Ever seen someone clearly fall for a scam? The scams may be obvious to some, but not to others!
People on Quora and Reddit share the time they saw someone clearly fall for a scam. Content has been edited for clarity.
He Actually Got Away With It
“During my stint working at a local movie theater, a few friends and I came up with a few scams that amounted in the loss of over 250,000 dollars worth of profit/inventory. No one got caught.
The easiest one was the doorman trick. Ripping the wrong part of the movie tickets, cashing them in as ‘refunds.’ This was probably the least profitable, although I’ve seen some doormen rake in a few hundred a night doing this.
The second one was a bit trickier, it was more of a mind game with customers, and it too depended on the doorman. We had a function on the registers at the ticket booths that let us do ‘no charge’ tickets. If people paid in cash, we would simply ring up a no-charge ticket and pocket the money. If they paid in card, we’d ring up the ticket and have the doorman rip the wrong end, then return.
Some people would notice they got ‘no charge’ tickets, and we would just simply apologize and do a ‘manager refund.’ We got sneaky and memorized the manager’s password to the systems.
The third scam was really tricky and you had to be on your toes. If you worked the concession stand and knew the manager’s password, you could walk away with 1,000 dollars a night. First off, you had to memorize all the prices on the menu. Once someone would order from the menu, you’d charge them the price, and then cancel it out, therefore pocketing the money. I’m not quite sure how it worked, I never tried it.
There was a guy that I worked with, who would pocket a 1000 dollars a night. Every night. He stole over 110,000 dollars. Just before they finally caught on, he was fired for being late to work. A week later, they found out what he did, and couldn’t charge him.”
Those Are Some Nice Prizes
“In high school, my friends and I would frequent the local arcade/mini-golf course called ‘Putt-Putt.’ One day, my buddy Dan and I were leaving after playing some arcade games and I turned to him and said, ‘Hey, what do they do with the tickets after you turn them in for prizes?’ We both turned our heads towards the dumpster in the parking lot. We open the dumpster and found bags and bags full of tickets that had been turned in for prizes. So we started checking regularly for these bags and hoarding them in my parents’ garage. Eventually, I think someone realized and they started shredding the tickets.
Then we got greedy. We figured we needed MORE tickets (we had about 100,000 at this point). So one day, Dan and I were back at the arcade. We noticed they kept the keys that open the machines on a nail behind the counter. There were only two high school students working at the time. So we devised a plan. I was to distract one of them while the other was busy, and Dan would steal the keys. So I complained a machine had taken my tokens and Dan nabbed the keys. We excitedly walked out of the arcade. In the parking lot, I turned to him and went, ‘Wait dude, we can’t leave! We were the only ones in there, if we leave now, they’ll know we took the keys.’
‘You’re right, we have to go back,’ he said. So we went back in and played it cool and later left.
Now that we had the keys, we would get in the Jurassic Park game, which was one of those enclosed booth-type games. There we could open up the coin box and get as many free tokens as we could use. We would also open the skeeball and other ticket games and remove entire rolls/stacks of tickets.
So anyway, at this point we had hundreds of thousands of tickets saved up. So finally one day, we load over a dozen garbage bags full of tickets into my van, and went to the arcade to redeem some prizes.
We strolled in there, confident as heck, carrying bags of tickets and started dumping them on the counter like that scene from ‘Miracle on 34th St.’ We got every single prize they had. Seriously, we cleaned them out. It was the same two stupid high school kids working that day, so they either never figured it out, or just didn’t care. Prizes included like 5 razor scooters, all of the candy and little toys, a load of nerf toys, and an N64.”
Having Random Knowledge Helped
“I was never the best student in High School. I’m smart, but I could never sit down and do homework, it was just physically impossible for me, I don’t know why. My senior year, while most of my friends were taking a ton of electives and throw-away classes, I was stuck in a Material Science class, which if I didn’t get a science credit out of, I wouldn’t graduate.
On the first day of class, our teacher told us about a project that was going to be due a week before class ended. It was a 10-minute-long presentation on whatever we wanted, as long as it could be tied back to Material Science, which had to have an accompanying PowerPoint with all sorts of crazy specifications. He told us he wasn’t going to mention the project again until the day of presentations, and no excuse would fly if you didn’t bring it in. No corrupt disks, no deaths in the family, no nothing. You didn’t present, you didn’t pass the class, and (in my case) you didn’t graduate.
Fast-forward five months. The day of the presentation arrived, and of course, I did absolutely nothing. When he called my name to present, I was freaking out. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I grabbed a blank floppy from my backpack, put it in the computer, and acted horrified when there was nothing on the disk. I was sort of known for coming up empty-handed when it came to homework, so he boredly told me, ‘No presentation, no credit.’
I told him I understood, however, I knew my subject fairly well, and would he let me throw together a new slide show in 10 minutes to at least try to scrape a pass in his class? He told me that seemed fair, and had another student go ahead of me.
I’ve always loved the Disney theme parks, and I had been reading up about The Haunted Mansion, so I decided to put together a quick slideshow of pictures of various effects seen in the ride. I figured I could explain how they were done, and hopefully scrape a passing D out of it.
My turn came, I went up, and I started talking. I’ve always been good at public speaking, and the class seemed interested in what I had to say, so I was comfortable up there. I ended up going a little over my time, and my classmates kept me up there for almost an extra 10 minutes, asking me questions. I sat down with confidence- while the actual slide show didn’t meet any of the criteria required, I felt like I probably got a D, or maybe even a C. I was going to graduate high school.
Once all of the presentations were finished, my teacher went to the front of the class. He told us he was very proud to announce everyone had passed. I let out a sigh of relief. He went on to say that he had been teaching the class for over 20 years, and he had never been so impressed by a student as he had been this year. This young lady had the worst possible thing happen-her disk was corrupt and she didn’t have her presentation. However, she had studied her chosen topic so passionately over the last semester, that she was able to throw together a powerpoint slide in minutes, and stand up in front of her schoolmates and talk about her subject. Every other presentation relied heavily on text in their slides to be able to explain their presentations, but she knew it so well, she only needed the powerpoint to show the class some reference pictures so they would understand what she was talking about.
Of course, much to my shock, that student was me. I got an A+ and graduated with honors in science.”
One Of The Teachers Had No Idea
“My high school has their grad night at Disneyland because it’s located so close. We all bus over along with LOTS of other high school classes until the next morning. Disney makes sure to include bands with smoke/lights and whatever else they think will appeal to high school kids. I (correctly) suspected that the lines and crowd of teenagers would be overwhelming.
A few days before, using a teacher’s crutches, cast, and wraps (she had recently recovered from a foot injury), I faked my own foot injury. I was actually really surprised when she let me borrow them for said faking. When asked around school, I said that I had gotten up to get a snack, and the fridge was leaking water, so I slipped and bruised my foot. I’ve bruised my foot before, so I knew it was both extremely minor yet still requires crutches to heal.
I only told a few close friends and one teacher (We’ll call him ‘Mr. Evil’) that I was a buddy with the truth. This particular teacher said he wanted to be in my group so that he could also take advantage of my ‘disabled’ status. As a bonus, a hot, young male teacher (Mr. Good) I had a crush on gave me LOTS of attention. He helped me get up, held my hand at times and always asked me how I was feeling. He had, you know, what was it.. a conscience? So, the rest of us agreed not to tell him the truth.
The day comes and I remember using the crutches to get over to the front gate amongst a ton of buses. I would go back and forth from crutches to running depending on whether the buses hid me. I mostly did it to make Mr. Evil laugh because we both knew how ridiculous this scam was.
The sheer volume of teenagers did not disappoint. It was more packed than any day I had ever seen at Disneyland. Once in the gate, our school counselor asks me to tell the story. I’m thinking, ‘Oh no, she’s trained to sniff out lies.’
But in retrospect, I think I gave her super psych CIA training too much credit because she believed me, even as I avoided eye contact.
I was set up with a wheelchair, and Mr. Good pushed me around nearly the entire time. It was wonderful. We chatted, made fun of people, and I was on cloud NINE with my silly crush. And of course, we got to skip the MASSIVE lines at Disneyland. Mr. Evil given me knowing glances or make remarks here and there, like when I had to hobble in ‘pain’ while getting off the wheelchair to the ride itself. We passed lots and lots of people waiting in line, using elevators I hadn’t noticed before and special exits. Even as we were about to leave, Disneyland sent a special car (not even a golf cart, but a car) to pick my group and me up to get me back to the bus. I returned the crutches on Monday and no one suspected a thing.”
Little Did He Know, They Were Kidding
“When I was in college, a friend and I were at a bar getting smashed when some dude walked up and asked if we wanted something a little harder. I told him we would think about it and he walked off. A few pitchers of drinks later, we got the great idea to tell the guy to come outside and pose as undercover police officers. I went and found him, told him to come outside so I could see what he has. He put one in my hand, so I told him to show me the rest so I could make sure they weren’t fake. He poured about 10 out of his bag.
I looked him dead in the eyes and said, ‘Sir, I am placing you under arrest for blah blah blah within 100 feet of blah blah blah.’
He turned white as a ghost and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’
I said, ‘No sir, my friend is on the radio with backup right now,’ pointing to my buddy who was standing on the corner loudly saying the name of the street into his cell phone and pointing in our direction. The dude, in almost in tears started begging me not to take him to jail. I told him to get the heck out of there, and he turned and ran. I walked off with about $200 worth of substances.”
Fake It Till Ya Make It
“I worked at a very popular amphitheater in Tennessee for one month during a summer as ‘House Staff’ (basically, the people that check your tickets and help you find your seat). I was only there for a few weeks and kept a really low profile so no one really knew me (important for what comes later). While there, I paid attention to every detail and basically learned how the ‘system’ worked. What color shirts meant you were ‘the boss’, what doors went where, what color passes had most access, how the people that ran the place talked, walked, and acted.
We all got a copy of the ‘Official house passes’ which had a two-by-one color image of every pass issued by the amphitheater in our ‘Employee Manual.’ I used my mom’s professional, crazy-high DPI scanner and spent a couple of hours in photoshop. I went to Kinkos and printed it to scale on heavy stock photo paper, laminated it, used a razor to cut the laminate clip hole then BAM! All-access pass for the rest of the year.
Since I knew how to walk/talk and what color shirts to wear, it was easy to act the part. I enjoyed all access to all areas (onstage, dressing rooms, etc.) to all concerts for that year. I met TONS of industry people and artists, and gained quite a few connections (important for name-dropping if needed when someone questions who you are). The best part of this pass was it was the ‘God Pass,’ which meant it had unlimited potential (basically the ability to say ‘These people are with me’ and no one can stop you). I did the same thing next year and quite a week later. After three years, I had actually amassed quite a few legit All Access passes for multiple bands which I still use to this day to exploit the system and go wherever I want simply because I know how to ‘walk the walk’.
Bottom line: Act like you own the place and sign everyone’s paychecks, and no one will stop you.
I did get caught once, but the name-dropping was able to save my butt.”
They Tried Their Best?
“In college, I worked nights for a large insurance company taking claim and accident reports. I received a call from a guy that had found out we insured his neighbor who had his brand-new Corvette stolen. The cops had found the frame of the Vette a month or so after it had been stolen. We’d already paid the claim. All of the parts had been completely removed, there was nothing left.
Apparently, a friend of the owner of the car owned a large vehicle wrecking business in town. Long story short, the insurance company recycled the car, recycling dude called the car owner and gave him the frame back. The neighbor finds out that they had stripped the car and dumped the frame themselves and stashed all of the parts, and called in to let us know that the guy and his son are putting the Vette back together in their garage. I followed the claim file for a couple of weeks, but quit the company before there was ever any resolution. I’ve often wondered what happened with that.”
If Only The Parent’s Didn’t Find Out
“I was 12 years old, it was 1997 and the Internet was still relatively young and I had these grand dreams of being a hacker. I was spending a lot of time online looking into hacking and phreaking and all that jazz when I found credit card number generators.
They would pump out numbers that used the same algorithms that credit cards companies did to create their card numbers. So that way, you had a number that may or may not be valid but you would at least know if it was a Visa, MC, or Discover. My friends and I would then take the numbers and guess and check them with expiration dates on random sites to find valid combinations.
Once we had a valid card and expiration date, we decided to go on a shopping spree at the Edge Company (they used to sell really cool stuff that you might find at say a Sharper Image) – we ordered well over $1000 worth of stuff. We picked watches, swords, daggers, lasers, supersonic ears, night vision goggles, everything a 12-year-old boy would want. We had to it all shipped to a fake name, to a neighbor’s house that was out of town, and even put up a note saying that my wife was sick and that you could just leave any packages and take my attached signature.
Of course, it was too good to be true, we were found out the day the packages arrived at the local post office. One of our parents had picked up the phone well we were discussing all of this and called the police and had them cancel the packages. It was such a shame, and my parents were super mad! Luckily, a 12-year-old can do pretty much anything and not get in real trouble with the police. But I was really looking to running around with night vision goggles and a sword, I think I could have been the coolest kid ever that summer.”
“A year or so after the Game Cube was released, I bought one on eBay, because I was ‘poor’ and didn’t want to buy a new one. It turns out, the one I got wouldn’t boot games. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of an eBay return, so my girlfriend at the time suggested I swap it with one at Walmart. So, against my better judgment, we headed to the local Walmart where I purchase a new Game Cube, insisting that it must be that weird blue/purple color. I got to the checkout line, and the lady scanned the UPC, typed the serial number on the box, and the serial number barcode that is on the Game Cube itself! I had a freak-out moment because now I realized that the box is tied to the serial of the system inside of it.
I left with the machine, expecting to return it the next day or something. We then g0t the bright idea of swapping the serial number stickers between the units using a hairdryer. The sticker swap was kind of sucky, but I risked it anyway. At the return checkout, they didn’t even bat an eye, and the serial numbers matched. I still feel bad for the kid who got the defective Game Cube sometime down the road.”
Starting A Mini Pet Shop
“When I was a young lad, my pops grew tomatoes and a few other vegetables in the backyard. Year after year after the plants matured, the dreaded hornworm would be found munching on the tomato plants, leaving their feces everywhere. My dad was apparently a busy man then, and directed me to find and remove them. He showed me how to find them easier.
‘Look for the fresh poo,’ he would say. ‘Then, just look above the poo, and there you shall find the worm.’
And off I went looking for the darn things. After I was done, I would take the collected worms out front to show all the neighborhood kids and I would brag, ‘Hey, look at my pets!’
Naturally, they wanted their own, so I brilliantly piped up and said I would sell them for twenty-five cents each. They happily ran home to get some money, and got in a line to buy the worms. They stayed and played with their pets for a while, and eventually, it got dark and it was time to come inside. They thanked me and headed home.
The next day, they come to me complaining the worms were moving much slower than the day before, and I exclaimed they need food and proceed to sell them small branches of tomato leaves for ten cents apiece. This continued for a week or so, and the whole time I’m making bank (it was decent candy money for a kid); but they eventually forget about them and didn’t feed them and they died. They come back for more worms and food for them. The cycle repeated a few times. That was an awesome summer for me.”
Improv Really Came In Hancy
“American History at my high school was an awful class. The teacher was pretty cool, but he really didn’t know what he was doing and we wound up doing more busywork than anything; also, you could get a good grade by bribing him with Snickers bars and old records. I swear he was high 70% of the time or something because no one is naturally that chill and unconcerned with everything that’s going on.
Anyway, I sat in the back with a guy who was in the theater department, and we’d spend the majority of the class period back there goofing off. We were eventually assigned a project worth a massive chunk of our grade where we had to do a presentation on an era of history that really interested us, but we did literally no work on it even up to five minutes before it was due.
I was panicking at this point, as was the rest of our group, but Actor Guy just says something like, ‘Don’t worry, just follow my lead.’
The teacher called us up, and Actor Guy proceeds to improvise the entire presentation while we stood, petrified, in the background, except for moments when he’d tell us to do something. He wound up making it about acting techniques in the United States from the 1920s to present times, or something like that; all I remember about it was having to pretend to be a mime at his instruction.
Anyway, we got all A’s.”