Retail Forex Scams

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This page will shed light on scams out there in the forex industry. Seeing the kind of scams that have popped up recently on the retail side is bothersome as it gives the investment / forex industry as a whole a bad rap. Scammers, at least the smarter ones, know better than to be out in the open, they usually stick to platforms like Instagram, discord or the like to direct message people and keep conversations hidden from the public's view.

The legit side of the retail forex industry isn't bad and doesn't deserve the bad press it gets thanks to the con artists out there. Unfortunately people are just easily tricked by their own greed.

There's some long running scams in general in the investing world, but the recent trends that involve social media or social sites break down into these larger categories:

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Lifestyle flexing

Showing off luxury items, cars, homes, etc. Selling the dream of luxury living, then dropping hints that anyone can be like them if they just [insert pitch here]. You typically buy a course, pay a subscription to some newsletter or trade advisory (signal) program, or pay them directly for mentorship and guidance. All of which will be a ripoff, as the lifestyle promoter never made a dime trading and has only ever earned money from ripping people off.

Most common platforms for this are Instagram and Facebook, but every so often we get people trying it on the r/forex subreddit.

DM spamming

Sometimes scammers will DM (directly message) users on various social platforms and will funnel their "mark" (the user they are attempting to scam) to a "investment house" or fake broker that's part of a larger con.

What happens here is the user is tricked into depositing a small amount to "prove" the scammer can manage their money for them and make a return. The "broker" then reports out-sized gains that are completely unrealistic (like turning $500 into $25k over a month or two.) The "mark" thinks it's legit since they see a broker's website, can log in, and see their trading activity.

The scammers (working with the fake broker,) will then encourage the "mark" to deposit a much larger sum. The "mark" either contributes a much larger amount (never to be seen again as then the scammers will vanish,) or even if the "mark" says no, the scammers will then ask the "mark" to pay a tax on the gains in their fake account before the money can be withdrawn. (Sadly, this plays to the mark's greed, as they think wiring in $10k to pay tax on a $100k profit makes sense since they'd at least be netting $90k, only to realize later that the profit wasn't real and all they money they sent out will be lost forever.)

Adding another layer of nastiness to the above scam, some scammers will take to dating apps and websites to dupe people. This one is particularly sad since in Covid times people are lonely and the attention they'd get by a pretty girl online will often make them overlook obvious red flags.

Worse yet, the scammers will spend weeks, even months, building a rapport with the mark. This will include sharing deep thoughts and feelings with them, having long video chats, and talking about how they can be together in the future. Quite often these 'fake dates' will be from an overseas location so as to avoid the mark from pushing to meet up too soon.

After trust is established, the 'fake date' will start flexing investment returns, showing off profit, etc.. and then suggest they can trade for the mark, even teach them how they trade. That's when the fake broker gets introduced, money is sent, fake profits are shown, either more money is sent or a 'tax' bill gets brought up... once the mark tries to pull out their funds and refuses to send any more, the 'fake date' and broker vanish with everything.


Imposters

This one is a lot more simple but people fall for it often. A scammer will message people on social media and claim to be a good trader, and will say they can give great returns on their own account if they are permitted to manage a mark's money. Usually they will ask for a profit split of some percentage of the gains.

If the mark takes the bait and hands over their trading account credentials to the scammer, the scammer will place a series of extremely risky trades on the account, often losing most of the mark's capital in the process. The aim here isn't to professionally manage someone else's money, but simply make big bets with someone else's risk. If the bets pay off, the scammer requests 50% of the winnings to be transferred to him before he continues to trade for the mark (which the mark will send since they want to continue to see such awesome results.) If the bets lose, well, it wasn't the scammer's money so they just block the mark and move on to the next victim.

Another common tactic is to claim they manage a team of traders and will offer training and to let you join for a fee, often in recurring monthly payments. As usual, if someone is attempting to make money from training it is a sure sign they cannot generate money from their own trading.


Examples

There are many more types of scams, but the above are the most popular ones we've seen in recent times.

Here are some example threads from our sub by users who were in the process of being scammed or had been scammed:

Lifestyle flexing

DM spam

Imposter


Here's some articles talking about imposters in general: