Vanuatu is a small country in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Comprised of a series of islands, some of the country’s inhabitants believe the queen of England’s husband, Prince Philip, is a god.
Others worship a legendary US soldier by the name of John Frum who, it is thought, will one day return to the island bringing with him food, clothing, and housing.
It’s this great nation that has become a hub for the retail trading industry.
Unfortunately, some of the firms that have established themselves on its balmy, tropical shores are not the most scrupulous in their behavior.
One such firm is Olympus Markets. This Tuesday, the firm was ordered to cease activity in Germany by BaFin – the country’s major financial regulator.
A retail broker that purportedly offers trading in foreign exchange and contracts for difference, Olympus Markets has an array of bad reviews.
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Aside from those reviews, the broker’s own site has a list of terms and conditions that are – to put it politely – unusual.
High fees are put on top of any withdrawals and trades and any account that is left dormant for two months will be charged $200.
Descriptions of the site, written by users, indicate that it has all the trappings of a typical FX brokerage scam.
You deposit your cash, the broker tries to get you to deposit more, and when you ask to withdraw your money, they make excuses or cut off all contact with you.
“Never do business with [these] frauds, they are real frauds,” a user on forexbrokerz.com wrote.
“I lost over $6,500 in a month. They are really pushy to make deposits and when I asked for a withdrawal no one contacted me or bothered to help me to do it.”
Hopefully, BaFin’s warning will serve to keep traders away from Olympus Markets.
Otherwise, we can only hope that John Frum returns to Vanuatu and throws the company’s offices into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.