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My Money Mistake: I Was Swindled By An Instagram Vendor

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 20-year-old social media manager who was swindled by an Instagram vendor. She tells us how it happened and the lessons she learnt from the experience. 

Could you tell me about your money mistake?

I needed to buy some gym items and supplements recently. I didn’t have any store in mind, so I just checked different stores on Instagram to find what I needed and compare prices. I found one through Instagram ads that had everything I needed and at a decent price, too. 

We messaged back and forth about what I wanted, and eventually, I made a payment. But the items never got delivered.

What happened?

On the day they were supposed to deliver, I went to their instagram and realised that they’d blocked me. And to make things worse, they had changed our chat to vanish mode. 

So, I was stuck. There was no way to reach out to them, and there was no proof of our chat. 

That must’ve been frustrating! 

Absolutely! My ₦70k was gone. It’s a huge chunk of my salary, and I just felt helpless. And there weren’t any signs, none at all. They have an active Instagram page and they have posts with screenshots of chats from supposed customers thanking them for their deliveries.

So whether I was just the unlucky one they chose to scam or it’s an active scam page, I don’t know.

Did you try to report the page?

I reported the page to Instagram, but it felt useless. Even if I went to the bank, I couldn’t present proof of the scam. I was just in a very bad mood for the first few days after it happened. But I’m much better now.

I just told my friends about it, ranted on Twitter and accepted it as a loss.

So sorry about that. Were there any lessons you learned from this experience? 

Definitely. This whole thing has taught me to be way more careful when dealing with online stores. Now, I’m leaning towards visiting physical stores whenever I can. And if I do decide to buy from Instagram or online generally, I’m only going to pick stores that I’ve used in the past or that my friends have used and had good experiences with.

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