Some red flags you should know before investing in businesses

STAKEHOLDERS have identified red flags in online and related businesses and suggested ways to avoid falling victim.

Speaking on an X space by The ICIR on Friday, March 29, which focussed on “Investment Scam: Red Flags to Look Out for Before Investing in Business”, stakeholders reiterated the need for adequate enlightenment and checks at appropriate regulatory institutions before investing in any business. Listen to it here.

One of the speakers, a spokesperson of the Economic and  Financial Crime Control, Dele Oyewale, provided insights on identifying fraudulent investment companies.


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He noted that the investor must carry out sufficient research before investing.

“Do due diligence about the profile of the company and people that have invested and check if they are fully registered with regulatory agencies like EFCC, CBN, ICPC, among others. Failure of this is responsible for why people fall victims”, he said.

Oyewale explained that the EFCC often enlightened Nigerians, investigated cases, recovered funds and ensured that those found guilty were charged.

Another speaker, the deputy director of Public Enlightenment Division, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Oluwasina Babasola, shared some red flags to look out for to avoid falling victim to investment scams.

“When you’re offered a high return on the normal thing you’re doing, especially in this time where the economy is not favourable, be on alert. Do not succumb to pressure from family members; rather, seek advice.

“Also, do not go into any business that is done in secrecy and shows a lack of transparency,” he noted.

He added that another factor that makes people fall victim to investment scams is the religious factor, where some religious leaders use their platform to promote false businesses. He emphasised the need for media organisations to educate the public enough and call out companies involved in these scams.

A journalist with The ICIR, Mustapha Usman, who had investigated companies that defrauded people through investments, said some victims revealed that close allies, particularly family members, introduced them to the business.






     

     

    Advising the public during the session, the speakers said that people who fall victim to investment scams should ensure they write a petition to the EFCC or any other regulatory agency, stating how the investment was made, the people involved, and proof of payment.

    They further advised that people should be adequately enlightened before investing while calling on finance journalists to give insights on investment and how to go into it.

    One of the most recent investigations by The ICIR shows that a logistics company that operates in Lagos and Abuja, Greywolf Logistics, which partners with Fespan Travels and Tours, subjected no fewer than 72 investors to awful experiences through its investment platform.

    The investigation revealed that the companies are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a government agency mandated to regulate and develop the Nigerian capital market, but only registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2022.

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