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Opinion | Jan 14, 2019

MenzGold Brouhaha: Ponzi Scheme Tops Consumer Fraud In Ghana

MenzGold Brouhaha: Ponzi Scheme Tops Consumer Fraud In Ghana

The MenzGold Ghana Limited saga which has occured stands tall among the numerous consumer frauds in Ghana. There is a huge list circulating on social meddia which includes Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan, Maurice Ampaw, Kwadwo Nkansa Lil Win only to mention a few.

Ponzi Scheme is on the rise in distinguishing shapes and forms as deceptive means of financial losses of consumers as it may seem legal. This practice is unlawful and deceptive as it ruins lives and families. There is a misconception with regards to those who falls victims to the challenging inhumane practice. Many are with the believe that those who falls victim of Ponzi Scheme in it numerous forms and shapes are greedy and ignorant to an extent but this is highly wrong as each and every individual who lives in this dynamic world can be victimized by consumer fraud.

Microfinance scam; saving in a banking is quiet profitable but it tends to become a tragedy when one invest his or her hard earned money in a fictitious banking institution. These banks operates without genuine banking license from Bank of Ghana (BoG) and takes advantage of consumers who may or may not be enlightened with regards to the banking licensing. An individual should create an alert when he identifies any banking fraud to the necessary authority that holds such cases. In 2016, Ghana experienced one of the biggest consumer frauds in the banking industry which resulted in lost of huge financial loss. The various banking institutions that were involved in these scam included Diamond Microfinance Company (DKM) – GHS113 million, God is Love micro finance only to mention a few.

Internet fraud; when today seems just like yesterday and the world has become more global than before, a new era where something called internet pave its way into the new world and the work of the postman was no longer recognized. When one good thing is invented another is improved and as one thinks of how to make the world a better place another worsen its existence. The modern day man is so dependent on the internet for survival; research works, online library, work from home, and online office.

There is no doubt that the work of the internet has come to be of enormous significance to man but when it is used for illegal means it turns to be a necessary evil. Why is it that it’s mostly common in African countries and why is it that the culprits are usually men in Europe and America.

No one should be quick to make judgments and label those who engage in these activities as been with low moral standards. This practice has been in the system for quite a while now but its tendency increases as men and women from all ages engages in the practice. This act has been almost impossible to deal with because of the state of the economy, moral standards, level of internet security only to mention a few in these countries. African countries which engage in these countries include Nigeria which was the first country to engage in such practice, In Ghana we refer to these who engages in these activities as “sakawa boys”.

This ill-act is now popular in Ghana. I don’t blame them neither do I support those inhumane acts. The fact is that, people will work really hard in the scorching sun from dawn till dawn but still wallow in untold poverty. In preventing such acts, one must never disclose his or her credit and number, check routing information or other banking information to telemarketers or other solicitors. One should contact his or her financial institution if he or she receives correspondence claims that his or her financial account is been jeopardized.

Again, foreign lottery scam. This is mostly initiated by emails, telephone calls, fax, and post mails claiming that a consumer has won a prize in a lottery. The victim may be asked by the fraudulent operator to disclose his or her personal banking institution or account details so that he or she may have the prize deposited in his or her account with his prize in a form of cash.

The fraudulent operator will employ unauthorized means to withdraw huge sums of money from the victims account. Also in some cases the fraudulent operator can ask the victim to send money to a said account so that that money will be used Ithe processing of the prize won by the victim. This type of fraud is mostly targeted to the elderly. Be skeptical when been presented with alottery that tells you that you have won a prize lottery if you don’t real participating in any lottery of such form. One of the means that can be adopted to curb such occurrences is that, one must not provide his or her personal banking or financial accounts details to anyone who may present him or herself in the form of being a lottery agent or whatever.

More importantly, fake local charities and N.G.O’s. Over the years human beings have advance not only positively but negatively. Instead of aiding the poor people and needy, they tends to take advantage of the cry of others and makes huge sums of money from it. Fake charities employ different techniques to deceive other charitable individuals or philanthropist. Before one donates to a charitable home, this is as a result of the increasing rate of charitable institutions in the country.

Akwasi Brobbey
Akwasi Brobbey, © 2019

Akwasi Brobbey is a novelist, poet, columnist, editor, English teacher and Ghana sign language teacher.

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