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 32-year-old taxi driver who sold his car to invest in a money-doubling scheme. He tells us about how he got involved, why he sold his car, and how he was able to recover from it.
Could you tell me about your money mistake?
A while back, I sold my car to invest in a money-doubling scheme that was popular in my area. Unfortunately, they folded up without paying me.
How did that happen?
They approached us as a bank and promised us double the amount we invested. They had a physical address, so, to us, it wasn’t really an online thing. The process was simple: you go to their office, register with them, and hand over the amount you wish to invest. After one month, you’d receive your payment.
I started with an investment of ₦20,000, and after one month, I received ₦40,000. That’s when I decided to sell my golf car for about ₦300,000, hoping to receive ₦600,000 within one month. I even invited friends to join because they told us to do so. However, I never received my money.
When we visited their office, it was locked up. The story we heard was that they were being sanctioned by the government, but we never saw them again. There were protests to find them, but nothing happened.
Even their employees, who were our community members, didn’t know their whereabouts. That was how I lost all that money and had to start from scratch.
So sorry about that. Who introduced you to it?
No one introduced me to it. When they entered our city, they created a lot of publicity using radios and flyers. That’s how I got to know about them. Some people decided to test them with ₦5,000 just to verify. After receiving their payment, the rest of us started investing. That’s when I decided to invest ₦20,000 in the scheme.
Did you stop hearing from them immediately after giving them the ₦300k?
Not immediately. Initially, they suspended payouts for about three weeks, but they were still receiving payments from people.
Were you worried at this point?
No, I wasn’t worried because I had invested with them before and received my money without any trouble.
How did you recover from the loss?
It took me a long time. I lost all hope and felt like taking my own life. My family was also affected. However, around this time, I shared my experience with another driver, and he linked me up with someone who was willing to lease a car to a driver. This person leased the car to me, allowing me to start my business again.
Have you bought your own car now?
Yes, I’ve purchased a new car now. I have fully recovered from the experience.
Congratulations! What did you learn from this experience?
I learnt that I should never put my money in these money-doubling schemes or online loan platforms. I also avoid anything that looks too good to be true or promises quick money. I have learnt my lesson.