Redditors Share 24 Scams They Fell For So Others Won’t
Ever got an e-mail from the legendary Nigerian prince? Or were you ever asked for your money or credit card information because a relative of yours allegedly got into a car accident? No doubt there was at least one time someone swindled you out of your money in creative ways.
Well, Reddit user u/Bogsk went to the Redditscape to ask people if they have ever been scammed and ask them to share their stories. Over 8,100 comments and 21,000 upvotes later, the post went viral with stories of some of the most ingenious ways of how people, their friends, relatives, or just people they know were scammed, or almost got scammed.
Bored Panda has collected some of the best entries in this post and crafted a list for your enjoyment… and also for you to be aware of how sneaky and creative some scammers might be, so it’s also for educational purposes! And while you’re reading through them, why not comment and vote on the ones you’ve enjoyed the most!
short story from my childhood, someone tried to steal my working NES.
late 80s, i was about 9 or something. had a "friend" call me up, invited me to his house so he could clean my NES. Thought it was strange, but he was very insistent and i didnt want to argue. Brought it over, he started cleaning the NES, asked me to get something from the kitchen (a butter knife i think). I went, found it after a few seconds of searching, brought it back. He said he was finished, left the NES on top of his TV, and left the room to get something.
My NES looked very different. Stared at it a bit, it was missing a crack that had always been there. Looked on the floor where his NES was, it had the crack. Fucker tried the ol' switcheroo. I tensed up, didnt want to argue with the kid, confrontation wasn't my strong point. I just switched them back as quickly as i could. He was gone for a while, actually had a lot of time. After he came back, told him I had to go, thanked him for the cleaning, went home.
After about 30 mins, he called my house again. He asked me which NES did i take home. told him i took mine. he asked again "yeah, but did you take the one on the TV or the one on the floor?" just told him again, i took mine. he sounded defeated as he said "alright, bye."
Someone once tried to use my credit card to book an online trip... my credit card company called me and we had this conversation:
CC Company: Hello Mr. mylastname, we’ve noticed that the trip to Cancun you just purchased online was slightly over your limit. We’ve gone ahead and bumped up your limit so you wouldn’t have any issues.
Me: uhh, I didn’t book a trip online, could I get more information?
(*note, I had purposefully kept a low limit because I know if I had it at my disposal, I would abuse it. They had called about 5-10 times asking me to raise my limit)
CC Company: There must be some mistake, are you sure you didn’t book this trip?
Me: Yes, I’m sure.
CC Company: In that case, would you like to open a fraud investigation into the purchase
Me: Yes, please
CC Company: parts of the conversation I forget ... well, ok, we apologize, is there anything else we can do for you today?
Me: Yes, I would like to cancel my credit card
Instead of raising a red flag at a purchase over my limit and calling me to inquire about it, my credit card company automatically bumped up my limit without my consent and called me to tell me the good news!
I pre-ordered a game from gamestop, and the clerk told me there was a "5 dollar pre-order charge, that would be taken out of the price when you picked it up"
Went to pick the game up, and had to pay full price. Hope you enjoyed scamming a 9 year old that took a week to earn that precious 5 dollars from mowing lawns, asshole.
Almost but I caught it, me and my ex(then girlfriend) were looking for a new apartment as our lease was coming up. There was a post on craigslist and the place was exactly what we had been looking for and the right amount. The "landlord" was a couple from the area but were on a mission trip out in Malaysia working with sick kids and that they weren't able to get us in for a showing but we could drive passed the house and get a look at it. Within the next few hours of contact with them they got really pushy and were pretty much demanding us to make the decision and to send them $150 deposit to hold the apartment for us. My ex was the one doing all the communicating since I was at work and when she was telling me all of this red flags started going up as soon as they were trying to get money out of us. I told my ex that it was most likely a scam if they weren't going to allow us to walk through the apartment and are trying to get a deposit out of us sight unseen. She ensured me that it wasn't a scam and gave me all of their info so I could send the money. They wanted a western union money order sent to some place in Nigeria, I burst out laughing and told her that it was definitely a scam. We got into a big argument and I had to go down the list of things that I saw wrong with the scenario. 1. Not letting us see the apartment before signing a lease. 2. Making us send a deposit without letting us see the apartment. 3. Sending a wire transfer to Nigeria. 4. They are doing mission work in Malaysia but want their money transferred to another country. My ex went quiet after that.
Not that much of a scam, but still. When I was an 18 yo college student, about to hop on the train home after classes, I was approached by a nice woman with her kid in a stroller. She told me her wallet had been stolen and she needed to buy a ticket home for her and her kid, so she was trying to gather enough money. Typical excuse, but I totally bought it at the time and gave her money for 1 of the tickets. I wasn't able to give more at the time because I had no more money on me, so I even felt a little bad.
Until I saw her at the same spot the next day, feeding other travellers the same fucking story.
I was 15 minutes ahead of an ex-GF getting to the bank to lock up my accounts. She came in and tried to clean them out. The bank stopped her and called the police. She talked her way out of it.
Not me, but a customer at Best Buy.
A customer came in, demanding to speak with a manager, regarding a TV he had ordered. The manager he asked for was "Tammy", and we had no managers by that name, nor pick up orders for this customer in our system.
I asked for more details. The customer had responded to a craigslist ad for an unbelievable price on a TV. The seller claimed to be a manager at our store, and instructed him to make payment by purchasing gift cards for the asking price, then send pics of the back of the gift cards to the seller. The customer did all this, then was advised the TV would be ready for pickup at our store.
Needless to say, there was no TV for him. He demanded to speak to an actual manager, who kindly informed him that he was out of luck.
Yeah, I was on vacation and didnt have my phone on. The scammers called my house and my sister was house sitting for my wife and I. They told her I was going to be tried for an undisclosed criminal charge if I didnt pay them something like 900 dollars for the case to be dismissed or I would be arrested or served the next day. She tried calling me and I didnt answer as I was on vacation.
I left her one of my bank cards so she could buy food and stuff since she was doing me a favor. She payed them with it as she thought it was real and I am not a saint, so it was believable at the time and this was a while ago before these scammer tactics were well known. I was so mad as I noticed the charge when I checked my online banking while still away.
Worst thing is now I guess I am on a list of people who have fallen for this and they call me all the time.
The scam that almost got me is actually brilliant:
I was selling a car on craigslist and got a call from this guy who seemed super interested. He followed up by text asking if it had a clean history. Next text, he sends me a link to what appeared to be an alternative to carfax, asking me to get a history report for $30 before he drives out.
I was literally putting in my credit card info before I paused to think the website might be fake. Turns out it was only registered with ICANN that day. Totally fake.
Pretty sure someone's trying to scam me on eBay right now with an item I purchased.
They're being crafty about it, but I got a little suspicious and found out their game after a little research. The scam they're trying to pull is that they sent me a "small gift" in appreciation of my purchase, which in this case was a bag of candy. This gift was not mentioned in the listing, but in a message sent after I bought the item. If I go to eBay's resolution center and say I didn't receive the item, they'll put the tracking number in for the candy and eBay will take their side since it will be marked as delivered. I now know that when I file my complaint I've got to put it as "Item not as described." I'll give it until Wednesday before I file a complaint though.
Younger guy in a shirt and tie next to me at the gas station. He asked me for a few bucks for gas as he was on his way to a job interview. Said he'd been unemployed for a few months and this was sort of a dream job opportunity I ended up filling up his entire tank and wished him luck on the interview.
I saw him there twice a week for the next three months, always in a shirt and tie and always talking to other patrons. He eventually tried to scam me again a few months later, and I reminded him that he had already got me on that line and asked I if he had anymore. He said he could tell me about his dying grandmother he was trying to go see on the other side of town or about how he left his wallet at his office because he rushed out when his daughter’s school called and told him he need to pick her up because she was sick and throwing up everywhere. Then he paused and said, "sorry man" and got in his car and drove away. Never saw him again, but I assume he just moved to the next gas station down the street.
Someone tried to scam me by creating a craigslist ad giving away things that I left outside my business. He even got some of my staff to help him load it onto a trailer by showing them the ad.
When I was 11 my favorite Disney Channel star tweeted a link to take an IQ test and see how your score compared to hers. A credit card number was needed to see the results, so I put in my parents’. Of course she had been hacked and it was a scam, so I had to go sheepishly tell my parents I accidentally charged their credit card...they were not happy.
Got White van scammed when I was 18 out front of best buy.
A guy or two show up out front of a store like best buy with sterio equipment, tv speakers, projectors, etc that in reality arnt worth more then the packaging. They proceed to tell you they already delivered everything to hit their quota and they are x amount left over and if they bring them back to the warehouse they will lose out on just selling them because someone else will. They fallow this up with stock sheets and magazines showing retail price of said projector/speakers at some outrageous price like 2000$ and say you can take them for anywhere between 1000$-200$ depends on how far u get them down. Then you get them home and figure out they either don't work or are the worst quality products ever made.
Stupid me lost 350$. This was back in 2008. This scam still happens today so beware.
In the 90's my friend got all of these letterS saying he was a part of a contest, and he just had to keep mailing letters in to enter the "drawing."
The wording they put in the later letters was something like "You've made it to the final round," and "Congratulations, we are now prepared to write you a check for $10,000!"
All he had to do was call a 1-900 number that charged $2 a minute. It took him about 10 minutes to navigate the automated menus once they told him he was a winner and it ended with "And you have won... (drum roll)... ONE DOLLAR!"
Best Buy employee convinced me I needed one of their $60 HDMI cables if I wanted Xbox games and action movies to look good on my TV. This was probably 10 years ago and I didn't know much about electronics back then. I'm still pretty salty about it.
Yes so I work in a daycare over the summer and I ordered this hair wax online that changed the color of your hair for the day. As I use hair wax every day I was like this would be so cool for color week and payed $53:92 for all 5 colors they offered. The next morning I woke up to my whole bank account being drained luckily I call my bank and they were able to fix it and send me a new card. But that is not where the story ends because I actually got the product and after using it once my hair started to fall out. So yay I just shaved my head that summer.
One time I woke up to 10 $100 charges in micro-transactions for a mobile base building game. Never owned or played the game, and was overdrafted $600+ while the bank tried getting the money back.
Was looking for a job and got a call for an interview and went in and it was some mlm for like vitamin juice or something. I was sitting in the front and was polite so I sat through the the video and then started to walk out and that's when they started being super pissy. I said I don't spend a lot of money without talking it over with my wife and the lady said "well I guess we cant do anything if your not the man of the house and your wife wears the pants".
Almost, several times. The scariest one was when I was on my husband's laptop, which was a quite fancy and expensive one that he had gotten from his dad, so I was worried that anything would happen to it if I used it. This stupid pop-up came on that said that I had to call "Microsoft tech support" because my laptop was "compromised". There was a phone number on the screen. I called immediately. They were being vague on the phone, and my anxiety was already heightened by the thought that something might be wrong with the computer, so I was feeling pretty numb. I was about to give them access to the computer to "help fix" the problem when my good senses kicked in and I realized it was a scam. I told the guy that I was gonna hang up and that I'd talk to my husband before having him "fix" the computer and I could almost hear him shrug when he said "okay, bye then". So obvious that it was a scam in hindsight.
Never been scammed myself but my mum almost got scammed by one of those fake Norton support numbers, luckily I found out before she paid anything.
As for me the closest thing I've had to being scammed was being catfished, man that was rough :(
Scammed on eBay by a 99%-rated seller. I bought a $550 ps4 from him back in 2014 or 2013 when it was first out.
Delivery date was past and nothing received. Dug deeper into his profile, found out that he sold a bunch of
i have "accidentally scammed a troll". i was playing rocket league with a couple of friends and i was trying to trade some items with people on the community page. Anyway i got a reply from this dude and i invited him to a party and the game. We entered a trade and i put in my stuff i wanted to trade and he was showing me stuff that he could give me for my items. and he kept accepting the trade and canceling it like an asshole, but after about 5 times of this he waited too long to cancel the trade. I got pretty much everything in his inventory. For those of you wondering how much it was worth, abt 4 heatwaves in in-game currency (wich is a f!@#$% lot) or like $150 worth of items if i chose to sell them.