People Describe The Most Elaborate Scam They've Ever Fallen For
How could I have ever been so stupid? I'm an educated person. I mean, I'm no genius but I thought I could recognize basic tomfoolery in front of me. But every once and awhile, scammers get the best of you. Maybe because we're too trusting and want to believe the best in world. But that is how we fall into the hands of the these charlatans and thieves. There are too many people out there that are too lazy to work so they just want to steal from others. It's hateful, so stay vigilant.
Redditoru/Pissgfwanted to see who would be willing to confess about the times they've been bamboozled, by asking:
What's the most elaborate scam you fell for?
Life Lesson #1... NEVER GIVE YOUR MONEY TO STRANGERS WITHOUT PROOF OF PURCHASE!!!
People, never just blindly shell out coin. I learned that the hard way. Thankfully I learned early. Damn Columbia House.
A Giftgive me christmas GIF by TargetGiphy
"I had a visa gift card for $100 I got for my birthday, and wanted to check the balance after a few purchases online. I look up "check visa gift card balance" and clicked on the first thing i saw."
Room for Rent
"I put a room up for rent once. Someone applied and said they would be moving in at the first of the month. They said they were military and switching bases. This person said they were going to go ahead and ship their car out and fly in. The car arrived and was offloaded by truck. A few days later the car was gone. The person never arrived. A month or so later the police knocked and asked about the car."
"Ended up being that the car was stolen by whoever this person was that shipped it and the person who picked it up was a buyer who thought it was legit. Apparently he had a set of keys mailed to him and a fake title. Idk if it ever got sorted but they initially assumed that I was a part of it."
"At the start of college one year when everyone was moving into houses in the usual sh*tty but affordable part of a college town, a guy walked up to us and said he can get us free HBO, he'd just take $20, he knew a guy. We're like cool, he takes out his cell phone, walks a few steps away out of earshot, says check our TV, we go, and lo and behold, HBO! We give him $20 and he walks away. A week later, it was gone. The dude just called HBO for some free trial week. He must have hit up every college kid moving in that day and made bank."
The Best 'Actually, You're Speaking To The Boss' Experience | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"Ohhh boy, I still cringe about that. Back in the late 90s, early 00s when chatrooms were popular, I met this guy there and we ended up chatting pretty much daily. He had an unusual name for the region, that should have been the first clue. We chatted and sent letters to each other (by actual post)... tried to meet up with him so many times, but he always had something come up. One night on new year's eve when we were supposed to meet finally, HIS COUSIN shows up and said yea he'll come soon, he told me to wait here with you."
"Pretended to call him several times to ask where he was, an hour or so later I just went back home and never talked to the guy again. Turned out the "cousin" was the guy I was chatting with and he had made a deal with another guy to see how long I would believe all this. I can't believe I fell for it. Keep in mind I was 16 something back then."
Live and in ColorHappy The Simpsons GIFGiphy
"In the late 50s or early 60s, some guy came into my grandpas shop selling color TVs out of the back of a truck."
"The family had never had a color tv, and the price was way less than what a store charged, so he bought one. He excitedly brought it home, plugged it in and turned it on. Black and White. He played with the knobs and antenna, nothing. No color. The guy took a bunch of old black and white TVs, slapped a rainbow sticker on them, and sold them as color. Brilliant."
I've never trusted gift cards. If you love me, give me cash. And I have seen way too many movies and read too many stories about crazy renters. Buy, flip and sell. It's a much saner purchase.
Travel FailPassport Northside GIF by AMA LOUGiphy
"A website faked itself as official passport department I filled the forms for passport update there made payment and all and in the end realized... It was fake. Never got the money back!"
"I traded this guy my Full Rune armor because he said he could trim it for me."
"I met a dude in the game while chilling at the GE and we talked for awhile. Became friends, did bossing and stuff together. Then after like a year plus of chilling and stuff he asked for money for a bond. I gave him 100m just to be nice and he called me a loser, blocked me and logged out."
"Not exactly elaborate but this girl in my fifth grade class brought soy sauce in a coke bottle once. Then she proceeded to "share" it with me and I being the dumb butt that I was straight up open the bottle and chugged it down before even smelling it. That was a bad day."
"I don't know if it's necessarily the most elaborate scam of all time, but there are a range of fake sites online that offer ESTA visa for entry into the US. The funny thing about the sites is that they actually process your visa, but they just do it by sending your details to the official site and charging you a hundred dollars or so of idiot tax. I got caught a few years back and I wasn't even really mad. It was such an amazingly set-up grift, and what made it even better was that you really had no recourse because they were actually giving you what you paid for."
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Even just in the past decade, items that used to seem too luxurious or expensive for "average" people to purchase are now incredibly affordable. And inaccessible produce and personal hygiene products are close to a distant memory.
It's fun to think back about how far we've come.
Redditor Repulsive_Ad_1163 asked:
"What previously luxurious thing is now considered normal?"
"Vanilla. It’s the second most expensive spice by weight, even today… but for some reason, it’s associated with bland or mundane flavor. Go figure."
"Today's produce is a crazy luxury."
"You are telling me that in Ontario Canada, I can get perfectly ripe bananas in January? Insanity."
Car Bag Phones
"I remember my dad having a bag/car phone in the '90s for his business and people thinking that was a huge deal."
"25 years ago, I was in high school, and we watched a corporate video in class. It was one of those of how the future will be all bright and shiny, as long as everyone uses brand X."
"The video was by Motorola, and it described the future. And they weren't that far off, stuff like zoom calls from the beach. But the one thing that had everyone in the class laughing and dismissing the video as bulls**t?"
"The eight-year-old with her own cell phone. Because 'no parent would ever spend that much money on a phone for a kid.'"
"The only way there used to be to get aluminum was to find native deposits of it. Meaning, basically, pure nuggets or otherwise tiny little deposits. Which were exceptionally rare. Hence the precious nature of aluminum."
"Aluminium didn't become the ridiculously disposable commodity it is today until we learned how to break bauxite with electricity."
"Running Water. I live in a rural part of Alaska in the summer, it is still a luxury there."
"Power windows in a car."
"Car backup cameras. I think they're mandatory standard features on cars now."
Readily Available Food and Water
"I LOVE that I can buy pre-butchered meat and vegetables I didn't grow and pasta I didn't make, etc."
"I read 'Little House on the Prarie,' I'm not butchering the pigs and preserving the meat in barrels/smoking it over two weeks, and it's awesome!"
Flat Screen TVs
"The first flat screen TV I saw was at a Bose store in the Spring of 99' and it was 42" for $15k! By today's standards, it was a fat flat screen of lower pixel quality. Crazy how cheap you can get one for now!"
"Eating meat every day, my grandfather was born during WWII and he told me that he only ate meat once a week when he was a kid. I can't speak for other countries but in the French countryside that was considered a luxury post-WWII."
"If there was one random thing I remember from middle school social studies/history, it’s going to be the fact that purple pigment was for the elite."
"I'm old enough that when I was a girl, most sanitary napkins still had a suspender belt that you attached the pad to; the 'beltless' maxi pads that arrived in the '70s were a game-changing deal."
"And tampons? Revolutionary, although they required a large body of marking reassurance that girls' virginity wouldn't be ruined by tampon use..."
"Agatha Christie once said, 'I never thought I would ever be so poor that I would not have servants, or so rich that I would own a car.'"
"But Honestly this statement is still quite true around the world."
"In places like southeast Asia, many families have live-in helpers or servants and they are quite poor themselves. Yet they can't afford a car."
"My dad used to always put an orange in my stocking and explained that it used to be a big deal because the fruit was hard to find."
"I carried on the tradition with my own kids. My 20-year-old, who I still make a stocking for, told me this past Christmas that it doesn't feel like Christmas if he doesn't get an orange in his stocking."
"He said when he has kids, he'll carry on the tradition and explain why. It made me feel good to know that it was as important to him as it was to me."
It's amazing to think of how the economy and our lifestyles have evolved over the years, and how expenses have changed to reflect that.
While school was everyone's favorite activity growing up, something that inevitably made the experience worse was an indignant teacher.
Occasionally a student might have a question the teacher can't answer, or they might know something the teacher doesn't. While it would make sense for the teacher to be the life-long learner they urge their students to be, and to address the new information, sometimes the new information leads to disaster.
Redditor VandyThrowaway21 asked:
"What's something an elementary school teacher told you that was totally incorrect?"
Plethora of Knowledge
"I got sent to the principal's office for using the word 'plethora.' The teacher thought it was a swear word. So did the principal."
"And yes, they looked it up. And there is some obscure, arcane definition that means a swelling of a body part. This, of course, is the only definition my teacher knew, not the extremely common one."
That's Not How That Works
"My fifth-grade teacher once said, 'The higher you go up on a mountain, the hotter it gets because you're getting closer to the sun.'"
Moon or Sun
"That the moon emits light, just like the sun. As a nerdy kid interested in space, I told her that it’s actually reflecting the light of the sun, but she did not believe me."
"That in a court of law, we are guilty until proven innocent. She confidently told us that multiple times, pretty sure she got it backwards."
"6th Grade Me: But what happens when you subtract a negative number from a negative number?"
"Teacher: You... can't do that."
"Teacher asked us to name as many types of bats as we could once, and I had a bit of an obsession, so I rattled off: Common pipistrelle, Greater horseshoe, Greater mouse-eared bat, and Vampire."
"I mentioned vampire last as I thought it would have an impact, and the class did not disappoint."
"But the teacher was forced to close off the discussion by claiming that Vampire Bats don't really exist. I then whipped out my bat book and held up the page, and got sent to the principal's office."
"YOU CANNOT WIN!"
Maybe in a Workday
"I had a primary school teacher ask the class how many hours were in a day. I proudly put up my hand and said '24.' She said no. So someone else said 12. She said no."
"Her answer was eight. There are eight hours in a day. I still don't know whether she was trying to ask about a work/school day, but asking eight-year-olds doesn't really clarify that, especially when she said in a day."
How Family Drama Starts
"That I couldn't have blue eyes if my mom had brown eyes. Thus began a lifelong obsession with genetics so I could prove her an absolute f**king fool."
"Bless my mom's single recessive gene she passed to me. I missed the blonde, but I'll take the blue eyes."
It's a Plane
"Middle school not elementary, but my sixth-grade science teacher told the class that sound travels faster than light because 'if a plane is flying overhead, you hear it before you see it!'"
Art is Personal
"That there was no such thing as a black flower. She put a big X through my painting."
"You will need to write in cursive once you get to middle school and beyond."
"Seventh-grade teachers explicitly prohibited kids turning essays in written in cursive. Don't think I ever saw it in high school, college, or throughout my career except from older people." - Leeroy74
A Wholesome Apology
"I had a teacher try to tell the class that Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus were the only planets known to have rings."
"I raised my hand and added that Jupiter had rings too, but that they were so faint they were hard to see."
"She vehemently denied it."
"When I politely (yes, really) told her that I had just seen it in a book, she gave me detention for trying to correct her in front of the class."
"The next day, before class began, she approached me with an encyclopedia opened to a page about Jupiter, and apologized."
"She told the class I was indeed right, and that it's important to listen and learn from people even when we think we are 100% right. One of the more wholesome moments I can remember from school in my youth."
Can't Get the Time Back
"When I was in kindergarten, we had a punishment system that was basically at recess, you had to stand along the fence at recess while the other kids played."
"A minor infraction was just like five minutes and then you could go. Something more was 10 minutes. And so on, including standing there the whole time. And you couldn’t talk while standing on the fence (even to the teacher especially to ask how much longer) or you’d have time added."
"One time I got five minutes for talking in class. But the teacher forgot and didn’t realize I was still there until the end of recess. And I couldn’t say anything because you couldn’t talk."
"And she apologized, but it is a bit like, you can’t get time back, even if you want to."
"I was a pre-service elementary teacher years ago, and our science instructor was teaching us how you can only see when there is light present. A large cohort of my classmates argued she was wrong because they could see when it was dark outside."
"The purpose of the lesson was to learn how students form misconceptions about scientific facts based on their personal observations of the natural world... flew over their heads a bit."
About Those Methods Classes...
"So I teach pre-service elementary teachers in their science methods class and as an astrophysicist, it baffles me how much my soon-to-be-teachers just don’t know about our world and just science in general."
"Like last semester, I had to convince several students that the moon was not a star. And since we can only spend one week on astronomy topics, I can guarantee that a few of them will forget and go back to thinking the moon is a star…"
These examples left making people shaking their heads, wondering what else might have been incorrect in the classroom.
But in most of these cases, the worst part was the teacher being unwilling to listen or to double-check their facts.
For closeted individuals, coming out is a rite of passage in life that LGBTQ+ people never signed up for.
Why is it that anyone who inherently identifies a certain way has to explain themselves to those who are confused and unwavering in their socialized ignorance?
Times have changed and while there have been advances made for LGBTQ+ people to find more acceptance and feel less like an "other," there are still many challenges to overcome.
Even with gay role models prevalent in pop culture, it can still be difficult for gay youth today to come out to a parent who chooses to live in the past and align themselves to antiquated ideals in society that prevents them from loving their child as they are.
But sometimes, the response after opening up to a parent in a vulnerable moment can prove that unconditional love is the best thing in the entire world.
Curious to hear about positive responses, Redditor Expert_Recover3061 asked:
"What's the best response to 'Dad, I think I'm gay'?"
Even those who aren't fathers can give the best response.
"In the 90s, when my girlfriend finally told her traditional Italian mom and grandma at 19, they sighed in unison and grandma said, 'oh thank baby Jesus, I was worried that I was going to have to tell you.'"
What Gran Said
“'I thought you were about to give me bad news! Don’t scare me like that!' - My granny when my uncle came out (in the ‘70’s!). She was decades ahead of her time…"
They're still parents.
The Rules Don't Change
"You still have to wear a condom."
Not The Only Outcome
"Pregnancy isn't the only STD."
Bracing For The Worst
"This was my literal response when my brother came out to me. He’d called me and said he had something urgent to tell me and it had to be face to face. I was a bus journey away and started to panic so I made him tell me over the phone."
“'I’m gay.' 'I know that! I thought someone had DIED.'"
"When I came out to my dad when I was 16 I thought he would disown me. He said: 'Son, If anyone ever hurts you for that, I’ll f'king kill them'. In that moment I realized that I had the best dad in the world."
These reactions raised eyebrows.
“'So that’s why you don’t like mushrooms'. At least that’s what my friends dad said to him when he came out. We still don’t know what he meant by that."
"One of my friends from high school was gay, and when he came out to his family his Dad literally didn’t look up from his newspaper & told him his sister didn’t need to tell him she was straight so why would he need to explain that he was gay? He’s known him his whole life and already knew that."
"It was cute because he was so worried."
These Redditors realized they had nothing to fear.
Cheers To That
"Well... My dad said 'I know... And I don't care. As long as you are happy, I'm also happy for you.' And then asked me if I wanted a beer or scotch to celebrate that I finally had the confidence to tell him."
The Best Parents
"Our son came out to us a month ago. We already suspected, so it wasn't a shock."
"When he told me I thanked him for telling me, told him that I loved him, then explained that who he wants to tell next and how he wants to tell them is 100% his choice and we will support him however he wants and needs. He gave us a list of people to tell, and by the end of the week he wanted everyone to know."
"Love and acknowledgement and support."
Most parents these days aren't given enough credit for being understanding–and also having good instincts about their closeted children–as the fear of being disowned weighs heavily on the mind of individuals who are apprehensive about coming out.
A friend of mine told me her 19-year-old son came out to her and her husband. They already suspected and were waiting on him to come out on his terms when he was ready.
Her husband had the best response.
"Son, I just hope I get to have the first dance with you at the wedding."
Everyone loves a good mystery or ghost story, particularly one with a massive twist regarding one of the main characters.
But surely, stories like this never happen in real life?
Such as finding yourself stuck on the side of the road, when a guardian angel of sorts comes and helps you, seemingly out of nowhere, then disappears just as mysteriously.
Or getting a call warning you about something which sounds far-fetched, then happens three weeks later?
Surely, these are the types of situations only found in the work of Shirley Jackson or Edgar Allen Poe.
Or are they?
"What's the most mysterious thing happened in your life that you can't find any explanation for?"
Mom Acting Weird
"My mum is a type 1 diabetic, has been since she was 11 years of age."
"When me and my little brother were very young, I was about 7 and he was 5 , I came into my mum's room to find she was acting extremely strange."
"She looked almost drunk, and wasn’t really responsive."
"I went to pick up her insulin needles to see if she would react to that and she didn’t."
"So I panicked and phoned my Nan who told me to put the phone down and dial 999."
"For some reason I was so frightened and confused I didn’t, and sent my little brother outside to get help while I tried to get my mum to respond to me."
"My brother came back in crying saying he couldn’t find anyone and then about five minuets later this woman just walked into my mum's bedroom, called me by my name, and my brothers, said she knew my mum and help is coming, she was calm, soft-spoken and had a warm feeling about her."
"I didn’t recognize this woman and neither did my brother."
"Shortly after the ambulance arrived and got my mum's sugar levels back up."
"And when I went to find the woman, she was gone."
"Like literally gone."
"When my mum came round I explained to her about this mysterious woman and what she looked like."
"And my mum had absolutely no idea who she was, and we never saw her again."
"If she didn’t help us my mum would have died eventually."
"Still gives me shivers now."- leeshouse90Portrait Of A Lady On Fire Neon Rated GIF by NEONGiphy
Psychic, or lucky?
"When I was around 18 a friend and I were traveling in Europe."
"We were walking along a pleasant, quiet street in Rome one day and saw an elderly homeless man sitting on the street."
"He said to us if he could guess our date of birth could we give him some money?"
"Of course we said ok."
"He did it! "
"He told us both our correct dates of birth!"
"Never met him before and never saw him again."- robertodurian
Some Unfinished Work, Maybe?
"I was at my mother in law's flat in Hungary."
"Fyi I don't speak Hungarian, so I couldn't be aware of any of this."
"I tend to go to bed later that my wife, and for the first couple of nights, I had trouble falling asleep because around midnight I could hear the neighbor upstairs."
"It's an old block of flats made under the communist era, walls are incredibly thin."
"Walk in high heels, which was very annoying."
"I could also hear little objects fall on the floor, and I told my wife it sounded like the plastic buttons you have on some clothes."
"She looked at me funny and told me her niece hated to sleep in that room because she was scared by the noises coming from upstairs."
"I said that was a bit exaggerated, and I thought it was until my wife told me the flat upstairs had been empty for the past at least 4 years."
"Neighbor died years before that, and guess what?"
"She was a tailor, always nicely dressed and wearing high heels."- mimzouHigh Heels Shoes GIF by Real Housewives Of CheshireGiphy
Gone Without A Trace
"When I was a kid, I participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters, which if you don't know what that is it's pretty much just a mentorship program in the US."
"I basically just hung out with this dude Chris for a couple hours a week."
"We'd go to the movies, out to eat, he'd help me with my homework, that kinda thing."
"One day, he tells me that he's going to Baltimore for a couple weeks and when I should expect him back."
"The day rolls around and I give him a call to see if he's back yet."
"A man whose voice I didn't recognize answered and I asked if Chris was there."
"He said no."
"I asked him when Chris would be back just kinda thinking it was someone staying at his house or watching his dogs or something."
"But he said that I had the wrong number, that he and his wife had lived there for years, and there was never a Chris there."
"I double checked in the phonebook to see if it was the right number which it was because I had it circled."
"I was confused so I just said sorry and hung up, and I never heard from Chris ever again."- theautomemoriesdoll
A Clever Distraction?
"When I was 10 or so I was staying at my grandma's over the summer break and we were having breakfast."
"We barely started eating when the phone rang."
"She left the dining room and I followed her thinking that maybe they were my parents calling."
"When we returned most of the food was gone."
"She asked me if I ate while she was on the phone and I said 'no'."
"There was no one else home and there were no pets."
"My grandma just shook it off saying we might have eaten more than she remembered but I am absolutely positive that I had at most two bites of my toast by the time the phone rang."- queenliz2frHungry Good Morning GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
"Every month around the 5th I get a letter with exactly 23 dollars."
"No note, no return address."
"I’ve asked family, relatives, friends, the two past occupants of this apartment."
"Nobody knows anything about it."
"It is not addressed to me, but to my unique postal address."
"The total is now exactly 1886, I have just stashed it all in a box."
"I do not want to spend it in case it is cursed."- Puzzleheaded_Ad928
A Comforting Sign
"My grandmother always loved roses and had them growing in her back yard."
"She died in a December and when we were gathered at her house for the funeral my father happened to look out the back window and saw a bright red rose had blossomed."
"It stood out brightly against the snow."
"He brought it in and put it in a vase on the kitchen table."
"We all left for the funeral and when we came back the rose was on the living room floor."
"No one had been in the house while we were gone."
"My father is the most hard-headed person alive but he was convinced it was his mothers way of telling him she was all right."- regular6drunk7
"We have a built in wardrobe in our bedroom."
"About a month ago our cat had managed to get herself inside and I must have closed the door."
"I heard her meowing and I opened the door and she jumped out and walked off."
"I closed the wardrobe door."
"Less than five minutes later I hear a meow in the wardrobe, I open the door and to my surprise, our cat jumps out again and walks off."
"My partner and I were both stunned as there is no way into the wardrobe with the doors closed."
"Neither of us have any idea how this happened."- TorthOrcCat Jumping GIFGiphy
"I had just picked up a coworker from her house heading to work.'
"We are just talking and chatting, "how'd your weekend go" type of stuff."
"We are maybe 5 miles away from her house, when all of a sudden, we realize we are in town pulling into works parking lot."
"We both kinda look at each other not sure what happened."
"We had gone near 20 miles in a blink of an eye."
"And what cemented this experience as something that I actually happened, and not just simply losing track of time, IS THE TIME!"
"It should have taken us almost half an hour to get to work."
"Instead the time from when I picked her up was 2:30."
"And the time when we got to the building was 2:40."
"There is no way in HELL!"
"We couldn't have gotten there that fast."
"From that point on we both called that experience the time when we Jumped, like from the movie Jumper."
"I have no explanation why."
"I'll also state, I don't believe in the paranormal or supernatural."
"So this experience is one of those things that makes me question my own sanity."- belac4862car dark GIFGiphy
There must be an explanation for these circumstances...
Even if it's not an explanation that will make any sense, otherworldly or not.