Cast adrift in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, the Marshall Islands play host to US military installations, green sea turtles, and a tuna processing center. But alongside missiles and canned fish lie a swathe of brokers ‘regulated’ by the islands’ financial authorities.
Sadly, the Marshall Islands’ regulators aren’t getting much love from companies across the globe these days. In fact, brokers that use a license from them as a means of legitimizing their business operations are finding that payment service providers won’t allow them to use their services.
That may be part of the reason that this Monday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued a warning against Axe Invest.
The regulator says that the company has been offering its service to members of the great, barbecue-loving Australian public.
As with many offshore brokers, Axe Invest says that it is based in the Marshall Islands. And as with all of those other brokers, this author is willing to bet anything that the company has no presence in the country.
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The Cyrillic script at the bottom of the company’s homepage and some of its DNS server information indicates that its owners are probably based in Russia or – possibly – Hungary.
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Interestingly, the company says that it can accept payments from Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Whether that is really the case is unclear.
Anyhoo, the company offers its clients up to 1000:1 leverage, although you do have to deposit a hefty $500,000 to get access to that service.
A quick Google search for reviews of the site reveals many of the typical tenants of a scam broker. One user reported that, after depositing funds, she was told that she had made a bunch of money.
When she then tried logging into her account, her password stopped working, and all of the company’s employees stopped responding to her. After a while, a man working for the company, supposedly called ‘Michael Smith,’ started harassing her and telling her to deposit more money.
All of this indicates that the broker is made up of scammers. So if Axe Invest gives you a call, just hang up the phone.