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WikiFX: the murky business and the murkier methods

WikiFX: the murky business and the murkier methods
https://preview.redd.it/1rf74ljv34l51.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=566235871ce22dd3078f0532dfb672bff6eb0707
The irony of financial markets is that this business that officially has got as much regulation as arms trafficking, has also got the same problem –- numerous illegal entities that evolve around the niche.
Scam brokers, funds recovery services that rob the robbed traders, HYIPs, “learn how to make millions overnight” trading courses and a number of other schemes all tend to exploit the weak point of human nature – the belief that there is the magic device with the “MORE MONEY” button out there, that someone can sell you.

A thief shouting “Thief!”

Considering the above there is a high demand in society for truthful and unbiased information about the market players. WikiFX claims to be the provider of such honest information about brokers but in fact, makes money by blackmailing brokers and promoting any company that offers to pay enough in their rankings.
WikiFX is a classic illustration of a thief shouting “Get the thief!” louder than anybody else in the crowd. The strategy works unfortunately and traders tend to trust WikiFx broker’s ratings without questioning what these ratings are based on and who sponsors this global brokers’ database.

Paving the road with some good intentions

Even the most horrible crimes against humanity were done under the cover of best intentions. Starting with the first crusades and ending with the holocaust. There are always some sound arguments, protected people and reliable methods.
Ask any trader whether each forex broker must be regulated by a third party? The answer will be “yes” with a near 100% probability and this answer is totally correct. Know-your-customer procedures and some unbiased third-party control are essential for maintaining the overall transparency of any business in a sphere of finance. This is the argument that WikiFX starts with when promoting its service and there is absolutely no point to argue. Starting with an indisputable truth is a good strategy to win the debate.
“The long-term presence on the market adds credibility”, – says WikiFX, and hears “yes” again.
“Don’t you agree that the longer the company is in the business, the better?”. “Sure”, – the trader agrees one more time.
The mission is completed. This is when the broker ranker can add any other criteria to their appraisal methods. Traders will tend to trust the service because they’ve agreed upon the most important criteria. The rest are minor details.
But what if the rest of the appraisal methods are not just minor issues? What if these details can be the means to manipulate the facts as much as they want to?

Can WikiFX appraisal criteria be trusted?

If we take a look at any broker’s WikiFX rating, we can see that the criteria of appraisal are the following:
  • The year of registration
  • Regulations
  • Market Making license
  • Software license
For example, this is what the top-rated broker’s summary looks like at WikiFX:
WikiFX Forex com example
https://preview.redd.it/t4ugtbt344l51.png?width=625&format=png&auto=webp&s=95fddf8434faf8938d1a3f18bbd5f1da2ceb47e4
Looks good. Really. Regardless of the attitude to this particular brokerage, the work seems to be done fine. All the regulators are listed below, the information on the used software, licensing, and years of operation is included.
But what if we take some other random brokerage with one of the lowest rankings at WikiFX?
NinjaTraderBrokerage WIkiFX Ranking
https://preview.redd.it/pgyqp0u644l51.png?width=631&format=png&auto=webp&s=eb268faac83608a494c31a39eb1621f7132e3520
This is where the truth reveals itself. Once again, regardless of the attitude to this particular brokerage this is really easy to find out what they do, what licenses they’ve got and what kind of software they use.
Suspicious clone? Seriously? If WikiFX staff cared enough to do any investigation prior to stamping that “Suspicious” mark on the brokerage, they would have seen that both domains, nijatrader com and ninjatraderbrokerage com belong to the same entity.
NinyaTrader whois data
https://preview.redd.it/2097lkw944l51.png?width=563&format=png&auto=webp&s=079cc4248b825a3cd941c6b691a67bb9769f4f7f
If they cared enough to collect information on the brokerage from at least one reliable source, like Investopedia or any other similarly known database, they would also have found out that the company not only provides the brokerage service, but also is known for its trading platform with advanced technical analysis tools. But the only trading software that WikiFX considers reliable seems to be MT4/MT5. They simply ignore the fact that trading does not evolve around MetaTrader products, no matter how good and popular they are. WikiFX lowers the score of any brokerage with custom-developed software. We can clearly see this with the above example.
Other criteria that WikiFX is proud to use for the broker’s appraisal are regulations. Using the same example let’s see how well they do the appraisal in this field. As you can see above, WikiFX used the “Suspicious Regulatory License” stamp for NinjaTrader Brokerage.
And here is what The National Futures Association, that NinjaTrader is registered with as a futures broker has on its record:
NFA regulation of NTB proof that WikiFX did not consider to be trustworthy

https://preview.redd.it/di8fwkdd44l51.png?width=629&format=png&auto=webp&s=2de618d5df26bd8fcca99c51a6030f4bdfa7f776
We can’t expect every trader to know that any futures broker that wants to operate on the US market must be a member of NFA. This is the requirement of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding the futures broker’s operations. But this is totally unacceptable for a broker ranking website, which WikiFX claims to be, to mark NFA-registered futures brokerage as non-reliable.
By the way, did you notice on the above screenshot that NTB has obtained the NFA license in 2004? Yet, this does not prevent WikiFX from claiming that the brokerage has only been providing its services for 1-2 years only, instead of the factual 16 years of operations.
We can long discuss the reasons that lie behind such selectivity of WikiFX but this random example clearly shows that any brokerage that provides access to non-forex derivatives trading or dares to suggest custom-developed software to its traders is in danger of receiving a negative review at WikiFX regardless of the factual reliability and regulations.

What lies beneath WikiFX selectivity?

WikiFX claims to have a team of professionals that are all involved in objective appraisal of broker’s services, licenses and used software. The methods used by these professionals remain unrevealed and as we see from the above comparison two similarly reliable brokerages can get any score from 1.0 and up to 10.0 at WikiFX, no matter what regulations they’ve got, for how long they’ve been in the business and what kind of software they use.
This is difficult to say what lies behind such selectivity with 100% confidence. The first thing that comes to mind is that WikiFX might be affiliated with some brokers. The hypothesis gets even more realistic if we try to understand who sponsors WikiFX.
There are no transparent built-in ads neither on the web-version of the website nor in its applications. There are no paid subscriptions for access to the database. This means that users sponsor the service with neither their attention to ads nor directly. Being the non-charity and non-governmental organization WikiFX can’t be sponsored with donations or a government. The only option that we have left is that brokers sponsor this ranking system directly, which automatically makes the whole system non-reliable and highly biased.
The only transparent method that we know WikiFX uses to collect money is sponsorship fees they collect from their offline events participants. Let’s have a look at the exhibitors of the recent WikiFX Expo in Thailand.
WikiFX Expo Exhibitors

  • TLC is a non-regulated investment platform that was founded in 2019
  • Samtrade FX is not regulated by any of the agencies that WikiFX itself lists as reliable
  • Forex4you is not regulated by any of the agencies that WikiFX itself lists as reliable
  • B2 Broker is a non-regulated broker
  • XDL FX is a non-regulated broker
  • VAT FX is a non-regulated broker
    Six out of sixteen WikiFX recent expo exhibitors do not have proper legal status according to the “standards” of WikiFX itself. This fact does not prevent them from promoting the services of these companies at their offline events. This conspicuous fact tells a lot about the attitude of WikiFX to common traders looking for reliable partners. Reputation is nothing but a sale item for this brokers’ ranking system.

Murky & Murkier

So far we’ve only discussed the facts that anyone can check himself using free tools and sources.
It was not that difficult to discover that WikiFX uses non-transparent standards for brokers’ appraisal. It ignores the specifics of some brokerages lowering their scores due to non-standard derivatives they offer to trade or custom trading software. It also promotes non-regulated and non-licensed brokerages, which is 100% against the declared WikiFX values and mission.
The rumors are that this company was also noticed blackmailing brokers with the purpose of making them pay for better reviews at WikiFX. There are also some signs that indicate suspicious promotion of WikiFX platform through social media and Quora. Some of the WikiFX positive reviews also look highly suspicious. All of the above is a matter of further investigation.
Nevertheless, thousands of users keep relying on the information provided by this scam ranking system. It may even look like all these users are satisfied. WikiFX has got 4.5 starts at Google Play, which sounds good enough. However, positive WikiFX reviews use similar semantics and are also highly suspicious. Despite the high average grade, Google Play finds the following messages to be most relevant and brings them to the top of WikiFX reviews:
Google Play most relevant WikiFX reviews

https://preview.redd.it/kftutvcl44l51.png?width=532&format=png&auto=webp&s=1ccb74ee156388285a2fab711dd604945c04377c

You’ve got the facts now and it’s time to make your own conclusions.

submitted by WorriedXVanilla to u/WorriedXVanilla [link] [comments]

Report: Another likely investment seminar scam - James Altucher, Doug Hill, and Choose Yourself Financial

Hilariously, while browsing /antiMLM just after making a post explaining investment schemes, I received this targeted ad:
https://imgur.com/a/Q6wng
Now, if you've been here long enough you should know how insufferably stupid crypto/forex scams have gotten. This one is bad enough that I had to share.
First off, the ad features a picture of James Altucher and a bunch of bitcoin symbols. I originally thought this was a reboot of GatesWay, but got excited when I found out the picture is of a completely different millionaire! Vauge sidebar ads promising wealth are obviously a completely legitimate and reliable business (/s), so I delved deeper.
The ad links to a pro.chooseyourself.io, which has the most sparse WHOIS info I've ever seen. It links only to Agora Financial (more on them soon). Choose Yourself Financial appears to have several different websites with similar names, each referencing Altucher, but it was completely unclear if they were actually associated with Altucher, or just using his name.
...but judging by what I can find about Altucher, they probably do. He's looks like someone who was way ahead of the curve in manipulating internet PR. Think Tai Lopez, but not an idiot. His company flooded the web with positive SEO articles anywhere that will take them. Try searching "James Altucher scam" or "James Altucher con artist" and you'll come back with a mountain of pro-Altucher articles where he calls all kinds of legitimate things scams and cons. You might also notice an influx of strangely positive, vapid comments on Reddit and Quora threads where things associated with him are called into question. This is a man who charges $2500/yr for a pamphlet of financial advice and advertises to low-education laymen on the internet. This is a man whose advertising implies massive returns in highly volatile markets and but sells common-sense advice you could get for free. How he's managed to SEO that fact into oblivion is a mystery to me. Searching "James Altucher [anything]" returns google ads with the header "James Altucher - Crypto Millionaire!", which are clearly designed to trick people into pumping currencies for the scammers to dump. The pages are loaded with deliberately misleading language about "investing secrets" and "instant returns", and I can Personally Guarantee™ aren't actually what they sound like.
Remember - Con artists build trust by telling the truth when it's cheap and easy. Just because this guy is successful, and gives good basic advice, does not mean he can or will sell you success.
Then there's Agora Financial, which is even weirder. Their incredibly offbeat Wikipedia page was written entirely in a single burst in 2013, and hasn't really changed since. It reads mostly like PR (but not as much as Altucher's) but the last section seems to breeze through some kind of antisemitic 9/11 conspiracy theory. Agora seems to be a pretty normal finance publisher, though, so I'm still trying to figure out if they actually have something to do with this or if their name was just spoofed in the WHOIS.
The real source of this scheme seems to be a secondary marketing firm, rather than Altucher or Agora, but I can't nail down who it is. Another party, Doug Hill, does most of the writing on James' behalf. Via chooseyourselffinancial.com, chooseyourself.io and altucher.org, Hill has posted all kinds of strange, leading articles promoting crypto as an investment. Crypto is not an investment, it's a hybrid pyramid/ponzi scheme that (like pyramid schemes) can technically pay out, but rarely does. No one should be falling for this crap, yet here we are.
In conclusion, nothing about this looks legit, although I can't sort out how it all comes together or which groups are actually involved. Don't trust anything orbiting Altucher, Hill, or Choose Yourself. Hopefully, someone will stumble on this and steer clear.
Links:
As an aside, I'd like to use this as an opportunity to address the behavioral similarities between wealth scam victims. This includes MLM, wealth seminar, investing seminar, get-rich-quick, and Ponzi schemes. The victims overwhelmingly praise the scam while involved. They believe their big break is right around the corner, and suggest that those who haven't bought in are "sheeple" in one way or another. There's also the assertion and re-assertion that failure only happens when you don't try/believe hard enough, which exonerates the scammer from losses.
The sanitized name for this practice is "attraction marketing", better known as "fake it till you make it". In reality, it's a clear sign that a business is a bucket of crabs trying to drag more victims in. Note the users suspiciously suggesting that it "can't hurt to try" and saying "I felt like it was worth it" or "this is very advanced, so only do it if you're a successful genius like me". Actual investors don't say these things, scam victims do.
submitted by 57NewtonFeetPerTonne to u/57NewtonFeetPerTonne [link] [comments]

Bitcoin automated trading software with a proven track record

Roughly 2 months ago my friend that introduced me to Bitcoin just one year ago brought up a website called USI-Tech he had told me that he had earned a substantial amount of bitcoin simply by investing his bitcoin into their trading & mining software and by reinvesting his earnings back into the program his earnings seemed to compound at a good pace. I spent some time looking into it and liked the results I was seeing from my friend and others involved so I decided to get in myself. Needless to say I am more than pleased with my returns.
What I found interesting about USI-Tech is that you do not have to invest a large amount at all to get started, the “bitcoin package” was created for the general public and not just big time investors, you can invest as little as $58 worth or bitcoin and start earning your daily return on that immediately. Now the reason I point out that they have created the bitcoin package for the general public is because USI Tech has been taking investments from clients and trading for them on the Forex side of the market (stock market) for the last 8 years, the only reason you may not have heard of them before is because they only used to accept $100k minimum investments to trade for their high end clients with their automated trading software. The fact that bitcoin is so volatile and the market is so easy for trading software to capitalize on makes it accessible to the general public. How long will it last? I couldn’t tell you but I have done my homework on this company and they seem to have some big plans for the future as well, they do seem very keen and seem to be tackling even more projects and are looking to expand their company more so then it already has.
Below is a video that shows enough validity for this company, I think if the SEC and FTC can vouch for it then we can too. They have huge plans and it truly is a game changer.
https://youtu.be/b-ba3zsW8G8
Below is some domain info I found through a basic search.
https://www.whois.com/whois/usi-tech.info
IS IT HARD TO USE:
Surprisingly it seems that this website has been designed for hands off beginner use. I myself am not a genius with computers but the system they have put in place really is self explanatory outside of your basic bitcoin transfers needed to purchase the packages.
How much have I personally invested?
So far I put in enough money for 25 bitcoin packages (appr. $1500) to see if it was worth posting about or not and yes it payed me the following day and every day to follow and yes everything seems to be working exactly as both my friend and the website said it would. Personally I see this as an insane opportunity to grow your bitcoin portfolio and potentially be on your way to financial freedom. My advice is do some research yourself on this platform and see if it’s something you might want to get involved in. A lot of people questioned me about this wanting proof of payment so below I have provided a video and notice the time and date is clearly visible on the screen and you will see the payment go through. You receive payments Monday-Friday not weekends just so you guys are aware.
https://youtu.be/eCBtiznKTTg
This link will direct you to their domain and you can register from here https://f181b357.usi-tech.info/ from here you can read up on who they are and what they do for yourself, I hope this information is useful.
submitted by Ty_Wright to bitcoininvesting [link] [comments]

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