Scams are usually pretty easy to spot: that free cruise you just won isn't really a free cruise and, really sorry to break it to you Debra, but your Nigerian Prince is really just a guy in Russia trying to get your credit card information.
Most of the time we ignore these sort of solicitations and go on with our day. But the MVP's over at /r/AskReddit may or may not have fallen into a scammer's web of lies only to come out the other side with a pretty hilarious story.
Whether you want to take these as cautionary tales or a sort of stand-up comedy routine, they are entertaining at the very least.
"If you tell me I won't get mad" -Mom
When I first moved to this city I was meeting some friends for brunch, and I parked on this side street. Started walking toward the restaurant and this guy yelled after me "ayy!! It's $5 to park here!" and I was like "Oh shit, I'm sorry I didn't know!" and then gave him the $5. Then at brunch I told my friends about it because I was like jeepers, your parking enforcement is really intense here and very intimidating! and then that is when they told me that I was just scammed out of $5. Parking on those streets is free. I just gave $5 to a guy in a vest because he told me it was $5 and had a vest.
Back in 2001 I got tricked by the White Van Speaker Scam:
"The white van speaker scam is a scam sales technique in which a con artist makes a buyer believe they are getting a good price on home entertainment products. Often a con artist will buy generic speakers worth around $40 and convince potential buyers that they are premium products worth over $2,000, offering them for sale at around $200. Con artists in this type of scam call themselves "speakerguys" or "speakermen", and usually claim to be working for a speaker delivery or installation company."
In high school I worked at a Subway. I was at the cash register. Woman pays with two rolls of dimes. We were very busy so I threw them in the drawer until later. When i got a chance to do so i broke them open and they were full of pennies.
You might ask why I didn't notice the size difference, well it was all pennies except the ends and I wasn't paying attention.
I was in Thailand and received an email receipt from Apple with a few hundred dollars worth of iTunes stuff on it. I freaked out and thought the WiFi at the guesthouse was shady and someone had hacked my iTunes. So I clicked the little customer service link and typed in my Apple ID and password to log in. And then it hit me.
A friend came to Shanghai, China for a quick vacation. She was approached by a "student who wanted to practice their English" and went with them to a tea shop where that forced her to pay exorbitantly for the tea - something like $50 for the pot.
She happily paid for the tea at the price they asked. She even bought some loose leaf tea from them before she left. When she saw me, she explained what a great experience it was.
I guess I'll leave it up to you, the reader, to decide if she was scammed or not because I'm honestly unsure. If you leave delighted, is it really a scam?
In a hotel, the hotel phone rings at ~630 am.
I pick up.
Lady says the payment system crashed and she needs my payment info again. In my sleepy logic-free mind, I give her my credit card
Go downstairs to check out. They have no idea what I'm talking about the system crashing.
What happened was, a scammer called up the hotel front desk and asked for a random room number, which happened to me mine and the desk transferred them to me. So, the hotel payed for my stay.
Was able to cancel card. They had only changed a hundred or so bucks to it and got it back from the bank.
I'm usually very skeptical about things, but I fell for this one hard.
I'm pretty sure that 15 years ago, a guy pulled that trick on me where they ask you for change and then quickly confuse you into thinking they gave you more money than they did.
I'm ashamed of it to this day, and I'm not even sure that it happened.
In fact, I'm pretty sure the drawer counted right that day, but it just SEEMS like that's what the guy was doing.
This was a couple of years ago now. I lived near a gas station so I was walking home one day and a block or so away from the gas station an older lady comes up to me and asks for 10 bucks because she filled her gas tank up but forgot her wallet at home. (In Canada they allow to pump before paying) I didn't have any money on me at the time so I rushed home to get money for her.
On the way back I noticed she didn't even have a car...At this point someone nearby stopped me and told me they had seen me talking to her and that she does this all the time. My cynicism towards humanity grew a few levels that day. I just wanted to help out!
Not me, but my dad.
He was in a car boot sale park. Calls me and asks me if he should buy this laptop and iPhone for £250 and if it seems like a good deal. I thought it was too good to be true, but why not if it can be done, plus they wouldn't F with my dad as he's sort of solid and tall. I should have known better.
He calls me 2 hours later when he arrived home to tell me he was scammed and tricked into buying a backpack full of potatoes.What happened is that they showed him the stuff, in working order and proceeded by putting them into a backpack and then in the back of their car on the seat to receive and count the money. Then they took the backpack and gave it to him.
They switched the bag right in front of his eyes but did not notice it until he got back to his car and checked them. When he went back, they were already gone.
I was pissed off because out of frustration he threw the backpack away, including the potatoes.
Paid subscription to an online dating site. Absolutely nobody fucking pays for it so you'll end up being the only paying customer, getting messages from bots.
"Hey, can I borrow a pen?" Never saw that pen again.
"This is Microsoft calling..."
I was extremely sceptical about it but I went through with it anyways
I Have 2 actually,
When i was in middle school i went on the internet in the library and got one of those pop up "YOURE The 1231233 visitor enter your email to claim youre reward!!" I told everyone i that i was going to get money i was bringing in best-buy and Circuit City flyers to study hall and would spend the whole time picking out the video-games i would buy. People would ask me in class Hey did yo get your money yet? I would always tell them im getting it in a couple weeks. Eventually the cringe set in and i looked like a moron.
The other one was when i was 15 and using aol messenger and met some guy who told me he was Pj ladd (pro skateboarder) i believed him, he kept this charade up for a while and even called me and told me he would send me a skateboard in the mail. And once again I told everyone in school. The cringe set in when the guy told me sorry and that it wasnt true.
Years ago I worked as a cashier and one day a costumer paid normally for the product and while I was counting the money he said: Let me hold that (pointing his head to the money) and I gave him a $100 bill. "Thanks" "You too, have a nice day" Only noticed minutes later. - I still don't know if he pulled out a hypnosis thing on me -