Adding Life TV on WhatsApp, as recommended by Chukwuemeka Amuzie (Brain Jotter), was a wrong step for Lukman Abdul Malik. But he is only one of the many who fell for the scam.
For a chance to win a giveaway as loyal fans of Brain Jotter, fans and followers were told to add a phone number on WhatsApp. Upon doing so, the contact handler asked them to save the number as Live TV for access to giveaways and other opportunities.
“It is almost impossible not to fall for it if one makes it to adding the contact and viewing the status. The affluence displayed was tempting,” Lukman told FIJ.
According to him, Live TV posted photos of himself in different cars and evidence of money sent to people. The giveaways ranged from N100,000 to N500,000 and were rewards for carrying out simple tasks like being among the first to view his status.
“He had a PiggyVest account showing up to N2million and trip pictures,” he said.
After about two weeks of sharing receipts of giveaways, the man behind the WhatsApp handle introduced himself as Frances, a UK-based bitcoin and forex trader who wanted to help Nigerians. Knowing the state of the country’s economy, he said, he wanted to give subscribers the opportunity to make wealth for themselves without the stress of trading.
“All of this didn’t move me until Brain Jotter posted the second time that we should add Live TV’s number. Then I thought it was probably one of his guys,” Lukman narrated.
“Whenever Live TV wanted people to invest, he asked for capital. The minimum was N50,000. However, at a time, he accepted N5,000 and N10,000 for a few hours. It was this bandwagon that many of us jumped on.”
While Lukman opted for N5,000, Tochukwu (not real name) went for the N10,000 package. OG (not real name) paid N35,000. Martin had paid N50,000 before the reduction.
Victims of Live TV Ponzi scam said the capital paid determined the amount that would be earned. With N10,000, one would earn N60,000, and N20,000 would yield N150,000. Earnings were expected to rise with the capital invested.
While Lukman got Live TV’s contact from Brain Jotter’s Instagram page, Tochukwu added the same number after seeing it on Tonto Dikeh’s page. According to him, the celebrity left the number on her page for a few hours, encouraging her ‘loyal’ fans to add it.
Although Lukman has moved on after the scam, Tochukwu hasn’t. He told FIJ that, hoping to make more money, he had asked a friend for a loan of N10,000.
“Whenever he was taking in new people, I usually did not have the money to join. But when I saw the opportunity of N10,000, I thought it was my chance,” Tochukwu said.
Before investing, Tochukwu had begged Live TV to help him with some money for his school clearance, but he did not get a reply. However, when he sent a message about investing, he got an answer in no time.
“I am a student striving. I barely feed. The money I sent was borrowed and, to date, I am yet to complete the payment,” Tochukwu lamented. “I do not mind testifying when he’s caught.”
Tochukwu told FIJ that taking a loan and losing it in the investment worsened his situation, as he still had to pay back the loan.
FIJ learned that Live TV blocks his victims a day or two after they send him their investment capital. The scammer uses a First Bank account with the name ‘Joseph Ibeh’ and another UBA account with the name ‘Gbarale Bemene’ to receive capital. Meanwhile, he posts receipts from Fidelity Bank during giveaways.
While FIJ could not find the said promotions on Brain Jotter and Tontoh Dikeh’s social media pages, the former recently put up a post warning people about the scheme. In his post, he asked his audience not to invest in Live TV.
However, some of his followers confirmed to FIJ that he had put up a video post the previous day. The video, which was eventually deleted, was to explain to followers that he had only asked them to add Live TV for a giveaway, but not to invest.
FIJ sent messages to Brain Jotter and Tonto Dikeh via WhatsApp and Instagram, but they have not responded to them.