If there’s one thing we’ve all said about being scammed, it’s this: “It can never be me.”

Ogunbowale Olugbenga
3 min readApr 4, 2022

If there’s one thing we’ve all said about being scammed, it’s this: “It can never be me.”

In my case, it was a hotel booking gone wrong. I attended a dinner somewhere in Lagos and it stretched very late into the night. I searched for hotels on Google and saw one affordable hotel. I simply called the number that accompanied the listing. The guy told me I had to make a deposit to confirm my booking (I did not doubt this because it was a Google my business listing). The minute I paid though; his number suddenly became unreachable. He even blocked me on WhatsApp (I had been scammed). I used another number to call him and I assured him it would be his last (I kept my promise by reaching out to Google, and they removed that number from the listing).

Your experience might not be that crazy. It could be a family member who asks you for a loan but refuses to repay. Or maybe a close friend presents you with a ‘life changing business opportunity’ and you invest without due diligence because ‘they are your friend’. It could even be a romantic partner who manipulates you out of your money bit by bit until you are dead broke (hello Tinder Swindler).

Which brings me to the question: how can you avoid being scammed?

1. Judge people by their past actions

A friend or family member who was irresponsible with your money in the past will most likely do the same again. If they do not keep promises and return loans or things you lend them, stop lending them money or anything you cannot afford to lose. Period.

2. If it looks too good to be true, investigate

If someone new comes into your life and is sweeping you off your feet with gifts and treats, slow down and dig deeper. If you are in a relationship with someone who is always asking for help every single time and has turned you into their ATM, think twice. Investigate before you give out your heart. If someone is promising you 100% return on your investment in 3 months, you should run for your life.

3. Set up 2FA and use multiple passwords

2FA is 2 factor authentication. This means that before any financial transaction or major account update is conducted on your account (bank, email, whatever), you get an email or sms asking you to confirm. This is very important because a scammer is not likely to have access to more than one account except, of course, you use the same password everywhere. Now, if this is you, hurry to change your passwords across your banking apps and social media accounts (and any other important account). Using the same password everywhere is the equivalent of keeping your house key under your entrance doormat.