There are two types of regulated trading platforms: Market Makers and ECNs . It is crucial to distinguish between them in order to understand if you were scammed or not.
A Market Maker, such as EuropeFX or itrader among many others, does not have their interests aligned with their customers, or more appropriately, their victims. A market maker is essentially a bookie taking the opposite side of your trades. You are actually trading against them. When you open a position, they are the counterparty to your trade. Market makers want losers. They want you to lose so they can pocket your account! Think of them as a casino and they are the house.
Your orders never actually reach the real market and you are only taking bets on an overlay that the market maker has provided for you. This is where price manipulation and stop hunting can and often occur.
On the other hand, an Electronic Communications Network (ECN) is another type of regulated trading platform. Most importantly, ENC’s are legal and real trading. Trading with an ECN broker means that your interests are aligned with the interests of your broker. An ECN broker passes your order through to liquidity providers or the interbank market, meaning your trades are actually being matched with other traders in the real market. They make money on the spread, meaning that they want active, profitable traders who will keep coming back for more.
ECN brokers compile a list of all the best bid and ask prices from liquidity providers (usually major banks and financial institutions) and match trades with the best possible prices and lowest possible spreads without considering the source. An ECN broker can be seen as a middle man between buyers and sellers with no interest in manipulating prices.