What to Do if a Broker Refuses to Pay – 3 Effective Methods

What to Do if a Broker Refuses to Pay – 3 Effective Methods

Brokers withholding payment is a big problem in online trading. You may face trouble getting your money after making a profit.


Sometimes, it’ll be because of a delay. Other times, companies will refuse to pay you. You can face that scenario for many reasons, such as fraudulent financial movements or processing problems.

Does any of that sound familiar? Don’t panic! You will find a way to solve these issues sooner or later and we’ll help you get there quickly.

We’re here to help you prevent future problems and solve current issues. We’ll go through the common reasons behind payment delays and what to do when that happens.

What happened to my payment?

What happened to my payment?

You can face two payment problems: delay and refusal. The first one means it’ll take longer than usual to get your funds; the second one means you won’t get them, no matter what.

What happened to payment?

Before you panic, check online reviews about brokers. It’s important to note that you have to distinguish between panicked traders facing payment delays (or not understanding how long it takes for a broker to transfer funds) and real complaints about fraudulent activity.

Most of the time, panicked traders flood popular companies with terrible online reviews. After a while, that same company solves the issue but nobody removes a single negative review.

So, it’s important to distinguish between those two scenarios before you get scared. Avoid posting one-star reviews full of complaints until you know for sure that you fell for a scam.

Most brokers take anywhere from three to seven working days to transfer funds. Most people don’t bother to read the terms and conditions when they sign up with an online broker and often believe they lost their money when they only need to wait. You have to know this or you’ll quickly panic when reading negative reviews that are not valid.

Further reading

What to do when a broker refuses payment after you waited

What to do when a broker refuses payment after you waited

First, check and double-check that the waiting period is over. Some will rush to a conclusion and believe the waiting process is over when it isn’t.

Before the waiting period

You’ll find the right waiting time for withdrawing funds anywhere on the website’s FAQ or the withdrawal page. Do you have a hard time finding it? Contact customer support.

Check the user agreement if you don’t feel like contacting customer support. I’m talking about the contract you agreed on before registering on that site. Press CTRL + F to open the search function if you’re having trouble finding the contact or withdrawal page.

Have you checked how long you have to wait before withdrawing funds? If you haven’t met the requirements, you know what to do. The company will transfer your money when enough time passes. Learning about trading is a must but so is being patient!

At the same time, make sure there are no weekends or holidays during your waiting period. That will add an extra day (or more) to the process. Only working days count in the waiting period.

After the waiting period

Once you know the waiting period is over, contact customer services immediately. Ask about the delay. Do so politely, no matter how upset you are. Being rude will only hinder your possibilities of solving the issue.

There’s a big chance the company is facing technical issues. You will fast-track the entire process and solve any problems by contacting customer support.

At this point, you have to wait for a response. Nine times out of ten, you will get your money after messaging support staff. While there are a lot of investment scams out there, reputable sites will not refuse payment without reason.

Company representatives will explain why there are problems with your payment. You may lack documentation or are trying to withdraw funds you haven’t earned yet. We’ll explain that below.

Further reading

Reasons why a broker can refuse payment

Reasons why a broker can refuse payment

Fraud is far from common in Forex trading. You will face payment issues because of technical problems or formalities. Sometimes, the human factor (a clerical error) comes into play.

Why a broker can refuse payment

You will likely fix your problem by contacting customer support. A representative will explain the issue and guide you through the process of solving it. Fraud, unfortunately, is another story altogether and one that usually ends with you not receiving your funds. Let’s explain the valid reasons for a company refusing payment.

1. Verification issues

Companies abide by local and international rules and regulations. Because of legal issues, you have to verify your identity before withdrawing funds. There are no exceptions to this.

No reputable company or law-abiding jurisdiction will allow you to trade stocks without verifying who you are. Beware of sites that promise payment without you showing proper documentation.

Companies may ask for extra documentation when you’re trading with large amounts of money. Provide them with what they want and wait for a few working days to receive your funds when that happens.

You will usually have to send a picture of your passport. In some scenarios, you will also have to verify your address by showing a photo of a utility bill.

Reputable companies will deal with the verification process in a small timeframe. They may take longer than usual if many people verify their identity at once but that’s uncommon. If a company is dragging out the verification process longer than usual for no reason, you may be dealing with fraudulent activity.

2. Bonus issues

Bonuses and rewards are broad topics that deserve a stand-alone article, but we should talk about them here. It’s common sense that no broker will give away money. What companies will do is entice you to deposit money to earn a bonus and give you a head start when trading.

Although bonus and deposited funds mix in your balance, they are two different things. You can only use your bonus for trading. You may withdraw your funds after making a profit but you can’t withdraw bonus money right away.

That may seem like too much. Let’s use an example to clarify things. You open an online trading account and deposit $100. Because of that, you get a 100% bonus. So, you have a $200 balance (you deposited $100 and got an extra $100). Awesome!

Can you withdraw $200? No, you can’t. You have to use your bonus to trade. So, you day-trade or decide to invest long term. After a while, you have a $500 balance. That’s when you can request a withdrawal!

Let’s take that back. You deposit $100 and get the same amount as a bonus. So, you have a $200 balance. You trade some options and lose $100. Can you withdraw your money? No, you can’t – because you lost your deposit first.

The bonus money goes away last. Simply put, you avoid bonus issues when you make money.

3. Rules issues

There are a lot of rules and regulations in the client-partnership agreement you digitally sign when you create an online trading account. Nobody reads it but everyone agrees to it!

Unfortunately, shady companies will use that to their advantage. They will try to scam you out of your money by forcing you to break the rules. Brokers are legally allowed to freeze your funds after an infringement (and it doesn’t matter if it’s accidental or otherwise).

A representative will contact you to let you know your funds are frozen when that happens. Sooner or later, you will hear about what you did wrong. Companies will also lock your account when that happens. There’s more than one way to recover lost money.

You could request the return of your initial deposit even if you broke the rules. You have to ask for it, though. Customer representatives will often fail to mention that possibility (because it favors their company instead of you).

If you’re facing this scenario, remember to ask for your initial deposit back. You may have a hard time getting it but you’re often entitled to it.

Further reading

What can I do when dealing with a fraudulent broker?

What can I do when dealing with a fraudulent broker?

We have talked about what happens when a trustworthy company freezes your funds for legal reasons. Unfortunately, you may face unethical companies that will try to scam you.

While law enforcement continues to work to stop scams from happening, you may still fall victim to one.

What can I do with a fraudulent broker?

Don’t confuse a company freezing your funds with fraud! A trading platform isn’t a scam if they refuse to transfer your money because you don’t want to verify your identity. There’s a long list of frauds you should know.

Fraudulent companies will take your money, knowing they won’t pay you back. They know right from the start what will happen (even if you don’t).

Fortunately, there are some things you can try to get your money back. Document every transaction you did: deposits, transfers, balance movement, and any emails you sent to customer service. Record any phone calls as well.

Further reading
Dealing with fraudulent brokers step by step

Dealing with fraudulent brokers step by step

Dealing with fraudulent brokers

Step One

Contact customer support politely. You will have to negotiate with the website’s representatives and see what you can get. Raise the tension as the conversation drags on, and let them know you won’t back away until you get your money back.

Avoid cursing or insulting anyone. You will not convince anyone that way. Threaten legal action if necessary. Scammers don’t want you to contact the police so explain you will do that if you don’t get your funds.

Some scammers prefer to refund users who know they can sue because they believe they can continue scamming people after that.

Step Two

You will get a sense of what will happen after a few messages. Sometimes, no amount of legal threats will work. That’s when you have to act. Check what commission or organization regulates that broker and contact them as soon as possible.

Avoid shying away from or delaying talking to them. Governments create them to stop fraudulent brokers from stealing money.

Document your every move: deposits, emails, phone calls, etc. You will use everything as proof of what happened. That way, they will better understand your case and help you.

Unfortunately, uncertified companies don’t care that much about regulatory entities. You have a slim chance of getting your money back if that’s the case.

Step Three

If talking to the brokerage isn’t helping you, contact the company you used to transfer the funds. For example, WebMoney has an internal arbitration process you can use against scammers. So do banks and credit card companies. When dealing with a bank, you usually have a four-month period to report fraudulent activity.

You must have proof of what happened to win the arbitration process. Otherwise, companies will err on the side of caution and not respond to your claims.


We recommend contacting the police as a fourth and final step, whether you get your money or not. If you don’t get your money, it’s important to let law enforcement know what’s going on so they can prevent others from falling for it. You may get your money when the investigation is over but it’s far from likely.

If you do get your money, it’s the same thing. Let the police know and help to stop scammers. Check online reviews before creating an account with an online broker. That way, you’ll avoid losing your money to fraud.

Are you looking to start trading online? You can check certified companies you can work with on our site. We list CySEC- and FMRRC-certified brokers. They all have a perfect reputation, and you can trust them with your money. And, as you know, in a worst-case scenario, you can contact regulatory authorities to deal with any trouble.

You can also get insurance to prevent losing money to fraud or poor company management. Nobody will give you your money back if a broker goes out of business or you fall for a scam (unless you have insurance to cover your losses).

Further reading