International Settlements, foreign exchange trading volume reached a staggering $7.5 trillion daily in April 2022.

With that much money exchanging hands daily in the forex market, it's inevitable that scam forex brokers would emerge.

In this guide, I'll explain how to spot potential scams by looking for key red flags. You'll learn how to avoid a fraudulent forex broker, over-hyped trading robots, and too-good-to-be-true signal services making unrealistic promises. I'll also cover proper regulation in the forex market and help you identify trustworthy regulated brokers and services.

My goal is to enable forex traders to trade the foreign exchange market profitably and confidently, without fear of forex trader scams.

While scammers exist, by becoming an informed trader, doing due diligence, and avoiding common trading scams, you can tap into the incredible profit potential spot forex offers.

I'll teach you exactly how to spot a forex scammer so you can trade safely.

What are Forex Trading Scams

What are Forex Trading Scams
A forex trading scam is a deceptive scheme aimed at stealing money from individuals interested in buying and selling foreign currencies. Scammers utilize various tactics to lure victims in, often leveraging the potential for high profits and low risks associated with forex trading.

Here's a breakdown of what they are and some the warning signs and red flags to watch out for:

Red flags to watch out for:

  1. Guarantees of success or high returns: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Pressuring to deposit quickly: Legitimate brokers won't rush you into investing.
  3. Unlicensed or offshore brokers: Only trade with regulated brokers by reputable authorities in your jurisdiction.
  4. Unprofessional communication: Be wary of poor grammar, excessive pressure tactics, or vague terms.
  5. Hidden fees or unfair trading conditions: Compare spreads, commissions, and other fees before committing.
  6. Testimonials that seem too good to be true: Do your research and verify claims independently.

This brings us to the question:

Is forex trading legal?

Yes, forex trading is legal in most countries, including the United States. However, regulations and licensing requirements vary across jurisdictions. To ensure legality and transparency, always choose a broker regulated by a reputable authority in your region.

I'll cover next the warning signs of these and other common forex scams in more detail. But in general, unrealistic returns, unregulated entities, pyramid scheme, and "too good to be true" offers are red flags you shouldn't ignore.

Now that we've established that forex trading itself is legitimate, what exactly constitutes a forex scam? There are a few common types of forex traders scams to watch out for.

Common Forex Trading Frauds

With its potential for high returns forex trading comes the lurking danger of unscrupulous actors. So, are your forex trading dreams built on a foundation of sand, or can you confidently step into this global arena?

Let's shed light on some common forex trading frauds and equip you to steer clear as we debunk “is forex trading a scam or legit?

Forex trading pyramid scheme

One of the biggest red flag is if a company is promoting a forex pyramid scheme or making claims that seem like a forex pyramid. As explained earlier, this type of fraud relies on a constant influx of new recruits and inevitably collapses.

A true forex trading pyramid scheme relies on recruiting new members for profits, not actual currency trading. If a "get rich quick" scheme involving recruitment pops up, run far, far away.

This raises the question:

Is forex a pyramid scheme?

No, legitimate forex trading isn't a pyramid scheme but, fraudulent schemes masquerading as forex trading platforms definitely exist. So, forex trading is it a scam only when you can spot some of the warning signs listed above.

Forex scammer list

Forex scammer list

While such lists exist, they're often incomplete and can evolve rapidly. Relying solely on forex scams list is like sailing without a compass. Focus on verifying broker legitimacy through regulatory bodies.

Binary Options

Forex Trading Pyramid Scheme - Binary Options

Binary options trading systems advertising huge profits with little risk are also usually forex trading pyramid schemes. In reality, binary options are essentially gambling on short term market movements, not a viable long term strategy.

Avoid binary options like the plague because they're often riddled with high fees, unfair payouts, and manipulation, making them akin to gambling, not actual trading.

Low-Quality Trading Systems

Low-Quality Forex Trading Systems

Low quality trading systems and bots making outlandish performance claims are another indicator of potential day trading scams. Any promise of reliable 300%+ annual returns is simply fiction which is why you need to stick to realistic systems with independently verified track records.

Signal sellers

Unregulated signal sellers based offshore should be avoided entirely. Even if signals seem temporarily profitable, an unlicensed operator can quickly turn into a forex scammer and disappear with your money.

Usually, signal sellers makes look like forex trading is a scam.

Shady forex brokers

Dealing with an unlicensed or lightly regulated forex broker is asking for trouble. These brokers may be outright forex broker scam or engage in unethical practices like trade manipulation.

While forex trading itself is legitimate, these types of forex scams still exist. By recognizing their typical red flags, you can avoid potentially disastrous frauds and learn which is forex trading scam and which isn’t.

I'll list specific entities to avoid in my forex scammer list later in this guide.

How To Spot a Forex Scammer

How To Spot a Forex Scammer

Here's a guide to spotting forex scammers before they can take advantage of you and what red flags to watch out for:

  • Unrealistic Promises: Guarantees of high returns, overnight riches, or "secret" trading systems. Claims of consistently high profits without risk, which is impossible in any market.
  • Pressure Tactics: Pushing you to deposit funds quickly or make impulsive decisions and using aggressive sales tactics or creating a false sense of urgency.
  • Unlicensed or Unregulated Brokers: Operating without proper licensing or regulation from reputable authorities.
  • Poor Communication and Transparency: Unprofessional or vague responses to inquiries and lack of clear information about fees, trading conditions, or withdrawal processes.
  • Hidden Fees and Unfair Trading Conditions: Excessive commissions, spreads, or withdrawal charges that are not clearly disclosed. Trading platforms that manipulate prices or make it difficult to execute trades.
  • Suspicious Testimonials and Reviews: Overly positive reviews that seem fabricated or lack authenticity. Testimonials that focus on lifestyle gains rather than trading results.

Unsolicited offers or cold calls promoting "amazing" forex opportunities or requests for payment in unusual methods, such as cryptocurrencies or wire transfers and credit cards are additional clues to watch out for.

Websites with poor design, grammar errors, or missing contact information can also be a red flag.

How to Avoid Forex Trading Scams in 2024

The landscape of forex trading scams can shift slightly year to year, but the core principles of protecting yourself remain the same. Here's how to navigate the market safely in 2024:

Always choose a regulated broker: This is the absolute essential to look for licenses from top-tier regulators like the FCA (UK), SEC (US), ASIC (Australia), BaFin (Germany), or FINMA (Switzerland) and be wary of offshore licenses with weaker oversight.

Don't just take the broker's word for it but verify the license number on the regulator's website to avoid a forex brokers scam because some scam brokers might have licenses from obscure or lax jurisdictions.Run away from guaranteed profits because consistent, high returns in such a volatile market are unrealistic. Trading signals, robots, or "secret systems" promising easy riches are likely scams.

Learn the basics of forex trading: Before dipping your toes in, invest time in understanding how the market works and how forex is a scam in certain circumstances because knowledge is your best defense against manipulation.

Read reviews and comparisons of brokers: Check independent sources and forums for insights and red flags about potential broker offering. Financial regulators and industry bodies often publish warnings about suspicious brokers or practices.

Lastly, never share sensitive information but be cautious about providing personal details or trading account credentials because legitimate brokers won't cold-call or pressure you for such information.

Beware of phishing scams: Don't click on suspicious links or attachments, even in emails purporting to be from your broker.

What Can I Do if I Have Been Scammed

What Can I Do if I Have Been Scammed

Being scammed can be a traumatic experience, so it's important to get help and support. The steps you take will depend on the specific type of scam you were targeted with, but here are some general guidelines:

First, cut off contact with the scammer and don't respond to any further emails, calls, or messages but block their number and email address.

The second step you can do is to report the scam to the authorities because this will help them track down the scammers and prevent them from victimizing others. You can report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by calling 1-877-382-4357.

Additionally, you should contact your bank or credit card company immediately: If you gave the scammer your financial information, let your bank or credit card company know so they can take steps to protect your accounts. Change the passwords for any accounts that you think may have been compromised, such as your bank accounts, credit card accounts, email accounts, and social media accounts.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:


  1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is so don't be seduced by unrealistic promises of overnight riches.
  2. Greed is a scammer's best friend. Be cautious of platforms offering quick fixes or get-rich-quick schemes.
  3. Slow and steady wins the race. Focus on building long-term trading skills and strategies instead of chasing immediate gains.
  4. Knowledge is your shield. The more you know about day trading is a scam and its potential pitfalls, the better equipped you are to spot and avoid scams.

Now that you know how to spot potential forex scams, the next step is finding a trustworthy, properly regulated broker to trade with. I recommend checking out Plus500, FP Markets or Pepperstone, an award-winning Australian broker with regulation from both ASIC and the UK's FCA.