The World Bank said on Monday it is not giving out money to individuals to do business and warned members of the public to be wary of fraudsters parading as its representatives and soliciting fees to enlist prospective beneficiaries in a fake scheme.
The spokesperson of the bank in Nigeria, Olufunke Olufon, said in a statement in Abuja that the group has been going about demanding processing fees of about N1000 from unsuspecting prospective awardees to be enlisted in the scheme.
Ms. Olufon, who dissociated the bank from the scheme, said representatives of the fraudulent multi-purpose cum co-operative scheme have in recent time been advertising their activities in some local communities in the country.
“Several correspondences targeting innocent citizens are being circulated falsely claiming that the World Bank is giving out money to individuals to do business and demanding processing fees of N1000 from prospective awardees”, Ms. Olufon stated.
“Please note that: The World Bank is not behind this multi-purpose scheme. The World Bank does not request for personal financial information for applicants to its programmes,” she added.
The bank urged members of the public to verify any information regarding any World Bank-assisted programmes purportedly offered by any individual or groups on its website. Ms. Olufon said the World Bank would not be held responsible for any refunds of fees solicited by fraudsters purporting to act on its behalf.
With the country’s economic situation on a downwards spin since the coming of recession last year, some fraudulent operators have taken advantage of some Nigerians who are desperate to eke their survival through any means possible.
Some of the groups that have fed fat on the ignorance of some Nigerians include operators of some Ponzi schemes in the country, namely MMM, Twinkas, My Liberty Family, MLF, Swiss Golden and Crypto currency.
Despite repeated warnings by the country’s public financial and anti-graft institutions, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN; Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC; Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC; and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, about the activities of these groups, a lot of Nigerians still invested in these get rich quick schemes.
Last December, when MMM announced a temporary closure of operations in Nigeria and suspension of payment to investors, the NDIC said an estimated three million Nigerians lost over N18 billion.
In spite the huge financial losses suffered by millions of MMM investors, similar wealth creation pyramid schemes are springing up daily, attracting patronage from Nigerians.