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My Money Mistake: I Took A Loan To Invest In A Ponzi Scheme

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 graduate who took out a loan to invest in a Ponzi scheme and lost it all. She tells us about the experience, and why she now uses PiggyVest to make smarter investment decisions. 

Could you tell me about your money mistake?

During the pandemic, I hated the feeling of being stuck at home without an allowance. Not having a source of income made me incredibly anxious, and I wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t be completely broke once I was done with school. So, I started looking out for opportunities to make money.

That period, one of my contacts began promoting an “investment platform” on their WhatsApp story, promising guaranteed returns. I had known him for some time, and I trusted everything he said.

I didn’t have any money of my own, but I wanted to take advantage of the “investment.” So I took out a loan from another friend. She told me that if I made profit from it, she would also “invest” in it. 

How much were you loaned?

₦14k. And it worked. I got ₦28k in return.

Oh wow! What happened next?

So, the very next day, I shared the news with my friend, and we decided to pool our money together to invest even more in the platform. Keep in mind, I hadn’t even paid back the loan I borrowed yet. 

Combined, we had a total of ₦52k to invest. I even got another friend and my sister to join in. But that’s when the platform suddenly crashed, and our money just disappeared.

Damn. How did that happen?

The website suddenly stopped responding, and we couldn’t access our accounts anymore. After a while, they claimed they were transitioning to a new platform and asked us to pay a certain amount to regain access. 

That’s when we finally realised we had been scammed and had to accept our losses.

How about the loan?

Thankfully, the friend who had loaned me the money wasn’t angry at all. She was quite understanding and empathetic about the whole ordeal, probably because she had also experienced it.

But I felt really guilty about those I had invited to put money into the platform.

What lesson did you learn from this experience? 

My experience made me start thinking about how I could make better investment decisions. I began reading The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel, and that’s where I learned that money doesn’t double like that over a short period of time. 

So, anyone who promises outrageous returns on any investment is probably lying, and the platform will crash sooner or later. I learned that money grows over time. And now, that’s why I use PiggyVest to grow my money. 

They don’t promise outrageous returns, and I know my money is secure.

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