Sylvester Maduka’s face bore a tell-tale sign of sadness as he stood in front of an office in the Oregun area of Ikeja, Lagos penultimate Thursday. The 40-year –old entrepreneur could not believe that he had just been conned by an investment firm that promised a mouthwatering return on his investment a few weeks earlier.

According to him, he was introduced to the firm by one of his business associates who regaled him with story of how he earned 70 per cent interest on the sum of N1.5 million he invested in the company. Believing what he heard, Maduka splashed N2 million on the business and got his principal earning and accrued benefit on investment a few weeks after.

Moved by the fast and huge returns, he increased his investment portfolio to N4 million. But his hope of another bountiful harvest from the sum sowed was dashed when he found the premises of the firm under lock and key.

”Oh, I have been swindled. My money is gone,” he said.

”I never knew that I was gambling when I splashed almost 60 per cent of my business capital on the investment scheme which has turned out to be fake,” he added.

Maduka’s case is just one out of many distraught victims of fake investment schemes otherwise called Ponzi, which are being used by fraudsters to dupe thousands of Nigerians across the country.

Like Maduka, over 500 desperate ‘investors’ fell to the dubious trick of a young fraudster, Dominic Ngene Joshua, who operated under the name Brisk Capital Limited, and defrauded his victims to the tune of N2 billion in investor funds.

Joshua was apprehended in May this year by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigerian Police in Lagos, following complaints by his victims who invested cash in his cryptocurrency trading.

According to the police fraud unit, Joshua allegedly promised investors 60 per cent return on investments in oil and gas, FOREX and real estate.

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