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  I’m inspired to write this article today due to the recent investment frauds Nigerians have become victims of. Several seemingly fraudulent schemes and businesses are out there duping Nigerians of their hard-earned money. They are cashing in on the nation’s harsh economy and Nigerians’ desperation to get rich quick. However, there are thousands of Nigerians who genuinely want to invest their money where it can generate more money for them rather than leaving them to lie dormant in the bank.
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Simply because an investment has a location, endorsed by influencers, advertised on newspapers, TV and social media, it’s doesn’t guarantee its genuineness. Therefore, since investment is a way to earn, I’m going to highlight seven red flags to watch out for when attempting to invest.
  1. Unsolicited Phone Calls, Emails, Letters, or Visits

Most times, fraudulent schemes and investment businesses engage unsolicited cold phone calls, emails, text messages, personal visits by strangers offering investment plans. It’s advisable not to jump into their trap, which looks seemingly harmless. Be very sceptical about this approach.
  1. Be Skeptical Of High Returns In A Short Time

Never trust any investment that promises a high return in a short period of time. This is a bait designed to lure and eventually trap you. When you’re promised an above 3% interest rate, be very sceptical about the investment.
  1. Low Or Zero Risk

This is another trap set by fraudulent investments. Most times, these fraudulent investments have a track record that shows their low or no risk story, yet it’s not a guarantee to invest in them. There is no genuine business investment with zero risks. Be guided about such investments.
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  1. Avoid Investments That Have No Third-Party Control

Your investment account must be maintained by a third party external custodian that is regulated and supervised by regulatory agencies.  Avoid assigning custody and possession of the invested capital to the investment manager. If these provisions are not available, avoid them.
  1. Manipulative Sales

I am categorically advising you to hang up or stay away from manipulative sales tactics. When a seller demands that you invest on the spot, that’s a red flag.  If the salesperson is trying to make you feel guilty, stupid, or intimidate you into making a decision, then leave immediately. Investments must be fully understood before accepting risk.
  1. Complex Terminologies

Be careful about investment strategies explained with fancy terminology and fancy phraseology, instead of common words. A legitimate seller will simplify the complex to help you understand. Investment fraud can complicate the simple in order to deceive you from looking deeper behind the facade.  Never buy into the idea that you are too old, young, or financially inexperienced to understand an investment. If you don’t understand it, don’t invest in it.
  1. Secretive Brokership

Do not invest in schemes that have secret brokership. Avoid schemes where the information about how the scheme operates is only available to few people who act as brokers. When you’re approached by an investor who claims to have insider secret information about the business, please avoid such. Featured Image Source: Ponirevo
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This article was first published on 14th September 2021 and updated on September 16th, 2021 at 1:18 pm


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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