The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) yesterday disclosed that social media estimate showed three million Nigerians had lost N18 billion in the Phonzi scheme, popularly called Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM).
The managing director of the Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim gave the hint, while speaking during the NDIC day at the ongoing 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair organised by the Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA).
Represented by the deputy director Communication and public Affairs, Alhaji Hadi Birchi Suleiman, the managing director lamented that despite repeated warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the corporation, Nigerians still patronise MMM.
The MD emphasised that frequent usage of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Onecoin as currencies for medium of exchange are Internet-based transactions and are not authorised by the CBN due to the risks involved in their operations.
He cautioned that any persons or group of persons investing their hard earned money in the Phonzi scheme were doing so at their own risk.
He said, “The Phonzi scheme is the phenomenon of illegal fund managers, popularly called Wonder Bank’ which has continued to defraud unsuspecting members of the public of their hard earned money. This phenomenon has been a source for concern because despite our repeated warnings over the years, some members of the public have continued to fall victims of their fraudulent practices.
“We will like to reiterate the fact that these fund managers are illegal as they are neither licenced by the CBN to take deposits from members of the public nor are those who patronise them covered by the NDIC deposit insurance scheme.
“I want to also draw the attention of some cooperative society which often go beyond their primary mandate by accepting contributions from members, as cooperative societies are only recognised to mobilise savings from their members”.
Advising the general public on the dangers of keeping large sums of money at home or in market shops, he said there are 978 licences microfinance Banks nationwide, out if which seven are spread across Kaduna State and should be patronised for safe keeping of their monies.
He noted that, with the advent of the cashless policy and the subsequent licensing of mobile money operators (MMOs) by the CBN, the corporation had extended deposit insurance cover to the subscribers of MMOs to the maximum limit of N500,000 per subscriber per bank through its Pass-Through Deposit Insurance Framework.
“Avoid mouthwatering interest rate being used to lure you into becoming a victim thereby loosing your hard earn monies. Don’t be deceived”, he warns