Claim: A viral message on WhatsApp purportedly originating from an investment company, claims to offer double return on investments.
Findings have revealed that the scheme is fraudulent and the so-called company is not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
A message has been making the rounds on WhatsApp, urging Nigerians to join Access Capital Investment Group to enjoy double return on investments.
The message which appears in different Whatsapp groups promises a return of N20, 000 for a N10, 000 investment, N40, 000 for a N20, 000 up till N1 million for a N500, 000 investment.
A name and number was also posted in case an intending investor wants more information.
In order to propagate the message, Dubawa discovered that the fraudsters are in the habit of first hacking a trusted account, in order to reach the account owners’ audience.
In this case, after this writer received the message in one of the groups she belongs to around 1:58 p.m., the victim followed with a disclaimer, in one of the platforms with a different number, one hour later asking group members to disregard any fraudulent message, because his WhatsApp number had been hacked.
Screenshot of the First message
Curious to know about this Scam, Dubawa joined the groups, but the instruction “only admins can send messages” first caught this writer’s attention.
Bursting the fraudster
Soon after joining, I received a message from an unknown number(+234 706 750 4886), at 2: 59pm which sent me testimonial videos, and a proposal that I will get paid for referring others to the group and also get paid for saving money on the platform. I was also promised a percentage of returns as my principal investment will still be safe. So, I registered with fake details.
Immediately a number called me, around 3: 41pm, to confirm my account details, and I noticed that Truecaller tagged the caller “scammer”
PAYMENT IS TO BE MADE IMMEDIATELY YOUR REGISTRATION IS SUCCESSFUL FOR YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT AT THE DURATION TIME OF 45 MINUTES
IF YOUR PAYMENT IS SUCCESSFUL KINDLY PROVIDE THE PROOF OF YOUR PAYMENT TO THE SUPERIOR OF THE PLATFORM FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF YOUR PAYMENT”
Verification with Truecaller
I decided to verify the caller’s identity on Truecaller.
I also verified the Account details, by the so called company:
ACCESS CAPITAL INVESTMENT ACCOUNT DETAILS
ACC NAME: FET DAVID
ACC NO: 3177496762
BANK NAME: FIRST BANK”
Then I discovered that the account name does not correspond with the company Name, since every registered company carries the company details.
I went further to confirm the company registration on Corporate Affairs Commission but It was not found.
I also ran a word search, and I found a warning that read’s ” Pls Don’t Get Involved With Access Capital Investment. They Scammed Me Yesterday”
Tips to avoid being conned
As outlined by Federal Trade Commission:
- Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats.
- Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.
- Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication, it makes it harder for scammers to log in to your accounts if they do get your username and password.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with JAY 101.9 FM Jos to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country