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My Money Mistake: I Lost Over ₦‎1.5 Million To A Scammer

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 businessman who lost over ₦‎1.5million to a scam investment. He tells us about how it happened, how a native doctor got involved, and how he was able to find his way out of the mess. 

Could you tell me about your money mistake?

I met someone online, and we talked for a while. After we got a little familiar, he introduced me to a business. He said all I needed to do was give him my capital, and he’d trade with it for me and send me my profit of ₦200k every month. 

That got me interested. So after some back and forth, I sent him the money.

What happened after?

I received my ₦200k payout for the first three months. That gave me even more confidence in the investment. But when it was time for me to receive the fourth payout, he said there was a malfunction with the system. 

He asked me to send a supplementary ₦‎500k to redeem my account. Because I’d already invested ₦1.5 million into it, I thought it wouldn’t mean much if I would still get my returns. I didn’t know I was just digging myself deeper.

What do you mean?

After I made that payment, the communication stopped and he was unreachable. Not even through Facebook. 

How was that?

It was torture. I run a POS business, and part of that money was for running my different POS points. Some of the supplementary ₦500k I sent was loaned to me by a friend, so I couldn’t afford to lose the money.

I reached out to the bank they used to receive the money, but I was even more stressed by their unresponsiveness. So I eventually gave up and took it as a lesson. However, the guy later reached out to me using another number. 


Yes, he called me and started using another pattern to attempt to defraud me. But I knew it was him, so I cursed him out and blocked him.

How about the loan?

A friend loaned me ₦95k to add to the ₦500k I sent. We agreed I’d pay back ₦115k, which seemed okay considering the returns I was expecting. But when I couldn’t pay back the loan, the embarrassment almost killed me. 

I tried to explain the situation to him, but he refused to listen. All he wanted was his money back. I even suggested paying him ₦20k weekly to gradually settle it, but he insisted I pay him in one swoop. 

To make matters worse, he went the extra mile to visit a native doctor over the issue.

Are you serious? A native doctor?

Yes, he went to the native doctor and lied that I’d been owing him for two years and the native doctor should kill me. Thankfully, the chief priest insisted on calling me to inquire what happened. 

I had to travel over two hours and even encountered armed robbers on the way.

Oh. That’s a lot.

Yeah, it was. I eventually visited the native doctor, explained the matter to him and how I planned to refund him completely. But my friend still didn’t agree and demanded extra compensation for the trouble, increasing the payment to ₦190k. 

The native doctor helped us mediate the issue and we agreed on a repayment plan of ₦50k every two weeks.

And were you able to pay it off?

Yes, I was, thankfully. It wasn’t easy, but I made it. I had to call one of my friends who owed me some money many years ago and explained what happened to him. He gave me ₦100k, and I used part of it to sort the refund. 

I also took on extra jobs and contracts, but it stretched me. All my businesses are back to normal, but this is something I won’t forget in a hurry. 

I’m so sorry about that. What would you say is the biggest lesson you learnt from this experience?

Greed played a major role in this issue. I can’t even imagine how I sent that much money to someone I didn’t know to invest for me. I didn’t even ask what business he was into. So I learnt to not be greedy. 

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