You can put it in but you can’t take it out. Our grandmothers might have said this about salt and pepper. Unfortunately, it can be true of your money if you have been the target of an investment scam. A fake broker may be aggressive about promising outsized returns, but once the money has been handed over, customers may never see it again without a fight.
Although some scam brokers will outright refuse to refund money, others employ subtle or not-so-subtle tactics to prevent customers from withdrawing money or at least making some of it back in random fees. Refusal to release funds to clients is the one activity that marks a broker as fraudulent. However, by that time, it can be difficult to get money back.
No Withdrawal Without a Fee
Withdrawal fees are actually not that unusual. They are annoying, there may not seem to be any real reason for them, but like bank fees, they aren’t necessarily a cause for alarm as long as these fees are modest and as long as they are written down in the terms and conditions customers signed.
Few people actually read the fine print of these agreements before signing, but if you find the fees outlined there, then they may be legitimate. It may seem tedious but it is a good idea to read the whole document before signing.
However, if the broker suddenly decides to charge a fee, if the fee is high, or if they keep revising the fee upward, this is a sign that the broker is scamming you. Don’t pay the fee and contact Scam Survivor experts to help you resolve the issue.
No Withdrawal But More “Trading Advice”
When clients lose money, they may want to cut their losses and use their funds for something else. A broker pressuring clients not to “give up” may not be a huge red flag. If the broker stubbornly refuses to release funds until the client takes advantage of trading “advice” which includes a transaction with that broker and commission fees, this is definitely a scam.
The broker may not say that no withdrawal is possible, but they could put off the request to release funds until it is convenient for them. Meanwhile, they could be using your money for nefarious purposes. In the meantime, they could try to distract you with new trades, which means more commissions for them and more funds transferred that they can delay returning to you.
No Withdrawal and No Explanation
One particularly bad sign is when a broker does not even provide an excuse for not returning money to a client. They may not communicate at all and be about to disappear completely. This is what happens with a boiler room scam; a fake broker will set up shop only go off somewhere else with a new identity.
Signs a Broker May Not Return Your Money
If there is no withdrawal, it is likely the broker is a scam artist. Here are some signs from the outset the broker may not release your funds:
- If the terms and conditions say withdrawal fees can be adjusted by the broker
- The terms and conditions say that funds can only be withdrawn at the discretion of the broker
- A broker keeps trying to distract you with a new trade when you want to withdraw your money
- The broker stops communicating.
Any of these signs indicate that the broker may not be willing to allow clients to withdraw money freely.
Can You Get Your Money Back from a Fake Broker?
People often lose hope when brokers refuse to release their funds. However, Scam Survivors experts have the training and the industry experience to find scam artists, discover their true identities and return customers’ money.
Consult with us if you have fallen victim to a fake brokers scam. We have the tools and the insight to track down the thieves and get your money back.