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Fake TVC page advertises fraudulent Norland investment to unsuspecting victims

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Claim: TVC News Nigeria promotes Norland International. 

Fake TVC page advertises fraudulent Norland investment to unsuspecting victims

Verdict: FALSE. We discovered that the Facebook page impersonating TVC was recently created and is fake. Also, Norland International has been identified as a Ponzi investment scheme in Nigeria. 

Full Text

According to the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Nigerians have lost over N911 billion to the nefarious act of Ponzi Schemes, which come under different names. 

In 2016, the notorious Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, better known as MMM, defrauded about 3 million Nigerians of N18 billion, according to the corporation’s managing director at the time, Umaru Ibrahim.

Despite many fact-checks and investigations, Nigerians still fall prey to Ponzi schemes. Norland Investment is another example of a Ponzi scheme finding easy prey among Nigerians who are majorly financially illiterate. Many fact-checks have revealed the identity of the scheme here and here. Yet, it thrives; for example, a journalist was scammed by the scheme in 2022 through a Facebook page named BBC News Nigeria.

Recently, a Facebook page TVC News Nigeria, advertised the investment scheme on Jan. 16, 2024. The page urged its followers (22) to call Mr Benjamin on 08167799976 or click the WhatsApp link attached to the post. 

As of the time we saw the post, it had seven reactions and 82 comments. When we checked through the comment section, only three were comments from others, indicating that the page made 79 comments on its post. We also observed that apart from the advert, the page only had one post: the page’s profile picture. These red flags prompted us to investigate the page. 

Verification


We first clicked on the WhatsApp link, leading to a WhatsApp contact– 09068674876. The profile picture displayed that the operator of the number was Mr Benjamin A. Sunday. This e-ID card is from the “investment company” Norland. According to the poorly-designed ID card ID, he is a “senior admin” and operates in Abuja. 

Fake TVC page advertises fraudulent Norland investment to unsuspecting victims
Screenshot of the ID card used as a profile picture on WhatsApp.

We made our inquiries to the phone number and got a prompt response. Mr Sunday revealed that the company trades with cryptocurrency. In his words “You know that cryptocurrency is the ‘most highest’ lucrative currency in the whole world. When you invest N50,000 for example, we will trade with your money and triple your investment; 100% is for you [as] the investor, while 50% is for the platform.”

However, DUBAWA noticed some red flags. We made our first inquiry by 11:03 am and got a barrage of responses, including his salutation, company vision, and insights in the same minute. This is only possible with an automated response. 

Also, he informed us that the dividend would be disbursed two hours after the investment was confirmed. “If you invest N50,000 with us, you’ll be credited with N100,000 within 2 hours,” he said.

This is another common line used by Ponzi scheme perpetrators. 

He said there are four investment packages: the student package between N10,000 and N40,000, the workers package between N50,000 and N100,000, the business package ranging from N150,000 to N400,000, and the VIP section ranging from N500,000 to N800,000. The dividend is doubled within two hours. 

He also introduced the reporter to a WhatsApp group of 98 members named Norland is Settlement and informed DUBAWA that the group contained more information.

Anomalies discovered

Apart from the common Ponzi pickup lines the fraudster used, we discovered that the page itself is not the official Facebook page of the television station it impersonated. While it bears ‘Tvc news Nigeria’ with 22 followers, the real page is named ‘Tvcnewsng,’ a verified page with over 356,000 followers.

Fake TVC page advertises fraudulent Norland investment to unsuspecting victims
Screenshot of the original TVC page

Lastly, the post advertising the scheme was deleted immediately after Mr Benjamin concluded discussions with the reporter, having believed that he had gotten a prey in the bag.

Conclusion

The page is not the official account of the popular television station. It was a parody account created to carry out fraudulent activities and scam unsuspecting victims.

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