We review Osmai FX – forex Ponzi scam claiming 41% per year returns

Osmai FX logo
Facebook advert for Osmai FX.

Osmai FX claims to provide a “reliable alternative investment opportunity” that generates returns from Forex trading.

In a video and performance table on their website, the scheme claims to have generated 42% annual returns since 2016. It also claims to offer “medium to long-term growth with minimal risk” and “slow and steady returns”.

The scheme is currently advertising to UK investors via Facebook.

Who are Osmai?

Osmai claims to be registered in the British Virgin Islands as Osmai Management Limited. I was not able to verify this as the BVI company register is not freely searchable. In any case, basic incorporation is worthless for due diligence purposes.

Osmai claims to be run by a Hal Robb and provides a picture. There is a Hal Robb who has had a profile on quora.com for about three years, with the same picture, answering innocuous questions about his home country of Thailand and forex trading, but I’m very dubious it’s the same guy as that Hal Robb gives his company name as “East West Trading” rather than Osmai. Identity theft is a real possibility.

Osmai’s website also features a video by some schmuck who introduces himself as “Ben Hawkes” before reading out Osmai’s advert in front of a green screen. “Hawkes” does not claim a role in the company and appears to be a paid actor.

One thing that can be verified is that Osmai’s claim to have been running since 2016 is nonsense. Osmai’s Facebook page and website were registered in December 2020. There is no evidence that Osmai existed before this date.

Update 31.03.21: After contact from Ben Hawkes in the comments and via email, and some more digging on LinkedIn on my part, I turned up a webinar which appears to confirm that the Quora / East West Trading Hal Robb and the Osmai Hal Robb are the same person.

Importantly, there remains no public disclosure by Osmai of who actually runs and controls the business. Due to its registration in the British Virgin Islands, details of who owns the company are not publicly available. Hawkes styles himself as “Business Development Director” in his emails; while the only employee listed on Osmai’s LinkedIn page, Scott Hattrell, describes himself as “Client Director” and “specialist consultant”.

Investors should think long and hard before handing their money to a company which does not disclose details of its ownership and key personnel.

How safe is the investment?

Osmai FX claims to offer “minimal risk” yet also claims to have generated 42% per year returns since 2016 (despite no public evidence of its existence until December 2020.)

The FTSE, i.e. the FTSE 100, actually generated 6% annual growth over the last five years. No-one other than Osmai FX uses “FTSE” on its own to mean the FTSE 250 (the tier below the FTSE).

On this point I think the real Hal Robb put it best on his Quora page: “All investments contain an element of risk. For a “stranger” or anyone else to not spell out the risk is a big red flag.”

Even if Osmai’s 42% returns were real, it would still be breaking the law.

Osmai’s Facebook adverts and website represent a financial promotion. Issuing financial promotions in the UK requires authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. Osmai FX is not authorised by the FCA and does not disclose registration with any other financial regulator.

The only reason for Osmai FX to promote itself illegally instead of applying for FCA authorisation is if its fantastical returns don’t exist.

As Osmai FX has no magic strategy generating returns of 42% per year, any returns to investors will either be illusory (“numbers on a screen”) or, if real money is paid into an investor’s account, this will be funded by the investors’ own money or that of others, making Osmai FX a Ponzi scheme.

In an attempt to reassure investors that it can’t steal their money, Osmai claims “you control the money, we control the trades” and that investors’ money will be held by an Australian broker, IC markets, rather than Osmai itself.

The reality is that “you control the money, we control the trades” is nonsense. Either Osmai controls your money or it doesn’t.

Even if we take Osmai’s claim that it doesn’t have the power to simply withdraw investors’ money into its bank account at face value (and given its lies about running since 2016 and criminal activity, you shouldn’t), all it has to do is use the control investors have given it over their money to buy worthless penny shares or cryptocurrencies that it has pre-purchased. Result: Osmai’s anonymous operators disappear with investors’ money and investors are left with worthless garbage.

Should I invest with Osmai FX?

This blog does not give financial advice. The following are statements of publicly available facts or widely accepted investment principles, not a personalised recommendation. Investors should consult a regulated independent financial adviser if they are in any doubt.

Any investment offering returns of 41% per year with “minimal risk” is in reality a virtually guaranteed loser for all but those running it. The mathematics of Ponzi schemes guarantees that the vast majority, if not all, of investors will lose their money.

Do not invest unless you are prepared for total losses.

31 thoughts on “We review Osmai FX – forex Ponzi scam claiming 41% per year returns

  1. the advertising watch dog needs a lick up the bum if they have not seen this as well as facebook they have a real duty of care – trouble is they do notSent from my Galaxy

    Like

  2. “the advertising watch dog needs a lick up the bum…” as typos go, this is unfortunate ….

    Like

  3. Speaking as someone who has been conned i can speak with authority. I was with a company based in Turkey by name of Lonist run by a chap naming himself as Jo Lewis. This investment was based on FX trading but eventually turned out to be a Ponzi. Jo has now at long last been convicted in the UK although looks as though he has hidden the money somewhere making it impossible for UK fraud dept to track it down as all the money was in Turkey and the Turkish banks will not talk to British authorities. I`m thinking we will never get anything back from his meagre UK based monies.

    Like

  4. Good evening all, you can see our traders resulted on MyFXBook here – https://www.myfxbook.com/members/best789/east-west-forex-live-server04/7961456. This is a client’s account who agreed to link up to FX Book. Having a full set of results for Hal (which are available to any interested party via email) on MFXB caused some security problems so was decided against.

    We started marketing our trader’s services under the OMFX banner in May 2020. As the literature states, we do not hold client funds. The client funds their account with IC Markets and it is connected to our trader (Hal from East-West). If a client wants to take their money out they can, it’s their account.

    Hal is a good friend of ours. His identity is all his own. I did think about pursuing a career in musical theatre but I’m no actor. The background is a garden. It was green, but not a green screen. Shooting outside in May 2020 was the only option because of social distancing.

    If anyone has any questions please do ask them. Several investments I have lost money on have been featured on these pages, so I do see the value in a light being shined on what is usually a dark part of the financial world. In this instance, the comments are not correct. It is not a Ponzi Scheme. To break it down to its fundamentals it is a copy trade service. Plain and simple.

    Have a great evening all,

    Ben (Not My Stage Name)

    Like

  5. Good evening all, you can see our traders resulted on MyFXBook here – https://www.myfxbook.com/members/best789/east-west-forex-live-server04/7961456.

    Random graphs on FX trading websites are not a substitute for independently audited accounts and legally required registration with the Financial Conduct Authority.

    We started marketing our trader’s services under the OMFX banner in May 2020.

    Which is why Osmai FX’s Facebook page and website were only created in December 2020 (as per Facebook’s Page Transparency feature and Nominet registration).

    As the literature states, we do not hold client funds.

    As my article states, it is irrelevant where client funds are held when clients give up control of their money to a third party.

    Hal is a good friend of ours. His identity is all his own. I did think about pursuing a career in musical theatre but I’m no actor. The background is a garden. It was green, but not a green screen. Shooting outside in May 2020 was the only option because of social distancing.

    When there’s no disclosure of who is behind an investment scheme beyond some dude standing in front of a sky where the clouds never move throughout the entirety of the video saying “Hi, I’m Ben Hawkes” (but not actually claiming to be the owner), the natural assumption is a paid actor.

    If “Ben Hawkes” actually is fronting his own scam it hardly matters, considering there is no verifiable information on who is behind the investment scheme beyond some company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

    If anyone has any questions please do ask them.

    Any further fluff that fails to address Osmai FX’s criminal activity (illegal financial promotions at the very least, and probable unauthorised collective investment scheme), or provide independently audited proof of Osmai FX’s magical 42%pa returns filed with securities regulators, will be treated as spam.

    Several investments I have lost money on have been featured on these pages, so I do see the value in a light being shined on what is usually a dark part of the financial world. In this instance, the comments are not correct. It is not a Ponzi Scheme.

    Criminal offences against securities legislation + magical 42%pa returns + zero independently audited proof that the scheme has used said magical returns to pay investors = Ponzi scheme.

    Like

  6. Fair enough [random personal name removed – Brev], you throw all the stones you like. We’re into the reals of defamation now. I’ve left you an email and left you a voicemail so we might have an adult conversation.

    Have a great day all,

    Ben

    Like

  7. 1) The “reals” of defamation are that if it’s true it’s not defamatory.

    2) I have had no voicemail from you, which is unsurprising as Bond Review doesn’t have a public phone number.

    Feel free to point out anything that is materially inaccurate in my article, otherwise the conversation ends there.

    In the absence of verifiable information on the owners of Osmai FX (i.e. not some shell company in the Virgin Islands) my surmises on the existence of “Ben Hawkes” can stand.

    I note there’s another Osmai website, osmaimanagement.com. Notably there’s no mention of its supposed owner on it whatsoever. When someone appears on a video for an illegal investment scheme and says “Hi, I’m Ben Hawkes” but does not claim ownership of the company and there’s no evidence of his existence beyond the video, the natural assumption is actor.

    Like

  8. [Edited: As previously confirmed, any further waffle that fails to address Osmai’s lack of legally-required regulatory registration or independently audited evidence of its magical 42%pa returns will be treated as spam. -Brev]

    Like

  9. Full disclosure: Hawkes continued to correspond via email, and I susbequently found his LinkedIn profile (which does not disclose his position at Osmai, but does list the scheme under “Interests”).

    I’m not totally sold on the profile resemblance but this does appear to confirm that Hawkes is an Osmai director rather than a paid actor.

    Note that whether Hawkes is an actor doing a Fiverr gig or an actual Osmai director is of limited importance; what matters is Osmai’s failure to disclose who owns or runs the company. At the time of writing that remains the case. Hawkes listed his role as “Business Development Director”, which is a third-tier boardroom title.

    LinkedIn is of very limited use for research purposes due to its lack of an audit trail (i.e. details of when profiles are registered and updated) so I don’t read too much into it.

    Like

  10. Its a little concerning that the marketing director of the company quotes a return of 42% a year, when actualy if you look at the data supplied on the link its a 42% return since May 2019. Close to the exact return you would have seen if you had puchased a very simple S&P tracker that would never have lost you all your money.

    Would you trust these boys with a penny even if they were genuine, when they can’t correctly establish a return……

    Like

  11. I received all my returns on time and within agreed timescales, Ben is one of the most honest,straightforward,upstanding and reliable individuals i have ever come across, and that is saying something in this sector, always approachable and answers any questions honestly.

    Their seems to be some bitter individuals in here, Quel Surprise!!!!!

    Like

  12. I received all my returns on time and within agreed timescales,

    What does that have to do with Osmai’s criminal activity and lack of independently audited accounts? Every Ponzi scheme in history paid out on time until the moment it didn’t.

    Ben is one of the most honest,straightforward,upstanding and reliable individuals i have ever come across, and that is saying something in this sector, always approachable and answers any questions honestly.

    If your idea of “honest” means “committing criminal offences against the Financial Services and Markets Act, concealing the scheme’s ownership and claiming magical investment returns with no evidence”, you have a very low bar.

    Like

  13. ” If your idea of “honest” means “committing criminal offences against the Financial Services and Markets Act, concealing the scheme’s ownership and claiming magical investment returns with no evidence”, you have a very low bar.”

    As you stated above ,that is nothing to do with us, as long as we are receiving returns as agreed, then personally, i could not care less wether the scheme operator is running a “ponzi” or “illegal” scheme one iota.

    In all the years we have been investing in high risk schemes not once have we ever received no returns or agreed payments, sure, some schemes have gone bang after receiving our returns but i’m sorry to say, once again, that really is not our problem.

    Selfish you might say – Nope, far from it.

    It has to be said that people should NOT invest in these schemes without being able to risk losing some or all of their capital 100%, otherwise they should not bother.

    We even invested in the Northern Powerhouse Developments scheme and received all our returns as contractually agreed with no issues whatsoever, unfortunately, due to falsehoods and many liars and false statements, the NPD scheme crashed, nothing to do with the prinicipals at all, far from it in fact.

    The NPD scheme would have been 100% successful had it not been for greedy,grasping investors who were intent on making up falsehoods and lies about the principal of that scheme, simply because of a few adminstrative delays along the way!.

    As i said we received all our returns, and undoubtedly would have been receiving many more had the gossip and doom mongers not had their way.

    Like

  14. I can’t believe that someone is trying to defend Northern Powerhouse Developments’ Gavin Woodhouse. Whether the scheme was run honestly but incompetently or dishonestly, a lot of investors lost their shirts. Millions of pensioners cash gone and retirement dreams crushed.
    I bet [removed] are doing OK though.

    Like

  15. As you stated above ,that is nothing to do with us, as long as we are receiving returns as agreed, then personally, i could not care less wether the scheme operator is running a “ponzi” or “illegal” scheme one iota.

    If you’re in the extreme minority that profits from an illegal scheme then it very much is to do with you.

    Ponzi schemes are a zero sum game and the vast majority of investors lose money. The only people who profit are those who are either in on the scheme from the beginning or are paid to recruit. Everyone else loses their money when new investment dries up and the scheme collapses.

    [Personal information removed]

    The NPD scheme would have been 100% successful had it not been for greedy,grasping investors who were intent on making up falsehoods and lies about the principal of that scheme, simply because of a few adminstrative delays along the way!.

    NPD collapsed because it ran out of money to pay investors and consequently was put into administration. But carry on with the victim blaming as it illustrates the point of my article wonderfully.

    As i said we received all our returns, and undoubtedly would have been receiving many more had the gossip and doom mongers not had their way.

    Promoter of Ponzi scheme (Osmai) openly admits she doesn’t care about criminal offences, claims that “doom-mongers” are responsible when it goes tits up. Lol.

    Like

  16. I would be very careful making false allegations “Brev” , trying to incinuate that i am the promotor of the Osmai scheme is an absolute falsehood and will be vigorously defended if you persist with such unfounded statements.

    We know who you are and will quite happily start proceedings if you insist on attempting to defame me or my husband in any way whatsoever and continue to besmirch our character which you have been doing privately for some considerable time now( we have all the evidence).

    WE are nothing to do with Osmai, but merely satisfied investors who have received all our coupons in full and on time, what is the problem with saying that openly and honestly on your platform???????????????????????????????????. After all “Brev” isnt this the place for transparency and open conversation around these matters???????????.

    [Edited: Off-topic waffle removed. -Brev]

    People are inherently greedy and will sign any old paperwork without checking it, they just see the £££££££££££££££££££ signs flashing….simple as that.

    If you know anything about marketing and promotion you will know that the vast majority of the public at large will sign any old guff if it is “marketed” at them in the right way. Tale as old as time i’m afraid.

    Like i said their are many more satisfied investors of Osmal and more importantly [removed] who have ACTUALLY received all their coupons in full.

    But you don’t hear about them do you.

    Like

  17. I would be very careful making false allegations “Brev” , trying to incinuate that i am the promotor of the Osmai scheme is an absolute falsehood and will be vigorously defended if you persist with such unfounded statements.

    It’s not an insinuation. You came here promoting Osmai and waxing lyrical about the “honesty” of its director. Don’t promote Ponzis if you don’t want to be called a promoter.

    [Personal information removed]

    WE are nothing to do with Osmai, but merely satisfied investors who have received all our coupons in full and on time, what is the problem with saying that openly and honestly on your platform?

    I have no problem with it. Just don’t whine when people point out that being paid by a Ponzi scheme is nothing to boast about. Nor does it mean anything. Every Ponzi in history paid out in full until it ran out of investor money.

    Like

  18. Theres nothing funnier than the owners and employees jumping on to try and defend themselves after being named and shamed.

    They all have this simple same scripted way where they have incorporated their sales scripts into writing. Its obvious

    Like

  19. What is peculiar is that a Director suggests that the investment is a client-owned account that is traded by a third party with apparently high past returns but the investor has stated that they have received all of their coupons – which would suggest a loan note type arrangement.

    Someone is either not telling the truth or are ignorant of their investment/product.

    From the text in the article, the products appears to be a client account and so the investor sounds like they were inherently greedy and signed the paperwork without checking it.

    Like

  20. My guess based on comments in this and another article is that in the small world of unregulated investments they all invest personally in each others schemes and they make sure that everyone in the cosy little club gets their money back + profit before they go bust. Ordinary investors don’t get the same treatment of course.

    Like

  21. Fraid Knot, you know it all do you?.

    Can you prove that statement you made above in any shape or form ???.

    Like i said we received our returns without issue, i suppose it is unfortunate in some ways that some people claim to have lost money, well perhaps as HNW investors they should realise that they should not be investing without the potential to lose any or all of the funds invested, after all they are all HNW investors are they not lol, and they should know the risks, should they not lol.

    It seems to us that the vast majority of the public will fall for any old pitch without checking facts, my husband is an expert at pitching to all and sundry, i am very grateful for that skill as he has kept me in diamonds for years now – Long may that continue.

    In fact only today did my husband receive a huge return from one of the other schemes we recently invested in, of course, thats a bonus, but it wouldn’t mean much had we have lost it all, after all WE ARE HNW INVESTORS.

    After all, we only invest what we can always afford to lose, it seems we have been very lucky in all out investments.

    Like

  22. “Can you prove that statement you made above in any shape or form ???”

    No, which is why I said it was a “guess”.

    As I am sure you are all too aware unregulated schemes have a very poor track record, pretty much all of them go bust. Yet you say you have been using them for years and always win.

    But I accept my speculation may be wrong and you are just extraordinarily lucky.

    Like

  23. [Edited: That’s enough rambling about unrelated schemes. You can either engage with the discussion and address Osmai’s illegal activity and lack of audited proof of their fantastical returns, or stop wasting our time.

    In addition, the names of personally identifiable people will no longer be published without proof of identity sent to the Contact link above. -Brev]

    Like

  24. Heavily editing and redacting names and other pertinent information, why exactly is that ?

    And the reason fro the removal of all the threads where you state “Deleted at poster’s request”, why exactly is that we wonder ?.

    You seem to be scared to let the truth, all verifiable, come out??

    Why exactly is that we wonder ?

    Like

  25. Heavily editing and redacting names and other pertinent information, why exactly is that ?

    Because this isn’t Facebook. People who want to ignore the facts and waffle can do so elsewhere.

    And the reason fro the removal of all the threads where you state “Deleted at poster’s request”, why exactly is that we wonder ?.

    Is a four word sentence too taxing to parse?

    You seem to be scared to let the truth, all verifiable, come out??

    Feel free to present verifiable evidence of Osmai FX’s FCA registration and independently-audited accounts showing its 41%pa returns.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s