I received a call today from 03 9077 1873 claiming to be from Financials Trading Online with a pitch exactly the same as HQ Brokers.
I’m not sure if H Q Brokers have pivoted to a new name or a different scammer driving this call. It’s a different scammer from H Q Brokers.
It was obviously a Filipino boiler shop, but they claimed to be located in London. The caller stuck to the script like glue. I could trade “forex, commodities, stocks like Apple and Coke and even bitcoin.” Every interruption saw him back up to the top of the paragraph and continue reading like nothing happened.
I asked how they got my details and he said:
Surfing the internet you get popups for bitcoin or forex. You’ve seen them right? Well you accidentally click on them and we have your name, email and phone number.
Now I don’t accidentally click on popups or pop-unders because my browser is locked up so tight that I never see that stuff anymore. So that’s a lie but I don’t doubt they actively remarket and retarget anyone with investing interests (hello Facebook and Google). I also think they’ve got the BitCoinTalk forum user database and other hacked forums’ user-lists and cross-referenced emails to phone numbers. Plus a bot could do Facebook phone number lookups until two weeks ago to match numbers to names.
FTO Capital’s script really focuses on confirming past trading experience. I think this is supposed to get me nodding in agreement with what they are saying as well as reinforce their expertise (?) as a trading platform. I could open an account with a deposit of $200USD. Aha! Now I see the reward the boiler-room is working for.
Their website is at FTOCapital[dot]com and they try to get you to create an account and make an opening deposit straight away.
Asking about regulatory compliance and licensing, I was quickly escalated to the Senior Account Manager Dale Davis. Dale promised me that my very own Senior Account Manager would teach me how to trade using their MetaTrader 4 platform to trade forex, commodities, stocks and even bitcoin.
But Dale is a Senior Account Manager right, why do I need another? It turns out Dale is only for onboarding new accounts. What sort of things will I learn at FTO Capital from my personal Senior Account Manager? I’d learn “How to read price and signals”. Really?!?!
By now I was bored, but I persevered for you, dear reader.
I asked Dale, If I have a trading account why would I change to FTOCapital? He says I “May want to give it a shot”, which is the most low-pressure answer I’ve ever heard in a high-pressure sales call.
Back to basics. Are they regulated, and in what jurisdictions? Dale says FTO Capital are physically located in London, operating in Australia & New Zealand for two years, South Africa longer, some Asian and some European countries too.
That didn’t answer my regulation question. Dale said Financials Trading Online are regulated in Canada, USA, France and Cyprus. And despite being located in London, FTO Capital is not regulated in the UK. In what jurisdictions is FTOCapital actually licensed? Dale said he’ll send all that info to my email address right now, put me on hold and 60 seconds later the call dropped out.
I didn’t believe any of that for a second but I wasn’t challenging anything FTO claimed on this call. Normally if I have the time to string these guys along I play hardball. Today I played coy for 19 minutes so they weren’t trying to scam someone else.
FTO Capital are listed on ASIC’s MoneySmart website. ASIC advises this company could be involved in a scam. Do not deal with this business as it is unlicensed in Australia.
The FTOCapital website mentions other company and brand names
- Nona Marketing Ltd,
- Financials Trading Online, and
- Albius Ltd.
Red Flags from the website:
- All references to companies and brands are pictures of text facilitating the easy swapping out of corporate entities and making it hard for search engines to link the context of the text.
- Terms & Conditions does not name the company or incorporation jurisdiction. It merely states The Company is a brand owned and operated by(“The Company”) incorporated in the; and it peters out there.
- Anti Money Laundering (AML) policy of for Nona Marketing Ltd with no reference to brands, subsidiaries or related entities. It is also a generic cut and paste AML that offers broad responsibilities of “the board” and “senior staff”
Addresses for this group are
- Nona Marketing Ltd Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands
- Albius Ltd, 53-55 Totlben Blvd. Sophia, Bulgaria
- 4th Floor, Holden House, 57 Rathbone Place, WIT IJU, London UK
- Lincoln House 296-302 High Holborn WC1V 7JH, UK
+44 208 068 2565
Share your experiences in the comments below.
Update: 13 June 2018
As police raid Israeli-operated boiler rooms in Asia and Eastern Europe, local law enforcement has yet to indict a single operative from an industry that has stolen billions. – https://www.timesofisrael.com/israelis-nabbed-in-philippines-are-tip-of-iceberg-in-alleged-fraud-gone-global/
There are international news reports that Philippine Anti-Cybercrime Group raided the offices of IBD Marketing on 6 June 2018 arresting 8 Israeli citizens and 474 Filipinos. According to Philippine police, IBD Marketing operated as a call centre on behalf FTOCapital.com. Hopefully that puts an end to this particular scam, but it seems the scourge of Israeli-citizen operated boiler rooms continues.