By Ehichioya Ezomon
One month and two weeks ago, on Saturday, May 1, 2021, I invested N50,000 in a financial scheme, “Opay Investment Funds” (‘Opay IF’), with a guarantee that I would earn a N50,000 “binary trading” profit in a matter of hours.
But hours have turned into days, days into weeks and weeks into months, and yet, no return on my investment or a refund of the capital in the apparent dubious scheme.
I had waited till Monday, May 3, 2021, 48 hours after the investment, as the cliche goes, “hoping against hope” that my account would be credited with the N100,000 I had staked for.
Or that in a worse-case-scenario, the scheme’s advertised ‘Head of Admin,’ “Emeka Nwafor”, would call or chat about a hitch in the transaction or a channel gap or whatever excuse he fancied.
And that shortly, I would be credited, in full, with the N100,000 I had bargained for or get a refund of the capital of N50,000. None of the longings had materialized, even as I finalized this series.
Honestly, I didn’t set much store by my “wish” for payment or refund because ‘Mr Nwafor’ had promised that I would receive a credit alert for the N100,000 within four hours on May 1, 2021.
As I had observed on the ‘Opay IF’ WhatsApp page, all the “investors,” who “testified” to have been paid returns on “investments, received “alerts,” as ‘Mr Nwafor’ had pledged.
Thus, my “exceptional” case reveals one fact: That the so-called beneficiaries of the “double bonanza” dangled by “Opay Investment Funds” are an “Hallelujah” group in the scamming business.
They and ‘Mr Nwafor’ are the ones deploying digital devices to spread falsehood on the ‘Opay IF’ WhatsApp page about being paid, in order to hoodwink the public into the duplicity.
With no credit alert for N100,000 or N50,000, I decided on the third day, May 3, 2021, to post a message to ‘Mr Nwafor’s’ WhatsApp page, which, for the record, is reproduced unabridged:
“Mr Emeka Nwafor, I’m still waiting for the return on my investment (ROI) in the Opay Investment Funds of N100,000 through you, as the Admin of the company, on May 1, 2021.
“Immediately you received the money that you directed I should pay through CAROLINE ADEOYE’s Acct No 2400326184, Zenith Bank, you blocked me from access to the Opay Investment Funds WhatsApp platform, and deleted your Profile picture on your personal WhatsApp page.
“But let me tell you that you’re a ‘Petty Scammer’. You do not know me, and you played over knowing my Identity during our chatting both in writings and voice calls.
“Let me tell you one or two things: All our interactions and transactions were recorded. And copies are already with Law Enforcement Agencies.
“Two: When you told me that day you couldn’t see me online, we were trying to Locate where you were calling or communicating from, which we Got to Precision.
“So, if you think you can swindle me, as you’ve been doing to other innocent Nigerians that invested with Opay, you’re Joking. Don’t think you can run or hide. You Are Very Naked!
“This is giving you, Before Day Break, to pay that money or wait for what happens next in the morning. I hope you won’t like it!
“This maybe your Last Exploitation and Swindling of Nigerians. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Thank You!!!”
I was certain ‘Mr Nwafor’ won’t honour the post, as his kinds have crossed their hearts in the world of gaming, scamming and “419ing” fellow citizens they term as “mumu” in local parlance.
‘Mr Nwafor’ and “Opay Investment Funds” have broken all pledges of not scamming investors, but returning 100 per cent gain on investments to the risk takers in the platform.
They’ve rubbished the lofty exhortations on the funds’ WhatsApp page, on why those in need financially – well, the majority is perpetually in need – should have trust in them for succour.
Their reasons for “Why Some People Stay Broke” include: * Full of doubt * Fear of other failed businesses * Comfortable with being broke and unknowingly enriching others * Keep looking for proof/results * Scared to take risk and thinking negatively * Waiting for someone else to succeed first before joining… when they can be the successes themselves.”
Then, the punchline: “* Be positive dear! * The JOURNEY of a thousand miles begins with a step * Take that bold step * Get started for greatness.”
Really? Didn’t I “get started for greatness” on May 1, 2021, by investing the least amount of N50,000 in the “Opay Investment Funds”? Isn’t that a “bold step” in a journey of 1,000 miles”?
But what did ‘Mr Nwafor’ and his scheme do to the modest investment? They swindled it, and deprived me of “getting started for greatness,” as they’d preached, and, perhaps, still preaching.
The “Opay Investment Funds” also waved before participants this snake-charming tactic of “Trust Opportunity For Better Tomorrow,” with the index finger pointing to each issue being emphasized:
“Remember these today: Money does not respond to qualifications. Otherwise the wealthiest people should have been Ph.D holders.
“Money does not respond to age. Otherwise the world’s oldest twins would have been the richest. It is not about your degree, it is all about what you do after the degree.
“Have you noticed that the 1st class degree holders are not the richest neither are the 3rd class degree holders the poorest. There is more to being wealthy than education.
“The most important thing is mindset and the next thing is a commitment to self discipline. The only person holding your key to success is YOU.”
Makes you wonder! Wasn’t I (like other unwary participants) “holding my key to success” when I decided to invest in the “Opay Investment Funds” for the advertised return on investment?
Imagine ‘Mr Nwafor’ scornfully asking, even as he misunderstood me: “What certificate do you need to make an investment of N50k? We have investors who invested millions and they get credited.”
If ‘Mr Nwafor’ and “Opay Investment Funds” could defraud me of the minimum investable of N50,000, imagine what they would do or had done to investors who had staked millions in the scheme!
Can ‘Mr Nwafor’ and ‘Opay IF’ declare today, as previously in the name of God, that they hadn’t scammed any investors? Can they ask victims to publicly confirm or deny their fraudulence?
The joke certainly is on ‘Mr Nwafor’ for unabashedly declaring: “We have investors who invested millions and they get credited,” even when they withheld my modest investment of N50,000.
Do ‘Emeka Nwafor’ and “Opay Investment Funds” have a security back-up? Wonders if they don’t! Because, in every criminal enterprise, like scamming, there’s a pay-for-security cover, in which officers of the law, who should prevent felonies, and ensure punishments for violators, look the other way or throw the scent elsewhere, and allow the fraud and fraudster(s) to fester.
Whichever, let them pay up the proceeds of N100,000 on my investment of N50,000 in their “financial scheme” or refund the capital. Or “chop” both, as they’d likely done. But they be reminded: The day of reckoning beckons!
Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.