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My Money Mistake: I Was Swindled By An Online 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 25-year-old lady who was scammed by an Instagram vendor. She tells us how it happened, how she felt, and the lessons she learnt from the experience. 

Could you tell me about your money mistake?

A while ago, while at work, I needed to prepare a meal, but my hectic workload meant I didn’t have enough time to go shopping and handle the cooking myself. I went on Instagram, and by a stroke of luck, stumbled on an Instagram page that offers delivery services for groceries. 

This seemed like the perfect solution to avoid the hassles of buying, sorting and cleaning the items, so I went ahead to order for my groceries, and as soon as I received the bill, I paid.

How much are we talking about?

I’d say it was around ₦70,000

Please go ahead.

They told me I’d get my items in about two hours, which sounded good. Four hours later and there was still no sign of the delivery person, and I was getting worried. I tried calling and sending messages, but there was just silence on their end. Eventually, they got back to me, apologised for the delay, and promised the delivery would happen the next day.

The following day, after hours of waiting for an update call, I reached out. They didn’t pick up, but they sent a message saying they lost one of their staff and the company was on a temporary shut down for the day to deal with the loss. Of course, it would be insensitive to demand my package considering they were grieving, so I asked when the company would be back in operation. They asked me not to worry and told me they would deliver the next morning.

The next day, though, I waited and waited, and there was no update at all. Frustrated, I decided to reach out on Instagram to sort things out, but to my surprise, I’d been blocked on Instagram, same as WhatsApp.

That’s crazy! 

That was when it dawned on me that I’d been scammed,

Was that your first time buying anything on Instagram?

No, but it was my first time being scammed. I usually just see a page that has what I’m looking for and start transacting. I don’t even know how to tell a fake instagram page from a genuine one.

So, there was no red flag?

None at all. They had comments on their page, a decent amount of engagement, and even reviews.  So I was very confused when it happened. 

You didn’t try to do anything about it?

Do what?  I just covered my face in shame. I eventually called my boyfriend and told him what had happened, and he was kind enough to send me the money. 

Lucky you!

Well, yes. However, I was still sad because I lost the money anyway. I eventually had to take myself to the market I was initially running away from.  

Do you still buy stuff on Instagram

Yes, I’m making an order for a particular item after this, but they came highly recommended, so fingers crossed. 

What did you learn from that experience?

I’ve become a bit more cautious. There are certain things I wouldn’t purchase online anymore, like food. I also usually prefer to visit online stores that have been recommended to me rather than choosing randomly.

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