Have you ever fallen for a scam? What was it? Did you feel like a dope afterward? We like to think we're smart and perceptive, but scammers are skilled and sometimes they get the best of us and our money. The important question is, did you learn your lesson?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Online game currency generators - virus central.Giphy
When I was around 12, I really enjoyed playing FIFA Ultimate Team, which I'm sure many others do. However, the game at that point did take quite a bit of grinding to get a lot of in-game currency. So I though "hey let's find an In-Game Currency Generator". So I downloaded like 7 of them on the internet, tried transferring coins to my account, and got 7 viruses. What a shocker.
Fake shipping company.Giphy
Shipping companies online. This could probably classify as much as a TIFU as a scam, but moved back from Ireland to Canada. Company never provided a proper packing list (first tip off) and then went "bankrupt" several days after picking up everything from my home. PC gaming rig with 2 monitors, PS3, games for both, book, rpg and comic collections, entire music and movie library, autographs, ticket stubs and set lists from concerts, clothes, cameras, figurines like Clouds bike from FF7 Advent Children movie, etc. Only stuff they didn't get, which wasn't much, was what I packed up to take with me on the flight home.
Edit: Thanks for all kind responses, this was a tough thing to navigate and some of you actually gave me a chuckle over it!
Printer ink scam.Giphy
I fell for a really weird scam at my old job. It was a very small office so we all picked up the phone when the main line rang. I answered it one day and this guy told me he needed to send me a new manual for our printer/copier. I thought it was a little weird, but he insisted it was free and the only piece of information he was asking me for was the model number, so I gave it to him. He thanked me and said we'd receive the new manual in the mail shortly.
We never did receive anything in the mail, but afterwards I read about the scam online. Apparently they ask you for the model number and then start shipping you sh*tty off-brand toner and charging you insane prices for it. If the business is paying attention, they'll throw out the toner and refuse to pay for it, and no real harm is done. But plenty of offices just assume it's their regular toner, start using it and end up paying the jacked up prices to this sketchy company.
I bought pheromone cologne in high school for like 100 dollars because it was said to cause a chemical reaction that makes women attracted to you. It smelt awful and I never spoke to a chick while wearing it. I later found out the pheromones were taken from some type of animal urine. I was spraying piss on me and was confused why chicks weren't into me.
Almost. Every. Time.Giphy
Clicking [x] on a pop up ad and end up with opening the ad instead of closing it.
Note: this is not how you treat hemorrhoids.Giphy
I once came down with a bout of the hemorrhoids. Well, I assumed it was based on what I knew about hemorrhoid. Too embarrassed to ask friends and family for advice, I did what most people do in these circumstances, I sought medical advice from the Internet.
This was back in the 90's so I logged onto AOL and searched for a cure. I found a website that offered a permanent cure of hemorrhoids. The curator of this site learned this cure when he was a POW in Vietnam, and for $10 I could be hemorrhoids free forever.
Ten dollars poorer and I get the email (with the cure). The cure was to stick my finger up my a** and twirl it around for ten minutes a day, every day. It was then I realized I just paid someone to tell me to stick my finger up my a**.
Catfishing scams are still very much real.Giphy
My mom was so close to falling for the 'soldier' scam.
She started talking to some army guy through a dating site and very quickly he got romantic and almost in love over messages. She started to really fall for him.
Then he asked if she could buy phone credit for his daughter as he couldn't use his money abroad whilst he was stationed... She had no money and told him so and he got a bit weird over it. She googled this situation as something didnt sit right and discovered the popular scam of Nigerian men using photos of soldier's, setting up profiles and getting older women to part with cash. They start off small like phone credit and it escalates to life savings and all worldly possessions.
When we looked over his messages after finding out, it all seemed so obvious. The messages were a bit disconnected and seemed scripted. She realised he wasn't really answering her questions or responding to specific thing she had said.
It seems silly now as people are so aware of these type of scams but at the time it really wasn't that obvious.
Addiction destroys everything.Giphy
I financially helped out a friend who was struggling with his hospital bills. Turns out he didn't have hospital bills but instead had a heroin addiction. Also turns out he wasn't really my friend :/
Don't send strangers money over the internet.Giphy
Back on the early 2000's I fell for the Russian Bride Scam... to a degree. I didn't send money but I did believe for a short while, a few weeks, that I was being contacted by a Russian hottie in the Ukraine or Estonia or somewhere and that she was interested in me. What killed it was that she asked me to wire a few bucks so she could pay for time at an internet cafe. I copied and and pasted text from her email into Google an quickly discovered it was the first step in a larger scam where they escalate what they ask for over time eventually asking for a few thousand dollars to purchase a plane ticket to come visit the US. It was early 2000's back when the internet was a bit more "Wild West" even before Facebook was a thing. What kind of hurt my feelings about it all was that I realized that my online presence must have reeked loneliness.