Many more Lagos residents have come forward to share their distressing encounters with AIM Investment, a fraudulent investment scheme aimed at deceiving unsuspecting Nigerians and robbing them of their hard-earned money.
In their deceptive system, AIM promised potential investors substantial returns through a process involving the purchase of products and waiting for a specified period, depending on the product, to generate profits.
With a website that hosted investors’ wallets and displayed their purported profits, many individuals were convinced of AIM’s legitimacy.
Compounding the deception, the operators of the scheme used what appeared to be foreign phone numbers on WhatsApp. FIJ discovered that these numbers were actually generated by Google Voice.
Furthermore, AIM Investment held three separate accounts with Wema Bank. This reinforced the false claim of being based in Hong Kong and therefore trustworthy for many clients.
FIJ’s investigation revealed that AIM Investment swiftly gained traction in Lagos in August, initially rewarding early participants before abruptly changing their approach at the end of the month.
David Etuk, a resident of Surulere in Lagos, told FIJ he happened upon AIM Investment scheme from an acquaintance in August and immediately joined the platform because it did not appear like a Ponzi scheme.
Desperate to also double his money before paying his house rent, Etuk invested N188,000 between August 14 and 25 hoping to sort out some of his financial issues but things took a turn for the worse instead.
“They provided me with a Wema Bank account to deposit into, which I did even though I had to borrow to make the payment. When it came time to reap the rewards of my investment, AIM Investment demanded that we upgrade our accounts, warning that we would lose our money if we didn’t,” Etuk told FIJ.
“They insisted we each had to pay N50,000 to verify our accounts. That’s when I realised AIM Investment was a scam. I lost my money, and, now my wife needs it for her medical bills, I have nothing.”
For a former Uber driver who only wanted to be identified as Kingsley, his first name, he joined the investment scheme after a friend bought a N3,000 product for him. Seeing how confident his friend was, Kingsley said, he invested N103,000 between August 21 and 25.
Just as they had done with Etuk, AIM Investment instructed Kingsley to pay N50,000 to verify his account, citing the infiltration of the system by numerous unauthorised users.
“After that, they began locking the WhatsApp group and I sensed trouble. They stopped responding to our messages in the chat. Shortly afterward, they rebranded themselves as GAG Investment,” Kingsley recounted.
Similarly, Folashade, another Lagos resident, shared her experience. After a reverend introduced her to AIM Investment, she invested N138,000 with the platform only to discover that she had willingly given her money to fraudsters.
“I invested my house rent and salary without realising that they were out to steal from me. I need my money back,” she pleaded.
FIJ attempted to contact AIM via their provided phone numbers on two occasions but received no response. However, FIJ discovered that the picture associated with the phone number they contacted on WhatsApp was taken from a Chinese website suggesting it was used by a scammer.
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