If you have ever been scammed in your life, you know how devastating it feels. Sometimes scammers do their deed in such sneaky ways that won’t even give you time to process the situation. In this article, people share the scams they can’t believe they fell for.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
A guy I went to high school with scammed a town full of people in the next state over by pretending to be a Food Network chef. He claimed that he was setting up a barbecue in their town with people such as Bobby Flay and Robert Irving in attendance, then proceeded to charge $35 a ticket to the tune of $10,000. The charade fell apart when he did a presentation and people realized he had no clue how to make most of the stuff he was demonstrating. People did a little digging and realized he wasn’t a chef and had never been employed by Food Network. The police agreed not to press charges if he gave everyone their money back.
I was working as a gas station cashier, a guy asked for five $20 lottery tickets, so I put them on the counter with the rest of his items. I asked if he had a loyalty card and he said he left it in his car and went to get it. He never came back, tickets were gone. Whoops.
My older sisters told me eggs grew on trees. I vehemently disagreed. They made me plant an egg yolk. I came back later to check, and a stem had grown. Later, leaves showed up. I started to believe. I came back again and they had put plastic Easter eggs filled with candy on the tree.
When I was a little kid, my dad drew several circles on a sheet of paper. Then, he would have me roll a quarter down my nose to try to get it to land in certain spots for more points. The goal is that when the quarter lands, you trace the quarter with a pencil, then you roll, trace, roll, trace, and so on until you get a certain number of points.
The joke is that the person rolling the quarter ends up with a streak of graphite down their nose and looks like an idiot. I wasnt happy. It was embarrassing and I felt betrayed.
I got a call saying there was something wrong with my internet service. I downloaded the spyware that allowed the person on the phone to remotely control my computer. I became to suspicious when they wanted me to login to my bank account. Reset that to factory settings and felt shame I’d let it get that far.
I gave half my nights tip money to a woman who said her car broke down and she had to go pick her kids up from daycare. I believed her because she was standing in front of a car getting towed. I told someone about it later and they described her to a T and said “yea that’s Kimbo, you just bought her a weeks worth of drugs.” I’ve met like six people since then that she’s done the same thing to.
When I was little, my grandma would take me to the dentist for my regular cleanings. After the fluoride she would tell me now you’re not allowed to have candy for a month because of the fluoride. She would get the dentist to agree with her.
I believed this for a couple years until I mentioned how it’s not fun having to wait a month to eat candy because of the dentist to my friends at school. I knew something wasn’t right when I realized no one knew what I was talking about.
I went home and told her I knew the no candy after the dentist wasn’t true. Her response was “well I’m surprised I got away with that for as long as I did.
I played RunEscape when I was like 14 with this kid named Sparky every single day. He was my good friend and I trusted him. We’d chat and cut logs all the time. He asked to wear my party hat (before lending was a thing, it was a green party hat worth around 20 million gold at the time), after knowing him for like 2 years.
He logged off and I never saw him again. Green party hat gone. I was sad more that I lost my friend over a pointless in-game item.
I worked serving food at a country club. The management decided to prank my young, naive, wholesome self.
Basically my supervisor asked me to go inquire to the head chef about the state of the dingleberries. I assumed it was some type of fancy berry and did as asked. Head chef had me pass the message back to her that they were still too dirty and not ready yet.
When I was a pre-teen I became a vegetarian. I ate A LOT of green olives. One day, my father asked me if I knew what the little red bit in the olive was. I thought about it and said, “pimento?” Dad asks me if I knew what a pimento was. “Nope.” He proceeds to tell me it’s a bit of fish in my olive. I believed him. It was the 90’s. A spin through a volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica set me straight.
The Good Feet Store- I was working 16 hour days and my feet were killing me. I spent $800 at this store for a few pieces of hard plastic that worked. This was about 5 years ago and I’m still pissed off about it.
I was maybe 16 at the time when I was starting to look for my first car. Found an ad on Craigslist for a Volkswagen Beetle for $500. I decided to get it. The scammer wanted me to send the money through one of those places where you send money and cash checks, I can’t remember what it was called. Everyone warned me at the time that I was getting scammed, but 16-year-old me was too stubborn and naive to listen to anyone. Even the lady who worked at the store was like, “I really don’t want to do this for you because it’s most likely a scam.”
Well I learned my lesson.
I was at a magic tournament when I was young and a neckbeard was trading with me. I forget what the cards were, but I remember that my card was like 80 dollars, and the neckbeard’s card was like 5 dollars. I realized he scammed me two weeks later, and I felt like an idiot thinking about it. The joke was on him though, because the card got banned less than a week later.
I fell for the white van speaker scam around 2005. I was leaving Wal-Mart with some groceries when a guy in a van approached me. He said he just installed a fairly expensive stereo in a client’s house nearby but the buyer did not want an extra set of speakers and subwoofer. He said he would sell them to me for half of their value, something like 500 bucks. I told him I didn’t have that kind of cash and would he take $200, which is all I had on me. He acted like he couldn’t go that low but ultimately I ended up with them. Yeah, they lasted about a week and sounded horrible. Ended up being some super cheap speakers that sold for like 40 bucks.
I lost $700 to a housing scammer. Back in May this year I inquired about a CL ad for a house for rent. It was a perfect match for me. Nice house, good neighborhood, owner would let me have whatever pets I wanted without any fees. Should have realized it was too good to be true. Made the mistake of wiring them the deposit money without signing anything or meeting with anyone.
The worst part is that I was being so careful the whole time, researching and verifying any information given to me, and I still made a big mistake that cost me money I couldn’t afford to lose.
When I was younger than 8 years old, I was playing an online video game and a gaming friend of mine gave me a very expensive digital item. A RANDOM guy asked if he could try it on. Skeptical, I still gave him the item. The second I gave him the item, he instantly logged off. I was forever ashamed of myself.
I used to live in the city, in London. I was walking home one night and this guy comes up to me crying, saying he’s been robbed, lost his phone and wallet, can I give him some cash to get home.
There’s one of the guys at almost every major train station in London.
I stopped and said, “Dude… I’m not a tourist, I live here.”
He immediately stops crying and goes, “oh yeah, well I’ll see you around!”
I did see him a few times but he never asked me again.
A guy rolls up next to me while pumping gas and says his 3-year-old needs medicine and he has no money (it was a hot day and his wife or girlfriend and child are in the car all sweaty). He asks for cash, but I said I only had a card as I wanted to help but not give money he may not use for meds. He said that’s ok, but wants the receipt. Ok, that’s strange but whatever. I buy the meds and give him the receipt. I park across the street just to see what his next move is. He goes inside and returns the meds and pockets the cash.
I got into an accident and my left fender is a little damaged. This guy saw me and said he would put some stuff on the car and fix it in no time. At first he said $50 so I said okay. Then after the job (2 minutes later) he said $150. So I basically paid a guy $150 to put a little white spray paint on my fender and I see no difference.
I played Habbo Hotel 15+ years ago. Through giveaways and smart trading, 11 or 12 year old me had accumulated several pieces of furniture. Some guy told me he could double my furniture if I gave him my password. Being a naive kid in a less internet savvy time, I gave him my information.
He took all my stuff. I was utterly crushed that I fell for it. I felt like a complete idiot for days afterwards.
Obviously not a big scam or anything, but little kid me learned a big lesson about learning to apply doubt to weird claims or to-good-to-be-true promises.
A guy at the gas station said he and his cancer ridden wife broke down a mile up the highway, needed $10 to get them gas for a 30 mile trip to the city. I had just gotten paid and was feeling rich so I gave it to him. I went to the same gas station two days later and the guy was there again with the same problem.
I walked down the tunnel to DC Metro and approached a ticket machine to get my Metro fare card; found a well dressed lady confused by the machine, and not quite a full English speaker. Convinced me to buy her a ticket as she was to meet her daughter at office downtown. Finally bought her a ticket, and then she asked if the ticket was enough to get her back too? Gave her an extra $5 bucks as that’s all I had other than large bills and told her to be sure and have her daughter explain all this too her. Guess what? A few days later I went back to that same Metro spot, and she was in the process of scamming some other guy using the same story. I stood behind them until she played off the “Will this get me back?” then busted her right there. She gave me an excellent cussing for someone who didn’t know English. I felt like such a chump, ready for any hard luck story.
I parked in a parking lot next to a greyhound station in Cleveland to drop off my friends. A man tapped on my window and insisted I give him 20 dollars for the parking fee. I got caught up in the moment and just obliged out of habit. Watching the random man walk away with my 20 dollars as my friends told me it was a scam was the most humiliating and embarrassing experience I’ve ever had. Thinking about it still infuriates me.
When I was like 14 (maybe?), I saved up all of my money all year from my paper route to get people nice gifts at Christmas.
When I went to the mall, there was a man there who was “deaf.”
He handed me a keychain with a note that read “I am a deaf person, and am unemployed. Will you please buy this keychain for $5?”
Being naive, I pulled out my wallet with like $500 cash. The guy was so happy that I wanted to help him that he taught me a secret handshake. When I sat down, I noticed my wallet was gone.
Literally 8 months of savings gone to some scam artist in exchange for a 25 cent keychain.
When I was in college I was working as a waiter at a Pizza Hut, and a customer came in and struck up a conversation. Eventually he pitched me on a possible new job. He described it as “kind of like an internship.”
The first red flag should have been he wouldn’t give me any specifics other than something about “running a business.” Next he gave me a date/address of where to meet and he told me to dress in a suit. That also seemed weird since we were meeting at 7pm. Who interviews at 7pm?
Anyway I get there, and about a hundred other people are there. I was getting a weird vibe and I should have run at that point, but I was desperate for something other than waiting tables. After an hour of parading different motivational speakers they finally announced they sold Amway to achieve their goals. I then went home older, wiser, and destined to serve pizza for many more months.
I had just left a career in mental health and was prowling for work that paid anywhere above $35k. All of a sudden, John Doe from my high school, who created and maintains a multi-million dollar Japanese steak house asks me to “come to his house personally around 9pm, because we needed to catch up. Maybe work if you are interested.”
Great! right? Here I am thinking God, all my hard work was finally about to pay off and here comes what I thought would be MGMT position or something relevant but no… oh, no, no, no. It simply wasn’t. This dream of job turned out to be a MLM scheme and I knew it when I saw the casual pretzel bowl with like salsa dip and such in the basement on the table, with a projector and a room full of people.
I fell for the scam – which is why I hate MLM in the first place. You are supposed to target close people in your life and it makes for bad business.
When I bought my vehicle, the sales guy convinced me to tack on a $3,000 warranty as if it was a necessity. A week after I bought it something went wrong and I took it in only to find the warranty only covered a small amount of unlikely things to go wrong. I felt bad but I guess I should have read the fine print.
When I went to move out of my apartment, the landlord gave me a long two page list of all the things I had to complete in order to get my deposit back. I worked hours on that list, rented a carpet cleaner, scrubbed the oven that I had maybe used twice, washed all the windows and blinds. Comes time to get the deposit back and the landlord says he lets his sister deal with that now. Contact her and she says she saw nail holes in the wall, something that was already there when I moved in, couldn’t convince her otherwise. That was almost 11 years ago and I’m still bitter.
I was working at a supermarket and this guy came in, purchased a soda for like a dollar and some change and then gave me a $100. I was 17 years old at that time. Obviously this guy is going to get ~$97 back with the $100 he gave me. So when Im dolling out his change, he starts requesting all these denominations, confusing me. He also had a guy with him talking to people behind him to distract them. I have no idea how much money I ended up giving him when the transaction was completed, but it turned out he swindled me out of about $200. This is what is known as a flim flam scam. I never felt so stupid in my life. A few months later, my sister was working with me, and as I was coming in to start work, I saw the men that screwed me leaving, and they got her too. She was devastated and felt the same way I did.