Bank staff marketing Ponzi schemes

BY: Efia Akese

Some staff of banks and financial institutions are fronting the activities of seeming lucrative online investments (Ponzi schemes) used in defrauding investors.

Though the schemes are not run by the institutions they work with, they use their positions to give credence to such schemes, luring unsuspecting investors to make huge deposits.

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According to the Director of the Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Dr Herbert Gustav Yankson, despite several cautions to the general public against such investments, the numbers of such fraud cases continue to increase with his unit recording at least a case on a daily basis.

“The trend we are seeing currently is that those behind these Ponzi schemes are using bank staff to give their activities credence. Most of the marketers are bankers so the victims assume that the investment is genuine.”

He said most investors did not even understand how the purported online trading was done but paid huge monies to those fraudsters because of the high interests promised.


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Also, most investors had no idea of the location of the purported businesses but were only attracted by the benefits enjoyed by earlier investors.

Dr Yankson advised investors to ensure that the businesses they invested in had been registered and licensed to operate in Ghana with a physical office.

He said so far, the few people they have arrested claimed they were either associates or marketers who only registered with them online and cannot tell their physical locations.

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He added that the so-called marketers and associates arrested by the police would be arraigned in court for prosecution as they represented these Ponzi schemes.

Schemes

A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud in which a purported business lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors using funds obtained from newer investors.

Investors are made to believe that those profits are coming from product sales or other means and are unaware that other investors are the source of apparent profits.