Attention: Spanish Financial Watchdog CNMV Issued Warning Against PO Trade!

CNMV warning against PO Trade broker scheme
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FinTelegram has already issued several warnings against the offshore broker PO Trade, which is included on our Red Compliance List. PO Trade and PocketOption are the trading names of this offshore broker scheme which has legal entities in various offshore jurisdictions such as Marshall Islands or St. Lucia. We recently published a report on fake reviews of PocketOption on Trustpilot. The Spanish CNMV issued a warning against PO Trade on April 8, 2024.

Key Data PocketOption

Trading namesPocketOption
Pocket Option
PO Trade
Business activityUnauthorized offshore CFD broker
Legal entityInfinite Trade LLC
Gembell Limited
JurisdictionMarshall Islands, SVG
St. Lucia, Costa Rica
AuthorizationPO Trade Ltd is registered with the
Mwali International Services Authority
Payment optionsCredit/debit card, e-wallets, crypto
Payment processorsBrightCart (brightcart.io)
RePayFor (https://repayfor.com)
Payeer (https://payeer.com)
OnePayWays (onepayways.com)
CheckoutFX (https://checkoutfx.com)
Jeton, Perfect Money, Advcash,
Binance Pay, SettlePay (https://settlepay.net)
ChangeCoins (https://changecoins.io)
Virtualpay (https://evirtual.com)
WebMoney (www.webmoney.ru)
Related individualEvgenii Kalashnikov
fake rating warning on Trustpilot
Compliance ratingRed
WarningsFCA, Consob, AMF, FSMA, CNMV, CFTC, CVM Brazil,
SC Malaysia, CSA Canada, CNMV

The PocketOption Narrative

PocketOption and PO Trade claim to be regulated by the fake regulator IFMRRC. For a few weeks, the PocketOption scheme has been operated by Infiniti Trade LLC, a company registered in Costa Rica. PO Trade Ltd is registered with the offshore regulator Mwali International Services Authority.

Similarweb statistics for PO Trade
Similarweb statistics for PocketOption (Sept 2023)

We have identified Evgenii Kalashnikov, a Russian, as the CEO and beneficial owner behind PO Tade Ltd (link).

PocketOption and PO Trade attract clients via generous bonuses of up to 50% of deposits. On top of that, they offer additional motivational gifts for deposits – the usual tricks but very professionally done.

The two offshore broker schemes have impressive dimensions. Between June to August 2023, their different websites attracted more than 16 million visitors, according to Similarweb. While the PocketOption attracts most visitors (around 16%) from the U.S., PO.Life attracts most of its visitors from India and. PO.Trade addresses the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

The Russian Domains

PocketOption addresses the Russian market

Through a network of domains and websites, the PocketOption scheme addresses a wide variety of jurisdictions for which, without exception, no regulatory permission exists. The Russian financial market, which is actually blocked by Western sanctions, is also addressed. Russian traders are apparently targeted via the domains https://pocket-link1.co to https://pocket-link7.co and the websites linked to them. According to Similarweb, hundreds of thousands of Russian visitors passed through these websites between June and August 2023. Deposits from Russians are likely to have been processed via the domain Cyber2Pay.com according to Similarweb.

Payment Processors

Besides credit cards and e-wallets, traders can also make deposits with crypto. The payment processors for the offshore broker schemes are the usual suspects. Russian e-wallet operators Perfect Money, Payeer, and Advcash are represented, as well as Binance Pay for crypto deposits.

BinancePay handles crypto payments for offshore broker PocketOption
PocketOption with Binance

When depositing via Binance Pay, the schemes misrepresent themselves to Binance Pay, claiming to be an ice cream seller in the food sector (see screenshot right).

One of the payment processors for credit and debit cards is BrightCart, based in Cyprus. In January, almost all the traffic of BrightCart websites (BrightCart.io or Checkout.BrightCart.io) came from the PocketOption scheme (Source: Similarweb).

BrightCart‘s website traffic has dramatically dropped over the last few months. From around 234,000 in October 2022, the drop has been to less than 20,000 in January 2023. PocketOption is the dominating traffic driver here.

Compliance Check

The two brokers, apparently controlled by Russians, have no regulatory permission to offer their financial products. The UK FCA has issued two investor warnings against PocketOption. There are nine warnings against the offshore broker scheme from regulators worldwide (see list above). This is almost record-breaking.

Moreover, we do not think that the reviews on Trustpilot are honest. Many of them seem to be written by paid reviewers. Unfortunately, Trustpilot has evolved into a tool for unauthorized or illegal businesses to deceive potential clients with fake reviews and ratings.

We are, therefore, downgrading PocketOption to our Black Compliance list.

Share Information

We would like to know more about the operators of the PocketOption broker schemes and their facilitators. If you have any information, we would appreciate it if you could share it with us via our whistleblower system, Whistle42.

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