Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are concerned
over the rise in use of Instagram, a social media platform, to defraud
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria, the
platform, which is popularly used to connect friends and family by
sharing personal photos and videos on the internet, has gradually become
a hob for business activities.
Large-scale businesses have used the site to showcase goods and
services available for sale inspiring start-up entrepreneurs to follow
suit with an online market that does not require an official website or
However, the business concept has been observed to have been soiled
by individuals that create fake business accounts to acquire money from
Some of the residents claimed they had been victims to some of the fake business accounts available on the social media website.
Miss Hope Idemudia, a Nigerian youth service corps member serving in
Abuja, said that she had lost a lot of money to the owner of a fake
business account on Instagram.
“Instagram is known to be a market place, where people market
themselves and their products so it’s not just for making friends and
sharing pictures with social circles.
“There are a number of accounts I have successfully purchased goods from and I got the orders in perfect condition.
“However, the last order I placed was highly unsuccessful, causing me a loss of N24,000 and I was very bitter about it.
“I came across an Instagram account known as @Empire_ladies_store
which like other accounts looked very legitimate and I decided to order
for clothes and shoes.
“I paid the money as requested and I still haven’t received my goods up til this very moment.’’
The account owner, she complained, stopped picking his phone calls
and not responding to messages after the transaction was entered.
Tosin Oloruntoba, an entrepreneur said she had come across a number of
fake business accounts that she almost fell victim to.
“The Instagram business pages have become very popular and it seems
to be odd if you’re a business owner and you don’t have a business page
“Many of these sellers prove their legitimacy by posting pictures of
feedback from customers they have deals with in the past and having
people review their goods.
“I require the same for my business pages and I came across a
business page called @dressupclothier which had thousands of posts and
followers so I believed the page was legitimate.’’
She explained that she placed an order for shoes for her daughter but was not delivered.
“I knew I was scammed when the owner refused to answer my calls, but always read my messages on Whatsapp without replying.
“I am just saddened by the fact that these scam artists will destroy
the reputation of other businesses that are actually legitimate.”
Ogba, an accountant, said “it is sad that these people are committing
such crimes and there really isn’t anyway to directly block their
accounts from the public as the account has to be reported to Instagram
“As much as we try to trust our fellow Nigerians, there are bad
people who are making that impossible by committing these grivious
crimes so we have to stop acting naïve.
“There is no reason why you should make payments for a commodity you
have not seen or received, although it has worked with many other
“If you want to purchase something online, ensure you are protecting
yourself by having a middle man of some sort or ensure you pay for the
commodity on delivery,” he said.