The Central Bank of Nigeria has cautioned Nigerians against engaging in fraudulent loan officers and investment schemes claiming to represent the bank through social media.
The Bank, in a statement released on Thursday, noted that certain messages have flooded the social media space, inviting small-scale business owners and loan seekers to apply for loans and investment funds supposedly facilitated by the CBN.
However, the apex bank said such approach does not align with the Bank’s mode of operation.
“While the CBN, indeed, has several development finance intervention programmes from which different categories of businesses have benefitted [and still benefitting], it does not do so through direct interaction with prospective applicants,” the statement read.
The CBN went on to clarify that it does not facilitate investment schemes, though it does offer intervention funds.
The procedures for accessing these funds through the Bank can be followed through Participating Financial Institutions [PFIs] such as microfinance banks, deposit money banks and development finance institutions.
The CBN advised members of the public seeking to access its loans to approach their banks, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank or a CBN branch to begin the process of applying for any CBN facility.
The statement, signed by Osita Nwanisobi, Ag Director of Corporate Communications, advised young people and owners of small-scale businesses, whom the fraudulent messages target, to beware of such text messages and videos seeking to lure them into suspicious financial commitments.
The schemes typically charge money for application under the pretext that such fee would facilitate easier access to the CBN’s loans.
“These videos and messages are fraudulent and anyone who enters into correspondence with those behind them does so at his or her own risk. The CBN has neither appointed nor accredited any organization to serve as an agent on its behalf for the purpose of investment or applying for intervention loans.”
This is not an infrequent practice.
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Last year, the Bank warned the general public on false loans.
The CBN website has comprehensive guidelines for detecting potentially fraudulent schemes.