40 Scammers Who Got Baited And ‘Destroyed’ By The People They Were Trying To Rip Off
You really have to have a warped sense of morality if you scam people out of their money for a living. Either that or you’re desperate enough to try anything. Most people don’t have any sympathy for crooks and conmen who try to swindle other folks’ hard-earned cash. And some even go as far as baiting scammers, calling them out, and annihilating them with so much wit and sass, everyone in the Matrix must have felt the aftershocks.
Scams are a huge issue, and it’s a topic worth addressing. A whopping 50 million Americans lost money in scams in 2020 alone, and anyone can fall victim to them. Our team at Bored Panda collected the most potent Reddit posts about would-be victims trolling and completely destroying scammers that we feel you’ve got to see.
Scroll down, upvote the posts you enjoyed the most, and tell us all about the scammers that you’ve baited or tricked in the comments. Meanwhile, read on for how to educate yourselves about scams and how to become more aware of potential bamboozlers, dear Pandas.
Bored Panda reached out to Alan Castel, Ph.D, a UCLA psychology professor who studied scams for his book, 'Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging.' He explained to us who scammers target, how they operate, and what you should keep in mind when interacting with them. Read on to see what Dr. Castel had to say.
Dr. Castel pointed out to Bored Panda that scammers can target anyone.
"Everyone and anyone is susceptible to scams, especially when we are placed in vulnerable positions, are being rushed, worried, or in an emotional state. While there is a stereotype that older adults are most likely to be scammed, people of all ages, and levels of education, can be a victim of fraud and scam," he said that everyone can become a victim when they're vulnerable.
"Scammers know that people respond to social influences, especially to authority, and will use fear and friendliness to create a powerful situation that induces compliance," the UCLA psychology professor said.
According to Dr. Castel, anyone who is interacting with a scammer and planning on calling them out should be very careful. You might accidentally let slip some private information that they could then use to harm you in the future.
"In terms of trying to call out a scammer, you need to be careful how, when or why you would interact with scammers, as they often have access to your basic information, and talking to them more can make you a victim, especially if you share additional information about yourself," he warned.
"Scammers work with large volumes and databases, so often it is just a matter of time that someone is going to be caught in a scam. Some advice: Don’t answer the phone, don’t be rushed, don’t provide information, and don’t be afraid to hang up."
I Used To Live In Los Angeles. I've Never Owned A House. I Get These Texts All The Time! I Have No Idea How This Scam Even Works Or What The End Game Is. But I've Started Replying In Ways That Make Me Giggle
Well That Escalated Quickly (Common Whatsapp Scam That I Have Been Getting)
At the core of most of the advice that you’ll get about recognizing scams lie two ideas. First of all, it’s vital that you get an outsider’s perspective on any ‘one-time-only super-exclusive time-sensitive’ deal you’ve been offered. We know from personal experience how a shrewd neighbor or a perceptive family member can help vulnerable people avoid getting scammed.
And secondly, it’s important that you do a bit of research and stay up to date on current popular scams. Criminals are constantly evolving and changing their approaches. The best defense is knowing how they operate and what they might write or say to try and trick people. But above all, remember to trust your gut. If your intuition is sounding the alarm bells, there’s probably something very wrong.
It’s not just via calls, text messages, and social media DMs that con-artists ply their trade. Online marketplaces are also rife with scammers, and it takes a keen eye to separate the wheat from the chaff. During a previous in-depth interview, one of the moderators of the r/Scams subreddit shared their insights on this with Bored Panda.
"I think online shopping scams are different because you lose that layer of dealing with a real-life person. When you have a real person in front of you, a typical person will feel shame or guilt at the thought of taking advantage of a person. With the internet, you aren't dealing with a person, but a username and avatar. It is much easier to act maliciously when you don't have a real victim directly in front of you," the moderator explained that it’s far more difficult to lie to someone face-to-face.
A Nigerian Grandma
"Online scams also use a lot of tricks to pressure buyers; low prices, pushes to buy now!, taking advantage of someone's kindness or naivete (re: advance check fraud, money mules, etc), or advertising one product and sending another (or nothing at all, by using a fake tracking number). Getting a person to make a decision via high-pressure tactics and preventing them from reflecting and making a sound decision is key," they told us how scammers tend to operate. It’s something to keep in mind the next time you spot a deal that might be too good to be true.
"If a deal is too good to be true, it is. If you see a pair of brand new Apple AirPods advertised for $50, you are not getting an authentic product. There are many counterfeit items out there on the market, and you need to verify authenticity before hitting buy," the r/Scams mod said that we shouldn’t fall prey to our greed and desire to save a bit of cash. The product you might be getting might be dangerous.
Had A Scammer Text Me Lewd Photos To Get Me To Respond And Just Couldn't Resist Showing Her A True Beauty
I Was Surprised To Get A Message From A High School Friend's Father
"Not only to avoid contributing to the counterfeit market, but because these knockoff products do not always go through the same safety standards of the real item; they may not be UL certified, they may use chemicals or ingredients that are not FDA approved and are unsafe for use on or in the human body, or could cause major harm to human life or property."
Online rentals are another area where scammers thrive. "It is very common for scammers to lift photos and descriptions of houses for sale, mark down the rent as ridiculously cheap, then insist on getting the deposit sent via Western Union or other untraceable means; when it comes time to pick up your keys, the money is gone and there was no rental for you to move into, to begin with,” the redditor explained how schemes like this work.
Scammers Really Dislike It When You Force Them To Venture Off Script
Typing the address into Google and checking for actual real estate listings is one way that you can try and avoid falling for online rental scams. It’s definitely worth your time to do the basic necessary research to avoid a bigger headache down the line.
"You may find a real estate listing on MLS, Zillow, or other popular property rental/sale sites. I ran into this recently with a too-good-to-be-true rental, and I was able to report the listing and notify the listing agent that their listing was being used in a scam," the r/Scams moderator told Bored Panda.
Credit cards provide an extra line of defense from conmen and criminals. You should consider upgrading your debit card to a credit card if you can.
"Credit card protections for most cards are much more forgiving than debit cards. You can generally get your money back faster if you were scammed or misled by a business, versus initiating an investigation through your bank. It is always smarter to pay by credit card (and pay off your balance monthly!)."
Do Scammers Count?
When The Scammer Is Quick To The Point
Meanwhile, during another interview, redditor u/MelteyReddit shared with us how they recognize scams for what they are.
“I always try to stay up to date with where my money is going. If you are unsure if something is a scam, you can try looking it up on the internet to see how other people feel about it,” they stressed that background searches are vital.
“I think the best way to recognize one is by a few factors, [for example,] if they are really pushy about a product that they wanna sell or if the website design/product design looks fake/rushed. Or if they ask an unreasonable amount of money for their product,” they pointed out some of the ways that people can recognize that they’re being swindled.
Someone Pretending To Be The Chair Of My Department Tried To Scam Me. Did I Do This Right?
However much we might hate scammers, they’re still human beings. Some of them turn to conning others because they have no other choice. There shouldn’t be any tolerance for swindlers coming after your hard-earned cash, however, it would be disingenuous not to recognize that not everyone is a stone-hearted criminal.
Earlier, Imgurian Eddi3v shared with Bored Panda how they wanted to troll a scammer, but ended up listening to his tearful tale about why he scams people.
Awaiting A Response. Fingers Crossed
I Have Suddenly Been Receiving Lots Of Fake Check Scams, Probably Because I Respond To All Of Them. This One Is Gold
“I’d like to believe that most of us are inherently good people and would be forced into such a job. I can’t imagine going home from work, after a long day trying to scam people and thinking ‘that was a productive and honest day in the office.’ It’s probably not going to make anyone feel good about themselves,” Eddie told us that there’s probably an emotional toll that scammers feel.
In Eddie’s opinion, people tend to not think of scammers as actual human beings because it’s much easier not to think too hard about it. “When someone calls you trying to trick you out of money, most people’s first reaction is to call them a bastard and just dismiss it. Not to consider why they are doing this and how desperate they could be, to resort to such a crooked job,” he mused.
I Told A Scammer He Had To Fill This Out Before I Could Send Him Money. Effort Put In: Na
Scammed (Probably Traumatized) A Scammer
According to Eddie, if you end up talking to a scammer on the phone, you could try telling them that you hope they’re looking for a better job. Then, hang up.
“I in no way condone what they are doing, scamming vulnerable people is totally wrong and a crime. It was just that after talking with ‘Patrick,’ it was an eye-opener to hear how some scammers are reluctantly forced into it by the poverty in their country and the pressure to provide for their family and kids. Which is a sad reality that most of us don’t think about.”