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IQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis

Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM| Updated: January 18, 2024

IQ Option has emerged as a significant player in the online trading industry, initially capturing attention as a binary options broker. However, this sector has historically been plagued by issues like deceptive marketing tactics and stringent regulatory oversight.

We do not recommend opening an account in IQ Option due to not being regulated by any top-tier financial regulator. Please find a list of highly regulated brokers here. Additionally, it’s important to understand that with IQ Option, you don’t actually acquire ownership of the assets you invest in. Instead, you gain exposure to various assets through a Contract for Difference (CFD).

This article aims to provide an in-depth review of IQ Option as of 2024, exploring the platform’s current offerings, regulatory compliance, and overall trustworthiness. The review seeks to offer a balanced perspective, highlighting both the strengths and potential concerns associated with trading on IQ Option to conclude whether it is a legitimate trading broker.

What is IQ Option?

IQ Option, founded in 2013, began as a broker specialising in binary options. It has since expanded its offerings to include CFDs on various assets such as Forex, cryptocurrencies, stocks, indices, commodities, and ETFs. The platform boasts a substantial user base with over 8 million registered users, approximately 15,000 daily active investors, and a significant monthly investing volume of $30 million.

Discrepancies exist regarding the reported headquarters location of the company. Their website identifies “The Colony House, 41 Nevis Street, Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda” as their head office. In contrast, LinkedIn indicates that the headquarters are situated in Agios Athanasios, Cyprus, and Crunchbase mentions a location in Mahé, Beau Vallon, Seychelles.

IQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 1

IQ Option Headquarter data – Source: Crunchbase, Linkedin, Company website

Is IQ Option Regulated?

IQ Option is not regulated by any top-tier regulator. It operates under two distinct entities, each catering to clients based on their geographical location.

For international clients, accounts are opened with Goshawk Finance LLC, the standard entity of IQ Option. This branch, serving traders outside Europe, is not regulated. The official address for this entity is Registration No. L 22204, Lighthouse Trust Nevis Ltd, Suite 1, A.L. Evelyn Ltd Building, Main Street, Charlestown, Nevis.

On the other hand, IQ Option Europe is licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), with license number 247/14. The regulated website for European operations can be found at eu.iqoption.com.

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IQ Option Europe license – Source: CySEC

However, as noted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), despite being regulated by the CySEC, the company is “running off its UK business and cannot deal with new customers.” Firms in contractual run-off are not authorised and regulated by the FCA. On the IQ Option footer, they state, “Deemed authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority”, which is not true according to the FCA.

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IQ Option Europe website

Regarding the services offered, IQ Option Europe provides access solely to CFD trading, while the international entity offers both binary and CFD trading options. Notably, the international IQ Option entity does not provide account services to USA, UK, Canada, Australia, European Economic Area residents, and several other regions. Therefore, it’s crucial for potential clients to be aware of which website they are on and under which entity they will be opening an account.

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IQ Option Terms and Conditions – Source: iqoption.com

Platform and Trading Experience on IQ Option

IQ Option provides a proprietary trading platform that is easy to use and compatible across multiple devices, such as web browsers and mobile applications for Android and iOS, as well as desktop applications for Windows and Mac OS. Their platform is tailored to accommodate traders of all levels of experience, offering a user-friendly interface with advanced charting features, tools for technical analysis, and options for automated trading.

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IQ Option trading platform – Source: IQ Option website

IQ Option Offering

IQ Option has expanded its trading options beyond Binary Options, providing access to CFDs across various asset classes. The platform offers access to 60 binary options, CFDs on over 120 currency pairs, over 20 cryptocurrency CFDs, and an extensive array of over 200 stock CFDs. It is designed to be user-friendly and easily accessible, catering to both beginners and experienced traders. This is further supported by an extensive educational system, which includes over 200 video tutorials covering a broad spectrum of trading topics.

Opening an IQ Option Account

IQ Option provides a fast and straightforward account setup process. Users can sign up using their email, or alternatively, they can choose to link their account with their Google or Facebook credentials, a convenient option for those who prefer not to keep track of multiple passwords.

Upon registration, users gain instant access to a demo account, which comes preloaded with a $10,000 virtual balance. This feature allows you to experiment and refine your investing strategies in a risk-free environment using the demo account.

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IQ Option Dashboard – Source: Company’s website

To open an account with IQ Option, you first need to visit www.iqoption.com and click “Register.” After this, verify your email account by clicking on the link in the verification email sent to you. Subsequently, enter your personal details, such as your full name and phone number, and proceed with the verification steps. As part of the process, you might be asked to upload proof of identity, such as your passport, and to submit any necessary documents.

IQ Option deposit and withdrawal

IQ Option allows you to set up your account in various currencies, such as USD, EUR or GBP. It’s important to note, though, that the currency of your initial deposit will determine the currency of your account. Once this is set, you won’t be able to modify the account’s currency in the future.

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IQ Option deposit page – Source: Company’s website

Regarding the withdrawal process, IQ Option states that they typically approve requests within three days. Moreover, they claim that their customers collectively withdraw over $1.1 million each month. However, there have been instances where users have faced challenges in withdrawing substantial amounts. One user’s experience highlighted delays in withdrawing large profits, with several weeks elapsing without a successful withdrawal.

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Reddit user review on IQ Option withdrawal request – Source: Reddit

IQ Option Customer Reviews

Customer feedback on IQ Option shows a predominance of negative reviews compared to positive ones. Our research led to the discovery of two pages on Trustpilot dedicated to IQ Option. The first page features more than 1,100 reviews with an average rating of 2.9 stars, which is relatively low, including over 71% of reviews with 1-star ratings. Additionally, there is a more recently created page for IQ Option with a higher average rating of 4.0 stars based on over 60 reviews.

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IQ Option pages on Trustpilot – Source: Trustpilot

Positive feedback about IQ Option often focuses on its efficient functionality, precise execution of orders, and the broad array of trading instruments available. Numerous customers have expressed satisfaction with its beginner-friendly platform and the effectiveness of its customer support.

Conversely, negative reviews raise substantial issues regarding its services. A common complaint among customers centres around difficulties with withdrawing funds, with claims that the platform is delaying or completely obstructing withdrawals, particularly following profitable trades. Some users have even labelled the platform as fraudulent, citing instances of account suspension without transparent justification or after successful trading periods. An example of these challenges includes a customer who experienced an extended delay in their withdrawal process, exceeding 15 days, which the company attributed to a “routine review” of their account.

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IQ Option customer reviews – Source: Trustpilot

IQ Option on Social Media

IQ Option maintains a presence on major social media platforms, with a significant following of over 1.4 million on Facebook. However, there have been no new posts since 2021, leading to the assumption that their Facebook presence is primarily for advertising and client acquisition purposes. On Instagram, their activity is more notable, with a follower base exceeding 250,000. An examination of the comments on their Instagram posts reveals that some users have had similar complaints to those mentioned on Trustpilot. Additionally, IQ Option has a LinkedIn page with more than 13,000 followers, but like Facebook, it lacks recent posts.

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IQ Option comments on Instagram – Source: Instagram

So, is IQ Option a scam or legit?

At Investing in the Web, we focus on endorsing platforms known for their reliability, user-focused features, and adherence to stringent regulations. While IQ Option is not classified as a scam, it’s important to acknowledge the diverse opinions surrounding its performance.

We advise exercising caution with investment platforms that show considerable negative feedback despite their attractive promotional attributes. We recommend favouring brokers that are thoroughly regulated and have a track record of positive feedback from a wide user base. For those considering IQ Option, it’s crucial to be aware of its regulatory situation (with its international operations being unregulated and its European operations regulated solely by CySEC) and the mixed reviews from users. These aspects should be carefully balanced against investment goals and risk appetite.

Furthermore, we have found other red flags in their online presence, including engaging in marketing tactics to try to entice users to think that they will make lots of money through their platform, like the screenshot below:

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Regulated Online Brokers (Our Recommendations)

When choosing a regulated online broker, prioritise those adhering to strict regulatory standards and meeting your specific trading needs. Our recommended brokers are regulated by reputable financial authorities, guaranteeing investor protection and transparency. Additionally, they provide competitive fees, reliable customer support, and robust security measures to protect your investments and personal data.

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#1 Best for intermediate and advanced investors

Min. deposit of $0
Offers interest on uninvested cash balances
Excellent reputation (founded in 1978)
View BrokerIQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 14Read review
Interactive Brokers summary
IBKR is a leading global online broker that provides an advanced trading platform, a large selection of tradable securities, and low fees. It also launched IBKR GlobalTrader
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)Spreads starting at0.1 pip (subject to commission)
RegulatorsFINRA, SIPC, SEC, CFTC, IIROC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS and MNBMaximum leverage1:40 (depends on account type and currency pair)
Products and MarketsStocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Commodities, Bonds and Funds
IQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 15

#2 Best for Forex and CFDs

Min. deposit of $0
$0 for stocks and ETFs
Demo account
View BrokerIQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 14Read review
XTB summary
XTB is a reputable online broker known for its xStation 5 trading platform, available on the web, desktop, and mobile. It provides an intuitive interface with access to advanced tools and customisation options
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)Spreads starting at0.9 pips (standard account), 0 (pro account)
RegulatorsFCA, KNF, CySEC, DFSA and FSCMaximum leverage1:500
Products and MarketsReal Stocks, ETFs, Forex and CFDs on Stocks, ETFs, Indices, cryptocurrencies and commodities

77% of retail CFD account lose money.

IQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 17

#3 Best for demos and education resources

17,000+ products available
Demo account
Excellent education materials
View BrokerIQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 14
IG summary
IG is a well-known CFD offering a wide range of trading instruments, including over 17,000 markets with various trading platforms. They are also recognised for their high-quality research and educational resources
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)Spreads starting at0.6 pips
RegulatorsFDCA, ASIC, FCA, NFA, MAS, FINMA, FMAMaximum leverage1:200
Products and MarketsCFDs on Shares, Indices, Forex, Commodities, and Cryptocurrencies

75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

IQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 19

#4 Best for MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader5 (MT5)

Many trading platforms available
Demo account
Copy trading
View BrokerIQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 14
Pepperstone summary
Pepperstone is a popular broker that offers several trading platforms like TradingView, MetaTrader4 (MT4), MetaTrader5 (MT5), and cTrader, which are well-suited for social trading and copy trading features
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)Spreads starting at1 pip
RegulatorsASIC, SCB, CMA, CySEC, FCA, BaFin, and DFSAMaximum leverage1:400
Products and MarketsCFDs on Shares, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Currency index CFDs

74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

IQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 21

#5 Ideal for low Forex fees and free withdrawals

Zero-commission trading
Demo account
Min. deposit $100
View BrokerIQ Option Review 2024: Is It a Scam? Our in-depth analysis 14Read review
Plus500 summary
Plus500 is a CFD broker that provides access to over 2,800 tradable CFDs, including Forex, Shares, Commodities, Indices, ETFs & Options. Their platform features competitive spreads and no commissions
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)Spreads starting at0.8 pips
RegulatorsFCA, CySEC, FSCA, FMA and ASICMaximum leverage1:300
Products and MarketsReal Shares (Plus500 Invest) and CFDs on Indices, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Options and ETFs

82% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when considering opening an account with a broker, it’s crucial to verify various factors:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring the broker adheres to legal standards and offers investor protection.
  • Security Measures: Checking the safeguards in place for your personal and financial data.
  • Fees and Spreads: Understanding the cost implications of your trading activities.
  • Range of Instruments and Markets: Ensuring the broker provides access to the financial products and markets relevant to your investment goals.
  • Trading Platform Usability: Evaluating the ease of use, features, and technological reliability of the platform.
  • Customer Service: Assessing the quality, responsiveness, and support channels available for assistance.

While some traders have had satisfactory experiences with IQ Option, there are significant and serious concerns regarding its operational practices, particularly those related to withdrawals, customer service, and regulatory compliance. Potential traders should approach this platform with caution, considering these mixed reviews and the red flags raised.

Whether you are a new investor or a seasoned professional, we hope this article helped answer a few of your concerns. To ensure you select the right trading platform, we suggest setting up a demo account first to test its features. This can greatly inform your final decision. Please let us know in the comments section if you have any feedback.

Other FAQs

What are binary options?

Binary options are a financial instrument allowing investors to speculate on whether the price of an asset will rise or fall within a predetermined time frame. When you trade a binary option, you’re making a bet on the direction of the market. If your prediction is correct, you receive a predetermined profit; if not, you lose your initial investment.

Is trading binary options legal?

The legality of binary options trading varies by country. In some countries, like the USA, binary options are heavily regulated. In others, they are banned outright. Before trading, it’s crucial to check the regulations in your jurisdiction. The financial authorities in many countries have issued warnings about the risks associated with binary options trading.

How do you trade binary options on IQ Option?

To trade binary options on IQ Option, you first need to create an account and deposit funds. Then, choose an asset to trade, predict whether its price will rise or fall by a certain expiry time, and decide how much to invest. If your prediction is correct at expiry, you win the trade and earn a profit; if not, you lose your investment.

What assets can be traded as binary options on IQ Option?

IQ Option offers a variety of assets for binary options trading, including major currency pairs, stocks, commodities, and indices. The availability of specific assets may depend on the regulatory environment in your country.

What is the minimum deposit and trade amount on IQ Option?

The minimum deposit at IQ Option is usually around $10, but it can vary depending on the trader’s location and the deposit method. The minimum trade amount for binary options is typically about $1, making it accessible for small-scale traders.

What are the risks of trading binary options?

Trading binary options is high-risk and speculative. The risks include:

  • High Volatility: Prices of assets can fluctuate wildly in short periods, making it challenging to predict accurately.
  • Limited Information and Simplicity: While being simple can be an advantage, it also means traders have less information and fewer analytical tools than in other forms of trading.
  • Risk of Loss: There’s a significant probability of losing the entire investment on a trade.
  • Regulatory Risks: In some jurisdictions, binary options are unregulated or poorly regulated, increasing the risk of fraud.
  • Limited Time Frames: The short time frames for binary options can make it hard to predict market movements accurately.
Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM
Fintech Analyst

Toni is a Fintech Analyst with over 8 years of experience in the financial industry where he worked as a financial control analyst at a regional bank and later conducted independent investment research analysis.

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