Is AgoraMarkets a scam? Yes! Cybertrace is issuing a scam alert for a new forex trading fraud operation by a fake company called AgoraMarkets. The scammers have already defrauded Australians of hundreds of thousands of dollars and even duped some into unwittingly facilitating money-laundering! Please be aware of these scammers and do not invest with them. If you have already lost money, contact Cybertrace’s expert investigators to see how we can help you.
Familiar Scam Pattern
Like other forex trading scams Cybertrace has investigated in the past, AgoraMarkets follows a familiar pattern: at first, victims respond to a promotion (often on social media) and encounter persuasive sales tactics that convince them to make an initial small deposit. Based on misleading information, they then think they have made some initial small “wins” and finally make a substantial deposit. When victims want to access or withdraw their funds, the scammers make excuses, delay communication, or become unreachable altogether. It is only at this point that victims realise that the scammers got them! But it gets even worse…
Unwitting Scam Accomplices
The AgoraMarket scammers seem to have taken things to another level by making some victims unwitting accomplices in their scam. Cybertrace is aware of one Australian victim who acquired an Australian Transaction Report and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) registration. The victim then opened an Australian bank account under the company name Agora 56, in which other victims deposited funds. Having an Australian bank account obviously lent more legitimacy to the scam in the other victims’ eyes. The first victim then converted the received funds into cryptocurrency and sent them on to the scammers. By doing this, they unwittingly engaged in money laundering!
How do I know if a website is a scam?
With slickly designed websites and persuasive phone sales tactics, scammers can make a fake company seem professional and legitimate. So how can you know whether it is a scam? Using our tell-tale signs of fake websites from a previous blog, here is what to look out:
Fake Company Information
The first thing to look for is any information the company provides about itself on its website. Its homepage lists the company as Agoramarkets LTD, registered to a UK address: 21 Portman Square, London, W1H 6 EF. However, a search of the UK Government’s Companies House database does not show any records of such a company existing. Furthermore, on AgoraMarkets’ Contact Us page, it provides a completely different address: 65 Clifton St, Hackney, London, EC2A 4JE.
Another red flag is that the company does not name its regulator, a key omission for any serious forex trader. Cybertrace is also aware that AgoraMarkets has made false claims to some victims that it operates in Australia as Agora Capital Pty Ltd and in the UK as Agora Private Markets Limited. Both these businesses appear to be legitimate companies, but scammers likely use their names illegitimately to confuse victims.
There are also other irregularities: on its Terms & Conditions website, the company refers to itself as Agora Pty Ltd. An online search reveals this to be an Australian mining/construction equipment company with no obvious links to financial trading. The scammers likely chose the name AgoraMarkets to dupe victims due to its likeness to established legitimate businesses.
Independent reviews promise consumers transparency and unbiased information. However, scammers can also post fake reviews as part of their fraud. Looking at review sites such as Trustpilot, it appears that AgoraMarkets is trustworthy due to its high score. However, it pays to look more deeply: there are many brief fake five-star reviews that push up the company’s rating. In between, many one-star reviews (>20% of the total) explicitly warn about scams and include personal accounts of fraud. There are many more examples on other sites of scam victims warning others of AgoraMarkets’ fraudulent behaviour.
Finally, there is no information anywhere on AgoraMarkets’ website as to who owns, or even works for, the company. A quick search on LinkedIn also revealed no financial trading company by that name. Not having any information on directors or employees is one of the tell-tale signs of fake websites and associated scams.
Be Alert to Scams, Beware of AgoraMarkets!
All the above points clearly show that AgoraMarkets is a scam. Knowing what to look out for can help potential victims avoid rip-offs. If you have already been scammed, though, it’s not too late. Contact us to find out how our experienced investigators can help you.
If you are a current or former staff member of the syndicate and would like to speak with us, you can contact us anonymously via [email protected]