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I was scammed.

"I just got scammed."

I texted my new date i had just met.

Funny enough she didn't respond. I didn't know many ladies know guys and their tales too well.

But mine wasn't a fairy tale. And it's not an April fool either for today. It was just an event that got me back to my feet financially that happend over 7 years ago.

One step forward, two steps backwards

So one of the signs I knew I have been doing something right, was the rate at which my business has been moving without going one step forward and two or more steps backwards. Scams and poor decisions bring forth the later.

It reminded me of why I decided to take money seriously rather than playing reactive after that event.

Looking back, I joined a random group online that promised to double my money. First it sounded like a joke, and i probably had been hearing of them before. "Why not put a little money you can afford to lose and see if anything happens. At least you can reinvest the little profit if it works out or lose a little sum if it doesn’t." I thought to myself.

What started like a little amount i could afford ended up leaving me totally BROKE. I was just a kid a little above 18 then. The scammers didn’t stop pestering me to indulge more until my bank account was empty. In fact, at the end of it all, they asked me to look for how to borrow more money, which I attempted to.

Forward to over 7 years now, I have zero incidence of such. I’ve been going all out on my business and while I aim for more; I feel more contented than ever before.

Here’s how I’ve been avoiding getting scammed for some years now:

    1. Set your priorities right:

    A man without priorities is vulnerable to falling for all manner of schemes and games.

    Having a plan for your money is the #1 method I recommend for setting your priorities.

    If your priority is building your business, obtaining assets, or taking care of your family, then you won’t dare risk a significant chunk of your money on a “claim” or random “promise.”

    Others include:

    - Paying tithe

    - Putting your family first

    - Investing in your business or side hustle

    - Giving to charity

    2. Control your emotions

    Greed and people searching for “quick love” are among the top reasons why people get scammed, apart from disinformation or being misled.

    If you can separate emotions from making financial decisions, then you will have the necessary time to think things through and make better decisions.

    They use the fear you feel to make you feel guilty. Sometimes you may need to sleep on decisions to make better ones.

    I choose gratitude, consistency, and having a goal of freedom in mind over a random blowup.

    3. Do your Research

    Before making any financial decision, it is important to do extensive research.

    Focus on getting knowledge before investing in anything.

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s the most brilliant idea you just heard from a friend, a new site, or even an already established idea you see working for someone; if you don’t take time to understand it, you stand the chance of following blindly and losing carelessly.

    Read books, take courses, and look up such organizations. It also includes researching the company or individual offering the investment, reading reviews, and checking if they are registered with the appropriate regulatory bodies.

    Doing your due diligence can help you avoid falling for scams and fraudulent schemes.

    4. Don’t hide away from your loved ones

    I couldn't stand my brother when i was doing those shady deals.

    One strategy scammers use is making you feel the need to take high risk financial decisions on your own, even when you’re not comfortable with them.

    When I was first scammed, I couldn’t discuss the details with my family because I knew they sounded too good to be true. And when I gave a hint of the details, my brother warned me fiercely.

    But the scammers gave me reasons to think my family was just being skeptical for no reason.

    5. Learn to Say No

    One statement you hear a lot from people who always make poor financial decisions is "I couldn't say no."

    It’s important to learn to say no to any investment opportunity that doesn’t align with your financial goals or priorities.

    When approached with a new investment opportunity, take your time to assess the risks before making any hasty decisions.

    Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    6. Seek Professional Advice

    If you’re unsure about a particular investment opportunity, it doesn't matter if it's in cryptocurrency, seek the advice of a financial advisor or other professional.

    They can help you make informed decisions and guide you towards investments that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

    7. Protect Your Personal Information

    It's funny how even private details like social media accounts are targets these days because older accounts are less likely to be flagged compared to newer ones.

    I know of a few people who have learned this lesson the hard way by sharing OTP codes with scammers mistakenly.

    Use two-factor verification when necessary and use stronger passwords.

    Be cautious when sharing your personal information online or over the phone, and never give out sensitive information to someone you don’t know or trust.

    8. Avoid Sports betting and loan app sites especially when you're going through financial pressure.

    While this is no way a direct scam, these sites can do more harm than good if you're not financially savvy or naive with money.

    A friend emphasized this yesterday and confessed he was talking from experience. For me, i have no experience with loans or betting sites.

    And all the people i know who resort to random loans as soon as they're under financial pressure and justify it by having no alternative are still BROKE.

    Instead of resorting to loans or playing with your last cash when going through financial difficulty, why not focus on raising your cash flow.

    Starting a side hustle, looking for a better job, working towards a raise, and investing in your own business are all more important than downloading the newest loan app or using the little you have on betting sites expecting to be in

    9. Stay Vigilant

    Finally, it’s important to stay vigilant and aware of the latest scams and fraudulent schemes.

    Scammers are constantly evolving their tactics, so it’s important to stay up-to-date and informed.

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