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A Broker's Fake Publicity Blitz in the FPA's Forums

Discussion in 'Forex Articles' started by AsstModerator, May 19, 2009.

  1. AsstModerator

    AsstModerator FPA Forums and Reviews Admin

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    In early April, I found out about a police raid on the offices of AC Markets. This was an event that I felt that FPA members should be made aware of. Still, I held off publishing an article on the website about it until I could giver ACM a chance to respond. They did, and I included their full response in the article.

    You can read the original article here...
    Broker Responds to Police Raid

    Despite the rather vicious name calling I've seen between AC-Markets supporters and MexBank supporters here in the FPA's forums, I was impressed with the professionalism displayed by ACM in their response, at first.

    Recently, there was an incident of someone spamming the FPA's forums to advertise another brokerage. These people created 6 accounts and posted using anonymous proxies. I was checking those IP addresses to see if the spammers had any additional accounts. That's when I noticed that some of the AC Markets supporters were using some of the same anonymous proxies. I dug a little deeper and kept finding more and more pro-ACM postings came via anonymous proxies, including this posting...

    Since I've got some moderation capabities, here's what I can see about the IP fxchen was posting that from...

    This made me really wonder what was going on. Why would a proud Canadian be posting from a German anonymizer? I kept digging. Finally, I found the interesting part. 20 FPA forum accounts were created from a single IP address, 15 of them on the same day.

    These are the FPA forum accounts created from that single IP address....

    booker – 1 post
    bret – no posts
    capitalkingeldonmorales – no posts
    DavidStanton - no posts
    dwight4x – 1 post
    edrake – 1 post
    Ellsworth – 1 post
    forexseth – 1 post
    francisforex – 2 posts
    fxchen – 4 posts
    gale – 1 post
    Kory – 1 post
    moon – 1 post
    murray – 1 post
    omarjennings – 1 post
    oscarben – 1 post
    Piposaurus – 1 post
    rbone76 – no posts
    solis – 5 posts
    vern – 1 post

    All of these posts were pro-ACM or anti-MexBank. All of these accounts were created after the article I posted about AC-markets.

    The IP address that all of these account registered from is 212.203.114.182. This IP belongs to AC Markets. You can check this yourself at IP 2 Location - IP locater or What is my IP address? - dslreports.com.

    Tracing the problem further, FPA account Freddy4x has made 18 postings, all pro-ACM or anti-Mexbank and all starting just a few days after I posted the article about ACM. This account has a different creation IP than the other 20, but has posts from the same IP addresses as posts from Ellsworth, fxchen, nisse, and vern.

    There are several other suspicious accounts, but the first 20 are obviously under the direct control of ACM. Freddy4x's account is also involved.

    Under the circumstances, I am banning all of these accounts. I will have a careful cross-check of the forum and reviews databases to see if there are any other overlaps.

    I am deeply disappointed in AC Markets for this behavior. Making multiple accounts to spam the FPA's forums with fake claims to be from happy customers is highly unethical. I call on ACM to track down the employees who performed or authorized this action. I hope ACM seriously disciplines all those responsible. ACM also owes a formal apology to all the members of the FPA for posting lies in the forums.

    Up until now, the FPA has been very careful to be neutral on the issue of MexBank vs. AC-Markets. At this point, I'm personally betting that MexBank comes out on top when that argument ends up in a court of law.
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 AsstModerator, May 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  2. AsstModerator

    AsstModerator FPA Forums and Reviews Admin

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    Some more evidence

    Attached is the Aweber email signup for the 20 forum accounts, all showing an IP belonging to AC-markets. The FPA uses Aweber to manage its mailing list.

    You will have to be logged into your FPA forums account to view attachments.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. yurps

    yurps Private, 1st Class

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    I am sure this sort of thing happens alot. What is surprising is how stupid ACM was about covering their tracks. I am sure others who wish to sway FPA opinion use multiple anon reposters and/or have dynamic ip addresses from a broadband supplier. Unfortunately you can never stop this sort of activity 100% and thus this affects the purity of FPA posts. Good job on the hard work you have done to help stop those that are not so sophisticated at covering their digital tracks.
     
  4. charlyt

    charlyt Private, 1st Class

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    Hello, I just want to point out that Mexbank, is not a Registered Bank here in Mexico, you can check this in the Mexican Banking Comission at the registered entities summary in [A011] Portal de Internet CNBV, so they are operating illegally here.

    I suppose also that they are not even a big company here, their offices are in a multioffice building in Insurgentes Av. called World Trade Center, this is a 47 floor building with office spaces from 40m2 to 120m2, anyone could go there and ask for a small or vitual office.

    I just think this could be usefull information for the FPA.

    Thanks
     
  5. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Colonel

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    I don't know about MexBank. Maybe they are innocent victims, maybe they are scammers, maybe they are somewhere in between. I do know that this certainly qualifies AC-Markets as a scam in my book.
     
  6. oriana

    oriana Private

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    Good job!!

    That's the way.

    Don't know if acm qualifies as a scam?

    "fake claims to be from happy customers is highly unethical" and dishonest.

    Oriana
     
    #6 oriana, May 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  7. TheRogue

    TheRogue Recruit

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    MexBank never claimed to be a registered bank. MexGroup - Financial Services (Mexbank.com) They are a private bank which specializes in forex trading. They have an office in Las Vegas that I know of. Perhaps elsewhere. They are fully legal wherever they establish themselves. Their communication skills with clients, both large and small, are without peer in any banking I've yet seen. We've small accounts with them and lost our funds due to ACM's finagling. MexBank has continued to act in a professional manner, following all the rules of the Swiss banking system.
     
  8. D. Moser

    D. Moser Private

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    Not surprising to me

    I used AC Markets after I got settled into FOREX trading. I had an eSignal price feed and could also watch their live prices streaming. The reason I closed my account with them is that I could determine that 100% of the time, they would bias the pricing depending upon whatever direction I was trading in. So, suppose there is a 2 PIP spread on a pair. The price stream is strongly correlated and in sync with the eSignal price stream. Then, I open a buy position. I have the same 2 PIP spread in the ACM price stream, but the whole price stream is decreased by an additional 3 PIPs, making an effective 5 PIP spread required when closing the position out. Of course, this was back in 2003, so maybe things have changed. Or, maybe they have remained the same. I thought that was highly unethical, but their support person didn't seem to understand what I was talking about. Oh well, thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. This experience is so old (from 6 years ago) that it isn't appropriate to post in the rating area for that provider any more. I didn't know about FPA back then.
     
  9. rwa

    rwa Recruit

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    Good job FPA ! It would be a good idea to take this opportunity to perform a complete and thorough check in this manner on the entire FPA db and adjust overall ratings where necessary so that FPA remains the most accurate platform for forex traders like us to base our decisions on.

    Thank you and keep up the good work !
     
  10. Hahed1

    Hahed1 Private, 1st Class

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    well done job and more grease to your elbow lieutenant! certainly, the FPA is a dangerous ground for the activities of scammers like ACM AND MEXBANK! Our prayers is that they have joined us today! All scammers should remember that the hot water is never a bathing place for the frog! we are still waching you and shall catch up with you!
     

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