Fraudsters are on the loose in Nigeria, especially in cyberspace.
They are everywhere scheming and planning to rob you of your investment. From Twitter trends and facebook groups, to forums and unsolicited WhatsApp messages. They are everywhere luring and enticing people to invest in their shady schemes.
As an investor and business-minded person, you should only invest money in schemes and portfolios that are either regulated or provide one form of control for investors. Remember, the first goal of a true investor is not to lose money.
There are gamblers, there are speculators, and there are investors. You have to choose which one you want to be and stick with your plan.
I’m saying this because the number of so-called investment opportunities I see on a daily basis is so alarming. Imagine an anonymous person hiding under a brand pseudonym trying to convince me to invest in his investment scheme.
How does that even work?
There is a thing called due diligence, and I strongly believe that no person in their right sense would invest their hard-earned money in a company they know nothing about. This is common sense.
That said, I’ll like to throw in some ways you can play safe when investing your money online, especially in the Nigerian cyberspace.
Here are some factors for determining the legitimacy of an investment:
The Investment Backers
The first thing I check for before investing in a scheme is the owners or backers of the investment. If the owner of the business or scheme is largely unknown and their backers or primary investors are in the dark, then something might be fishy.
One can argue that a legitimate business owner may not be famous, and that’s true. If the owners of the investment scheme are not that popular, I look at other factors below before making my investment decision.
The investment Insurers
If the investment is in a risky terrain such as agriculture, transportation, or real estate, I would like to check if they have any insurance in place. An insurance would indicate that the investment owners recognize the risk factor of their business, and that they have industry due diligence because no insurance company would want to insure a fake company.
If they are truly insured, I would like to know the details of the insurance and the extent and aspect of the insurance coverage.
The Investment Regulators
I strongly believe that every investment scheme should be under some form of regulation. They could be regulated by financial regulating bodies or industry regulating bodies. All I want to see is that they are recognized and regulated by an authority.
In my opinion, the absence of regulation for any investment scheme leads to lack of accountability and the temptation to engage in shady deals and fraud. So, for me, this is a big deal breaker.
The Investment Partners
The final aspect of an investment scheme I look for is the calibre of partnership they have. Who are their partners? Are they of good reputation? Are the partners involved in any part of the investment activity?
If an investment scheme is backed by largely unknown founders and investors, and they have no insurance or regulatory coverage, but they have strong investment partners that are actively involved in the investment process, then I could give them a trial.
Always do your due diligence before you invest your money online. Don’t be carried away by the greed of making money that you ignore common sense. Over 60% of the investment opportunities you will see online are scams perpetrated by nonentities disguising as investment companies.
Remember, the primary goal of a true investor is not to lose money. You can choose to be a true investor or choose to be a gambler.