My Money Mistake is a weekly PiggyVest series that explores the worst money mistakes real Nigerians have made, and the lessons they learnt from it.
For this week’s episode of My Money Mistake, we spoke to a 21-year-old customer care call agent who used up her savings in a bad investment. She tells us about her expectations and the promises that kept her going.
Could you tell me your money mistake?
During the pandemic, like everyone else, I was home and bored. I worked as a customer care representative for a company that was owing salaries, so making money became my priority. That was when I considered an investment company that was into network marketing.
How did you hear about the business?
I have known about them since 2018. They were a global brand, and I had friends who said they invested with them. It took a lot of convincing on their end, but I finally agreed to join. I registered with $1,000.
Whoa, that’s a lot! Why did you invest that much?
There were several packages available, and the more you invest, the higher the returns. For me, it was either go big or go home. I went big. Funnily enough, that was my entire savings. I practically cleared my account.
But how does the business work?
You sign up under someone and you’re given some products. When others sign up under you, you get a matching bonus. I expected $170 per person, and then as they get people to sign up under them, I would get paid for that too. Unfortunately, I got nothing.
When did things start to go wrong?
Three months after investing. In the first month, the person above me assured me he was working to develop a team and that I wouldn’t need to put in any effort. So, I waited. By the second month, there was no progress. No sign-ups, nothing. By the third month, it was obvious that nothing was going to happen.
Did you try to follow up?
Yes. I kept up with my “up line” — that’s what we call the person you’re signed under. He kept reassuring me, then after a while, he just stopped talking. There wasn’t much to be said after that. I knew my money was gone.
What about the business? What happened to them?
They went bust. I don’t even know where they are today. There is no current information about them. They just stopped being a thing. If I had known that was a possibility, I would have kept my money and spent it on myself because the whole thing was a waste. Especially considering my working conditions then.
What lessons did you learn from this?
I have trust issues because of the experience. I now research EVERYTHING thoroughly. I’d suggest that before you do an investment, do online research on the company and the people managing the business.
As it stands, a lot of investments are not honest and you owe it to yourself to know where your money is going.