High-TechFX or HTFX claims to be a boutique forex broker, and online trading platform, offering attractive trading solutions, among them are ‘bespoke liquidity’, ‘negative balance protection’, and being a ‘licensed and regulated brokerage’. As ideal as these promises are, the broker known as HTFX is the opposite of what they claim to be. They are in fact, unregulated and unlicensed.
Forex traders in search of trustworthy brokers should no longer be wondering if HTFX is a scam or legit forex broker. HTFX reviews clearly lean towards the negative, many labelling them as frauds and scammers. These HTFX reviews also warn forex traders of HTFX’s professional branding and marketing which many traders have fallen into the trap of. So, it makes perfect sense if some traders might still be on the fence about whether HTFX is a scam or legit broker.
If anyone chose to visit the HTFX Limited, it would be best to do so by being wise to the fact that HTFX is not a trustworthy forex broker despite what they claim. We go into more detail on why this is so.
HTFX was added to the scam alert list of the Financial Commission (FC) in March 2023. To directly access the link, view it here: forex brokers FC scam alert.
HTFX: Mechanics of A Scam
Supposedly registered in Australia with offices in London, Johannesburg, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Manila, and Hanoi, and claiming to be Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated are just part of HTFX’s paraphernalia of tricks. At a quick glance, their seemingly credible website lists MetaTrader 4 and 5 (MT4 and MT5) as the online trading platforms offered, but reviewers have cautioned that HTFX does not actually provide any accessible trading software.
If there are still any doubts to HTFX being a fraud or scam broker, then some user reviews might make sceptics reconsider.
HTFX Trading Platform
Reviewers who registered a trading account found no way to trade. Instead, after the HTFX login page, they came upon a TradingView chart for tracking the market, but without the ability to really start trading.
As a testament to their convincing branding, the section of their website containing details on their trading platform is user-friendly. But, upon trying to register for an account we were met with several security warnings and roadblocks.
To view how a MetaTrader 4 platform works, read about it MT4 for PC | Download ZFX MT4 Trading Platform | ZFX). For new traders keen on understanding how to trade with the MT4, here is a step-by-step user guide (windows-user+guide_EN (zfx.com)). The MetaTrader software are leaders in terms of online trading platforms. Both the MT4 and MT5 have similar features like Expert Advisor (EA) compatibility, trading analyses tools, and multi-asset trading and more. However, the MT4 is known to allow more trading volume while the MT5 is utilised by more users.
To be able to start trading with the MetaTrader software, a trading account first needs to be registered with a broker. ZFX is regulated and trusted for trading multi-assets and their MetaTrader software, the ZFX MT4 can be accessed immediately upon registration of a trading account. For more on this, either a live or demo account can be opened here.
HTFX Trading Account Types
There are three accounts to choose from: ECN, Cent and Standard accounts.
Opening An Account
Before listing down a quick how-to on opening an account with this broker, it’s worthy to note that HTFX has taken to showing an “Important Notice” bringing to the attention of potential clients on the existence of scammers posing as HTFX staff.
With such information, it’s understandable how difficult it is to determine the credibility or legibility of the broker. However, with all things considered, ultimately the best way is to seek advice from the right regulatory bodies.
Steps To Open an Account
- Access the registration page by clicking here: Registration Page
- Click on the Register Now button to begin registering.
- Choose an account type that is suitable for you.
- Proceed to fill out the registration form.
- Submit the required documents for account verification purposes.
- Download and install the trading platform.
- Start Trading.
The HTFX Experience
First and foremost, it’s important to highlight that HTFX displays its FCA license number as 822279. As much as this can be convincing like the rest of their other fronts, read on to understand why so many broker reviewers do not consider HTFX a trustworthy broker.
As most forex brokers, they display their licensing information in brief which you can easily access in their footer.
Among the few trading instruments offered by HTFX is binary options which has somewhat of a dicey past. In the United States, binary options are strictly regulated due to being more prone to scams.
Binary options are financial products that have expiration dates and which investors can bet on. For example, when a trader purchases a binary option, they either guess an asset price .i.e., ABC will be above for example $15 at the expiration date of 1 July 2023 and wagers $100. If the trader has guessed right and on 1 July 2023, ABC hits a price higher than $15 then the trader receives a payout. In this instance, if the payout is 80% then the trader receives a payout of 80% X $100 = $80. But, if a trader has guessed wrong and the price of ABC dropped to below $15 on 1 July 2023, then they get nothing back. They lose all their money wagered: $100.
The speculative nature of this financial instrument culminating in a yes or no has made it easier for fraudsters to exploit binary options trading, and binary options scams are rampant in trading. For this reason, binary options are closely monitored by regulatory authorities the world over. One of the strict requirements is that binary options trading should be done with a regulated and licensed broker. Another telltale sign that HTFX is not a trustworthy broker is that they offer binary options trading while being an unregulated and unlicensed broker.
Anyone that might be considering binary trading can get some expert insight here: forex brokers and binary trading.
High-TechFX or HTFX, a broker which claims to offer forex trading services, does not actually offer forex as a trading instrument. Reviewers attested that this was the case after they had accessed their user account or after getting past the htfx login page. There were also no further details on deposits, leverages, spreads, and broker commissions. Ironically, at the time of the review (March 2022) there was also no option to deposit funds. Those reading this at a later date, should keep in mind that HTFX is not recommended for trading and take the no deposit option as a good sign.
Forex Trading with This Broker
Although they market themselves for CFD and Forex trading, this is questionable considering the information that has been relayed by the broker’s clients. One account clearly gives a review on HTFX’s failure to follow through on their forex trading services.
Another example of HTFX’s questionable legal standing as a trading services provider is their 50 USD Forex No Deposit Bonus promotion. This marketing gimmick was rolled out in the third quarter of 2022 and largely targeting their Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei clients.
Scam Alerts to Consider
An investor or trader practising caution could pay close attention to alarm bells on scam alerts but there’s no telling how ostensibly legit a scammer can be. In all the years that trading scams have been executed in various financial markets, it’s hard to keep count how many there are. There is, however, one scamming method that is most akin to the HTFX broker method of deception.
Gaining Access to Users through Enticement
An industry in and of itself, sham brokers have made a career of scamming inexperienced and unsuspecting traders. It usually begins with so-called brokers advertising online about a secure, fast, and reliable way of making money from trading. As many have made a success of trading, it’s quite the norm for traders to succumb to the false advertising. For argument’s sake, the trader then visits the click-to-action website link taking them to the broker’s site, leaves their contact details and browses through. Not only are the chances higher of the trader being convinced to trade with the fraud broker, but a connection between trader and broker would’ve been all but cemented.
Usually when a potential trader visits a broker website, their contact details would’ve been acquired, and then relevant parties from the supposed broker would then get in touch. As well-trained and experienced scammers, many traders will fall for these scammers’ persuasive words and eventually part with their money for funding a trading account in the form of a deposit. It starts with one small deposit and more requests for money from the broker to the trader will follow.
Upon registration and a few profitable trades later, a trader might want to withdraw their funds. Surprising to no one but the trader, the fund withdrawal request will be denied. This type of scam is simple yet complex because as obvious as it is to a bystander that it is a scam, many traders still fall victim to it. Another reason could be that the withdrawal request denials are usually justified with legal reasons with the broker extracting clauses from their terms and conditions. However, when in doubt, a trader should always seek help from the right authoritative bodies like a country’s central bank or even the police. In Malaysia, a forex scam can be reported to its central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia via the contact details below:
- Call: 1-300-88-5465 (1-300-88-LINK)
- Fax: 03-2174 1515
- SMS to 15888: BNM TANYA [your report / query]
- Email: email@example.com
The Financial Commission as stated on their website, “FINACOM PLC LTD. and its affiliates (“Financial Commission”), is an independent self-regulatory organisation and external dispute resolution (EDR) body, that is dedicated specifically to Forex.”
Meanwhile, the FCA is self-described as: “We regulate financial services firms and financial markets in the UK.”
Both are either a reputable forex dispute body or forex regulatory body and discredit HTFX as legit brokers. The FCA denies any claims by HTFX of being authorised by them, and alternatively recommends their Financial Services (FS) Register for checking financial institutions that are registered with or authorised by them.
As well as how to protect themselves from being scammed, the FCA also recommends the steps to take in the event that a trader finds that they have become a victim of a forex scam.
Here are a few danger signs:
- Cold Calling — Scammers call when you least expect it. Possible points of contact: face to face, social media, email, and text.
- Sense of Urgency — Scammers like to pressure you into investing. Possible incentives: discounts and bonuses if you accept their offer to invest. A mention of an offer available at a limited time is also a favourite of brokers to use to entice traders.
- Setting Unrealistic Expectations — The promise of high profits for low capital or little to no effort from traders.
- Exclusive Offer — Scammers fancy using lines like, “You have been singled out” or “Specially chosen”. The typical follow-up for this would be to not share the news with anyone else because it is a “special offer”.
- Flattery — Scammers have used it before and know that flattery goes a long way. For this reason, they use flattery as a conversation starter to get on traders’ good side and to get their guard down.
- Feeling Uneasy — Because of how manipulative and persistent fraudsters can be to get you to comply with them, you might start feeling uncomfortable. As always, when in doubt, contact the relevant authorities immediately.
- Speaking on behalf of a regulatory or authoritative body — The first thing a scammer usually does is to claim to represent a regulatory or authoritative agency. Typically, they would also be knowledgeable on financial products and services. This can be the most convincing of all scammers’ tools, but don’t let it fool you.
An Overview of HTFX
When stumbling upon HTFX broker in any of your readings, it is best to avoid them at all costs. Not only from the negative HTFX reviews from reviewers and others, but a few regulatory and authoritative agencies that have HTFX listed as a fraud or scammers should suffice for a trader to check HTFX off their list of trusted brokers.
As a final word, both newbie and seasoned traders should have a trusted and frequently updated scam alert list handy. Depending on which country a trader trades, they should have a few scam lists at their disposal. The central bank scam alert list is a good place to start.
The FCA Alert list as shown above which you can access here: FCA alert list.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the central bank of Malaysia has also collated information suitable for those who seek to become more educated in spotting and evading scams. Access all the information here: Users guide on managing risk related to frauds.