The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned Nigerians against investing their money in fraudulent investment schemes that promises high returns to investors.
Mr Wilson Uwujaren said in a statement in Port Harcourt that the anti-graft agency was worried over the development that had seen thousands lose their life savings to scammers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one of such popular schemes, MBA Forex – which promised its investors 15 per cent Return on Investment monthly, crashed in November leaving its over 100,000 investors stranded.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which later froze MBA’s bank accounts, said that the company owned by one Maxwell Odum, had collected over N171 billion from its investors before crashing.
Also, another popular scheme, Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative headquartered in Yenagoa, Bayelsa had in March announced its inability to meet its obligations to it’s over 25,000 investors.
The company owned by one Miebi Bribena, a pastor, had promised to refund investors their capital running into billions, but didn’t provide any reasonable timeline to refund their monies.
Uwajaren said that the commission had received several petitions from victims of ponzi, forex and Bitcoin investment schemes.
“This trend indicates that investment scams has continued to thrive despite the enforcement and public enlightenment interventions by the commission and other stakeholders.
“The direct implication is that hapless citizens are losing their hard-earned money to fraudsters, who by their activities compound the nation’s economic woes.
“Many have lost, and are still losing money to ponzi schemes, forex trading and most recently, Bitcoin trading,” he said.
The EFCC spokesman warned members of the public against taking unmitigated risk in desperation to earn a windfall on fraudulent schemes.
According to him, investments in Bitcoin and other crypto currencies were a high risk activity especially as the terrain was largely unregulated, and prone to fraud.
“The EFCC states that, while it will continue to investigate and prosecute persons complicit in fraudulent investments schemes, it is incumbent on the investing public to be circumspect in their investment decisions.
“Any investment that promises returns that look too good to be true should be considered a red flag.
“Nigerians are by this notice, warned to be wary of fraudulent schemes, and are hereby, enjoined to resist the temptation of quick gain that could end in misery,” he warned.