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Sigma Forex is not sending my withdrawal

Discussion in 'Scam Alerts' started by Rick B, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Rick B

    Rick B Private

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    I opened an account with Sigma in early March, and (due to various difficulties with the deposit being credited properly and other setup issues) did not make any actual trades on the account.

    My account with them is denominated in USD, and the initial deposit was in the form of a wire transfer from my bank in the amount of EUR 4,000, and dated March 16th. This was credited as USD 5,400 in my Sigma account (after the initial minor issues I mentioned), and showed up properly in my MetaTrader 4 platform.

    In the first week of April, I had to go away for a couple weeks on family business, and the account was not ready to be traded yet. By the time I returned in early May, my personal circumstances had changed and I had need to use the funds I had put in my trading account for other purposes.

    I first initiated a partial withdrawal on Thursday, May 7th, in the amount of USD 2,000. I filled out a "Withdrawal Request" in my "web account" on Sigma's website. I filled out the form correctly, asking the funds to be wired to my "primary bank account", which referenced the banking information I had already provided in a different place in the same "web account". I uploaded my signature card file, as it requested, and I submitted the request. It was assigned a transaction "ID" number of "205".

    Because the website says to allow up to 5 business days to process a withdrawal, I waited until the following week to contact them. I really needed to know when to expect the money, so I "chatted" with their customer service on the following Thursday, May 14th, to ask for an estimated date. (I still at that point did not know whether "5 business days" included the wire itself, or if it took them that long just to send it, but MetaTrader still showed the balance in my Sigma Account.) During this chat (which I copied to Notepad and saved), I was informed that simply filling out the form online was not enough to start the process. Instead I had to send in a manual email to backoffice@sigmaforex.com formally requesting the withdrawal and giving all of the bank details. What, I asked, was the point of the online form, then? "That's to make sure from it sir", was the reply.

    So anyway, since I was now a week into the process with no result; and since I had in the meantime decided I was going to need all of the money back and not just part of it; and since I was beginning to get irritated at Sigma's customer service hurdles; I decided to send that email and request it all. First, I went back to the "web account" and filed another online request for the remaining balance of USD 3,400. I followed the same procedure as before (except that this time I noted in the memo field to please close the account), and my request was assigned a transaction "ID" number of "207". Then I sent the email referencing both requests, giving all the info they asked me for, and asking them to close my account and process the withdrawal transfers accordingly. This was all on that same date - Thursday, May 14th.

    On Monday (18th), I chatted again, (I don't remember if it was once or twice that day) and they first acted like they didn't know anything. I gave them the ID numbers and dates, told them about the email, etc. They asked me to resend the email. They put me on hold for a few minutes and came back and said they were processing my request to close the account. (Interestingly, I had not mentioned anything about "closing" up to this point in the chat, so they must have read the email.) They said they were sending a close letter by email, and that I would have to print it out, sign it, scan it back in, and email it back to them. I couldn't understand why it should possibly be necessary to give them the same information a THIRD time, but if that's what it takes . . .

    After some technical difficulties on my end figuring out how to print and scan the document as requested, I finally got it done and sent it back to them late in the evening on Wednesday the 20th (3 weeks ago today, as I write this). I had been told that they would confirm by email, but no confirmation came. I have continued to chat every few days, asking if it has been sent yet. I was eventually told that the confirmation email I was supposed to get would be the notice that their bank had sent the funds, and that if I had not yet received the email, then that meant it wasn't done yet.

    Early last week, I chatted and complained about the time, as well as the fact that I am waiting for a USD transfer into my EUR bank account. In the time I have been waiting, I have watched the value of the Dollar fall against the Euro, and at the time last week I was chatting, their delays had already caused me to lose over 200 Euro in value! (Fortunately, it has pulled back a little now.) I complained about all of this, and was told it would be done in a matter of days. Days??!!! When I asked how many, I was told "before the weekend, sir". So I waited as the weekend came and went with no email. I chatted again this past Monday (June 8th), and was told sorry for the inconvenience, but that it would be "soon".

    I'm not sure why I had not thought to do this before, but yesterday, as I was
    about to chat again, I suddenly had the idea to google Sigma's name, and that's how I found this website, because apparently I'm not the only person this has happened to. Maybe I'm naive, but before I read FPA's site, it really had never occurred to me that they were dishonest. I just assumed it was rotten customer service, but that they would eventually get it done if I just kept being the proverbial "squeaky wheel". I had already decided I wouldn't be using them again, but that was it.

    After reading your site yesterday (Tuesday), I decided not to chat that day, but to file this scam alert and see what advice FPA would give me about how to proceed. Please help me know what I should do next. Thank you.
     
  2. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Colonel

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    Any updates? Sigma has a very bad reputation for stalling withdrawals for weeks or more.

    Make it plain to them that you won't get bored and give up. I'm willing to bet that they end up keeping a lot of money from people who decide it's not worth the effort to keep pursuing them.
     
  3. Rick B

    Rick B Private

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    I couldn't agree more. I have already decided to be the "squeaky wheel", but I'm trying to temper this with not being too obvious that I've been to this site and am on to them. Toward that end, I chatted with them again today. My goal was just to ask questions and try to establish the facts more clearly. Here's how it went:


    Please wait for a site operator to respond.

    You are now chatting with 'Emma Barter'

    Emma Barter: Welcome to SigmaForex live chat service.

    Emma Barter: How may I help you today?

    Rick Bausum: Hello again. I'm still trying to find out what is taking so long for you to process my withdrawal request. My live account number is 5014572, and I originally filed two online withdrwal requests. The first was for 2000 USD, and was filed on May 7th, 2009, and was assigned withdrawal ID number 205. After a week of waiting, I chatted with one of your reps online and asked about the expected time for the wire. During this chat, I was informed that filing the online request was not enough, and that I needed to manually send you an email at backoffice@sigmaforex.com formally requesting the withdrawal. In the meantime, I had decided to take all of the money (not just the part I had previously asked for), so I went back to the web account and filed a second online request for the remaining balance of 3400 USD. This request was made on May 14th, 2009, and was assigned the ID number of 207. I then sent the requested email to you explaining each of the two requests, and that I was formally requesting both of them--i.e., the total balance in my account of 5400 USD. I requested that my account be closed (at least for now) and for you to send me the entire balance of 5400 USD. I didn't personally care whether you split it into the two separate requests; that was up to you. I included in this email all of the specific personal and banking details that your representative told me I would need to provide. I also attached a copy of the signature file that was already uploaded to my web account. I chatted with one of your agents again on May 18th, and was asked to send it again, so I did. During that chat, I was told that there was another form that needed to be completed. I was told that you would email me a closing letter that needed to be printed out, filled out & signed, and scanned back in as an attachment to be sent back to you. It should be noted that the letter you sent did specify the amount of "5400" correctly, although you neglected to specify a currency. Since my account with you was denominated in USD, I assume this was just considered too obvious to state, but since this was a legal document, I considered it prudent to be clear. Therefore, I hand-wrote "USD" next to the amount on the form when I filled it out. I did all of this as you requested (even though I considered it to be terribly redundant), and I sent this last letter back to you as (two spearate page files) attachments. This last reply was sent to you by me on May 20th, 2009. Since that time, I have been waiting for you to process my withdrawal. I have chatted with you several times, and every time I have been promised that it would be done "soon", but it never has happened yet. I noticed that my MetaTrader4 platform shows the full amount of 5400 USD was removed from my Live Account on May 18th, 2009 (interestingly, a full 2 days before I returned this closing letter to you). So, my questions are these: Where is my withdrawal money? What possible reason could there be for taking so long to process a simple wire transfer request? (It has been six weeks since this process began!) If my money was indeed withdrawn from my Live Account, then where is it now? Are you deliberately delaying payment of the money due me? Or is this just the worst case of customer service ineptitude in recorded history? Should I be concerned? Should I be seeking legal counsel? Are you solvent? Please help me understand what is happening here!

    Emma Barter: Is there a specific question I can help you with?

    Rick Bausum: Please read what I wrote carefully, and tell me if I am mistaken about any of the facts I have stated.

    Emma Barter: Please sir your request is being processed and you will receive an email from us as soon as possible

    Rick Bausum: You've been saying that over and over again. Do you disagree with anything I said above.

    Rick Bausum: ?

    Emma Barter: The withdrawal issue takes some time sir so please expect an email from us shortly

    Emma Barter: I have passed your issue now to our backoffice department sir

    Rick Bausum: Yes, I understand what you have said. The problem is that you have said this countless times already. Please answer my question.

    Rick Bausum: Do you disagree with anything I wrote above???

    Emma Barter: I totally disagree with you sir we are one of the largest brokers allover the world

    Emma Barter: And we are not fake but The withdrawal issue takes some time sir so please expect an email from us shortly

    Rick Bausum: I didn't say you were fake (although it is interesting that you did). I asked if you disagreed with any of the specific FACTS that I recited as background to this discussion.

    Emma Barter: Sir i have checked your issue now again but you have to wait for an email from us as soon as possible

    Emma Barter: Thanks for your time and cooperation sir

    Emma Barter: Good Bye

    Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

    ----------------------------
    SECOND ATTEMPT:
    ----------------------------

    Please wait for a site operator to respond.

    All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.

    All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.

    All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.

    So, I didn't get exactly the admissions I was wanting, but some others that are interesting. Why did she even say "we're not fake"???!!! Methinks she doth protest too much.

    Anyway, after trying to re-establish the connection (unsuccessfully), I followed it up with an email to backoffice@sigmaforex.com. I explained that I was not trying to be difficult (though I had reason to be upset), but that I just needed to know if my facts were right, so I could know if there was anything else on my end that needed to be done.

    But I also let them know that since I had not had good luck with them returning emails, I was putting a deadline on this one. I said that if they didn't respond by Friday, I would deem their silence to be agreement that all the facts I recited are true.

    And, of course, they are all true and independently verifiable, so it's not like I really NEED them to make an admission. Which, then again, makes it all the more curious that they wouldn't. Oh what a tangled web we weave . . .
     
  4. Rick B

    Rick B Private

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    Update

    Sorry I have not posted an update sooner than this. I have not really been on the ball.

    Right after my last post, I officially filed the scam complaint with FPA, and my case was taken up by Tessa, who appears to be the resident expert on Sigma. She has been very helpful, and it has been somewhat of a comfort knowing someone else is on my side. Plus, I really like her attitude when it comes to dealing with the Sigma people. Thanks Tessa, and thank you FPA for providing a place where help can be found.

    Anyway, in response to her email to them letting them know she was on the case, they sent me an email requesting I fill out (yet another) form. They claimed they had a new form and needed it to be filled out. Whatever! So I played along, providing them the same info for now the fourth time.:err:

    A couple emails back and forth, then I (for unrelated reasons) let about 2 weeks go by without renewing my demand. I finally did on Monday (cc-ing it to FPA as always). Tessa did the usual "reply-all" and urged them to do the right thing, or else she would sic Pharaoh on them.:eek:oh:

    So they replied quickly (as they always seem to do for her!) with a new one:



    I have to give them credit; they always keep one on one's toes. I have no idea what this means, but we'll soon see. I'll keep posting updates here for all who may benefit from my experience.

    Rick B.
     
  5. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Colonel

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    After all the stuff I do around here, I finally find out my real position in the FPA - I'm Tessa's lapdog.
    :D
     
  6. finimej

    finimej Private

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    Rick,
    Have you get your money back from SigmaForex?
    regards
     
  7. finimej

    finimej Private

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    Rick?
    Hello?
     
  8. Rick B

    Rick B Private

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    Update

    Thank you for your interest, and sorry about the delay. It is a very busy time for me right now on other fronts.

    No, I have not received anything from Sigma. It looked promising there for a couple weeks, but now progress seems to have stalled . . . again.

    About the end of July, another FPA member who had had the same problem with Sigma joined the fight. Tessa introduced us by email, and we began CC'ing each other (as well as FPA) in our communications with Sigma. This increased pressure seemed to have an effect, along with Tessa's constant threats to have Pharaoh write a less-than-flattering article for all of FPA's members to see. Whatever the reason, toward the latter part of August, Sigma started indicating that they wanted to send the transfers by Western Union, and they asked each of us to ask our banks if they accepted that form of transfer. Apparently the other FPA member's bank said that was fine. Mine, on the other hand, said no, and I informed Sigma that they would have to send it to me personally and I would have to go to a Western Union location myself to pick it up.

    [It should be noted at this point, by way of background, that Sigma had been claiming for the last couple weeks that they were involved in a major merger, and that was why they had suggested Western Union. They claimed that their normal bank accounts were unable to be accessed because of this merger. They also claimed that they would need to send the transfers from a country other than the UK (where there bank is) or Switzerland (where they purport to be located--though most FPA regulars know otherwise), because of the regulators in those countries being involved in the merger. Frankly, I didn't care if they sent it from Jupiter as long as they sent it!]:err:

    Anyway, I don't know if it was because of the different answers we received from our respective banks; or because it took me a couple days longer to get that answer to them; or if it was because the other FPA member had less money being held by Sigma and they thought it would be the cheapest way to placate FPA--whatever the reason, the other FPA member received her money on September 1st, and I still have not received anything. When Tessa pressed them about mine, they gave some excuse about my not having given them my full address details. (I had called Western Union customer service and given Sigma exactly the information I was told they would need.) Nevertheless, to avoid giving them any excuse, I gave them the other info as well. Then they went silent and have not sent any new emails since that last address follow-up. I have emailed them twice since then (and Tessa once), but they have said nothing.

    So here we sit again, and wait. I was optimistic when they started talking about Western Union, that they seemed to be serious. Then when the other FPA member got her money, I was excited that maybe this long saga was coming to an end. Now I am more deflated, I guess, and feel like I am back to square one. I am glad for the other member, but I am baffled as well. She came on the scene (from my perspective) and got her money in a little more than a month. I have been waiting more than four months at this point. Still, the fact that she did get her money does provide some hope. Maybe it won't be too much longer.

    Hope that answers your questions. Maybe I'll have a success report to post here in the near future. Either way, Thanks FPA (and specifically Tessa--and Pharaoh) for all your efforts. You guys really are a class act!:)
     
  9. finimej

    finimej Private

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    The other FPA member was me.
    A simple withdraw of your own money from your own account took such a long time 4 months. This is beyond one could bare! I guess Tessa must put the scam label on sigmaforx and also inform this to all the FPA members.
     
  10. Eric Alyea

    Eric Alyea Master Sergeant

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    The question I have to ask is how did you choose Sigma Forex in the 1st place? What was the draw or benifit, so I don't get caught like that?

    I've been a closet FPA member for over 2 years. It's time I came out. This is my 1st post.
     

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