In this article we will discuss the Investous broker and the case of one of our clients who will remain anonymous. As a network of lawyers, we are at your disposal in relation to the possible scams you may encounter on trading platforms. Indeed, with our knowledge, we are able to help you. This is what we did for on of our client with Investous. Find out more about the scheme used by Investous.
Who is Investous?
Investous, was established in 2018 and is based in Cyprus. This brand name is used by F1 Markets Limited, which has been operating since 2015. It has various websites such as www.f1markets.com, www.24CM.com, www.investous.com/eu, www.europrime.com/eu.
It is therefore a Cypriot investment company, licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) with the license number CIF 267/15. The registration number of F1Markets Limited is HE329568. The company is located at Argyrokastrou No 8, 3rd Floor, Agia Zoni, 3026, Limassol, Cyprus.
However, on the CySEC website it states “Under examination for voluntary renunciation of the authorisation” as you can see below:
Also, we note several important points on the Investous website:
– It is clearly stated that Investous does not give advice, recommendations or opinions regarding the acquisition, holding or disposal of any financial product. “F1Markets Limited is not a financial adviser”
– It also claims “F1Markets Limited offers services in the European Economic Area (excluding Belgium) and Switzerland. The Company does not offer its services in the UK.”
It should be noted that the user reviews on Trustpilot are very bad. Indeed, 49% of the reviews are bad, i.e. one star out of five.
The case of one of our client against Investous
Our client, curious about trading with Bitcoins as an additional source of income, browsed the internet to find out more and came across a website evaluating different platforms that offered an “automated Crypto trading system”. The platforms were ranked by quality in a list published on the mentioned website. Our client specifically recalls that among the top rated Bitcoin platforms was Bitcoin Evolution.
Our client clicked on the link to one of the Bitcoin Evolution sites and filled in a form with her contact information. A few minutes later, he was contacted by an Investous representative who introduced her to the broker’s trading platform and asked her some routine questions about her profession, previous trading experience, investment goals and net worth.
During the same phone conversation, our client explicitly stated that he was a beginner in trading and that he was ready to invest a small amount and make account transactions corresponding to her level of experience. The Investous representative then helped her to open a retail account and he made her first deposit.
Being a beginner in the financial markets, our client opened/closed positions following the advice of her account manager, who contacted her daily from different numbers.
Only a few days after our client’s account was opened, he persuaded her to switch to a ‘professional’ account, emphasising only the alleged advantages of trading on a ‘professional’ account, namely:
- he could obtain significantly higher profits;
- the Investous platform is reliable and therefore her funds are safe;
- he has access to an online training centre;
- and most importantly, he will be assisted in her trading by an experienced and ‘dedicated’ account manager.
Although our client was reluctant to trade on a ‘professional’ account and explicitly stated that he did not have the required knowledge and experience, the Investous representative assured her that this was the only way to obtain higher profits and that he would have to invest a certain amount of extra money for this purpose.
Tempted by the promises of her account manager, our client decided to make additional investments on the Investous trading platform, as he was convinced that the platform was reliable, that it was run by a duly licensed investment firm and that he could generate safe profits from her investments by following the instructions of her account manager.
In just 10 days, our client invested her savings on the Investous platform. Despite the promises of risk management and secure profits, our client suffered a loss equivalent to her entire deposit on the Investous platform.
All positions on our Client’s trading accounts were taken on the basis of investment advice from Investous representatives. As we stated earlier, the Investous website declared that “F1Markets Limited is not a financial advisor and all services are provided on an execution only basis.”
From that moment, the Investous representative contacted our client on a regular basis (through emails, phone calls) to persuade her to deposit more to recover her losses and even asked her if he had any other funds or assets.
We could say that the Investous representative tried to get our client into a manipulative psychological spiral where on the one hand he advised her to take risky positions against her own interest as a client, as they eventually generated losses, and on the other hand he stated that in order to save the invested capital he would have to reinvest by depositing more funds with the trading platform.
In conclusion, despite the Investous account manager’s tantalising promises of the possibility of substantial profits, all of our client’s funds were lost due to:
- misleading advice from her account manager;
- her categorisation as a “professional” client;
- alleged “malfunctions” of Investous’ trading platform;
He realised that he had been misled by Investous and its representatives.
On 1 June 2020, CySEC partially suspended INVESTOUS’s licence due to the same violations committed against our client. As a result of the partial suspension of its licence, Investous is prohibited from providing investment services to clients based in the UK.