With lightning speed credit card processing and a never-ending stream of spam emails, the using the internet has become synonymous with scam-awareness.
And that's fair. There are so many people out there, all trying to swindle the most gullible among us out of their hard earned cash.
But our preoccupation with having our heads on swivels sometimes pushes us to shut our ears to genuinely worthy services. The trick is maintaining scrutiny without completely putting on the blinders.
That's easier said the done, so Redditor resilientiddle asked for some help:
"What do people think is a scam but they just don't understand?"
Many people described the brass tacks transactions and negotiations that tend to be lumped in with other, slimier financial maneuvers.
Just because it has to do with banks, fees, and payment, that doesn't mean it's not worth our time, money, and trust.
More Money is Still More Money
"We had a gal in the telco who was retiring under a surplus - meaning they would pay her so much for each year she worked, in addition to her pension. She turned the money down because she didn't want her taxes to be too high. I didn't know her and heard about it after she left."
"The Union guys tried to explain it but she just would not listen. I don't know if she thought it was a scam but she didn't trust the IRS."
Declining pay rises because they think they'll pay more in tax and their take home will be less than before the pay rise."
Shutting Out a Major Convenience
"My dad and online banking. You can check your balance, make transfers and even set up standing orders. 'But my account will get hacked' is his response every single time."
"The stock market. Lots of people over worry about the short term, withdraw once it dips and never put back in. Never realizing the magic is in the long term"
In Their Defense, That Must Have Been Weird At First
"There was a time when my parents thought buying stuff online and paying with a credit card it's a scam, took me a while to convince them that if you know which sites are good to order from and which are bad, you can actually avoid scams."
Other people noted the things that do cost me money, but actually deliver on what they promise.
"Buying a beginning band instrument, then buying a step-up instrument within a couple of years" -- 75thTrombone
"Yes, yes yes."
"I think a beginner instrument is a good investment to see if the person sticks it out. But past that it's a complete waste of money. The difference in quality between a $100 guitar and a $600 guitar is night and day."
"When I started to get better at drumming as a kid, trying to explain to my parents why i needed the $200 splash cymbal instead of the $40 one was infuriating. I paid with my own money but they insisted it was a waste. I still have that $200 splash cymbal and it STILL sounds amazing. My cheaper cymbals literally exploded." -- Its-my-di**-in-a-box
They Did Fix the Thing
"The repair industry. I worked in home repair, small engine repair and computer repair shops years ago. A lot of people expected us to just fix things for free. Others would take it as an insult when we would quote prices or ask to be paid for a job."
"Send a bill and some people would ask why or what is this. Ask us why we were ripping them off even though the bill was itemized and the price was discussed before hand. It was a horrible industry to work in because of they way people are."
Doesn't Come From Thin Air
"Some members of my family think internet providers are scammers because they pay for 400mbps download and think they will get 400mbps download on each device even if someone is watching Netflix or downloading at the same time on another computer."
A Worthy Expense
"Therapy. People just can't fathom that just talking to someone who is not involved directly in your life can really help with processing and resolving a problem. You only get out of it what you put in."
Finally, a couple shared the things that we simply have to deal with to have some benefit in the long run. These expenses feel horrible in the moment, but they have the sad truth is they have their purpose.
"The air in bag of chips." -- gambit_
"It's actually nitrogen which is used to keep the oxygen out for an anaerobic (to deter bacteria) and non-oxidative (so chips won't get stale as fast) environment for the chips. I have heard they put less chips in the bags and less seasonings. I remember salt n vinegar Pringles in the 90s made me sweat now they don't do anything to me." -- IdiidDuItt
Just In Case
"Insurance. It's weird to pay for something that you hope not to use." -- Some-Basket-4299
"The sad thing is if you're unlucky a single time where you'd wish you had it can make up for a lifetime of paying in, so it's often better safe than sorry, at least with the most common ones." -- deviant324
So while this list by no means aims to get you trusting of all transactions and offers out there, hopefully it helps you stay open enough to take advantage of the legitimate ones.
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It's human nature for us to feel like we belong. Individuals can't thrive without the influence of others who are part of various communities.
Thankfully, the advent of the internet made social networking easier for like-minded people to find each other.
But the convenience of finding your people also allowed for ominous groups with questionable intentions to flourish.
Curious to hear about the type of cliques people should avoid, Redditor FreshPrinceAV asked:
"What cults are on the rise that should be made aware of?"
These groups use the guise of religion to manipulate the impressionable.
"A personal experience of mine. Back in 2018 during my first year in the university, there is a Korean cult that tries to recruit teens and adults. During this time, they focus more in recruiting teens since they are 'easier to fool.'"
"They approached me outside school and asked me if I believe in 'God the Father.' So I said I heard about it but it is a little different from my religion. They proceeded in asking if I live alone and other personal stuff, until they asked me to come with them for a minute and they will explain how I can become a member of their church."
"The moment I heard the term 'God the Mother' as they call a chosen female member (mostly teens and minors) to lead their church with their pastor, I immediately refused. The thing is, it is very relevant in Korea and the 'God the Mother' is their term for the female candidate who is chosen to marry their pastor."
Claiming "Bible Study"
"I was a well read Christian at some point, so when this group bumped into me they were unable to sway my opinion to their benefit. I even visited their offices in nyc to entertain myself (I wanted to understand a little better how this cult worked)."
"They do lots of 'Bible Studies' that really aren't bible Studies at all. It's simply them telling you their perspective of what the scriptures say. Nothing is up for negotiation. Their interpretation is stated as fact. They feed you the belief system with the Bible, and you're expected to simply believe it. That's the type of 'Bible Study' this group offers."
Recruiting Them Young
"Youth With A Mission, or YWAM. Maybe it's better in other places, but my local chapter gets them YOUNG and keeps them entirely dependant on them. They get no practical experience, no money, no education. Tons of people there in their 30s with kids still relying on YWAM."
"If you have ever heard the story from FarCry 5, YWAM in the area it's based on is pretty close to that. We even have a pastor that gets worshipped as though he is God. Levi Lusko."
People Are Compared To Arrows In A Quiver
"In the U.S."
"Quiverful and IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist). Hard to trace because there are a lot of home meetings and non-organization. A lot of IFBers have basically merged into and taken over regular old Southern Baptist churches as well."
"I escaped from the Quiverful/IFB "cult" about two years ago now. They've completely brainwashed my family. I can't even have a relationship with any of them now that I've left. I'm constantly having to de-program myself from the harmful messaging the IFB shoved down my throat my whole life. The programming was even worse for me and my siblings because we were also homeschooled. My whole life was church and my homeschool group. I wasn't allowed to have friends or beliefs outside of that protective bubble. It's a scary thing and I'm so glad more people are starting to realize it isn't an innocent movement."
Not all cults exploit religion to go about their manipulative missions.
"Agreed. A cult does not need to be overtly religious to be a cult. MLMs often prey on religious beliefs and religious networks, though."
So-Called "Coaching" Groups
“'Coaching' groups. ✋🏻"
"Those organizations will get deep into your skin if you let them, bring you a false sense of security and fellowship, and get sensible information that could be used against you.
"Mostly made out of sensitive people with a lot of issues and insecurities that these 'professionals' will exploit to get money in exchange of 'experiences.'"
"EDIT: by coaching I meant 'Life Coaching' and they go around this 'neuroscience' abstract concept. Allow me to elaborate, for those who had never been in one of those."
"My personal experience was in 2018-2019. I was in a really bad place: low self esteem, unaddressed depression, school burnout, and a recent breakup. The last one was the reason I was lured into one of these groups, when she said that this could be 'a great opportunity to make our relationship work.' I went to her level 2 graduation and she seemed genuinely happy. We had a talk and I decided to take the Life Coach program."
"Level 1: they 'deconstruct' everything for you. Make you 'realize' that all of the things you’ve done are because you’ve never payed attention to your life, and promise you that you’ll be able to fix it. With their help. For a price. Hours range from 6-8 daily. They encourage you to take the 2nd level, where you will 'explore your potential' and break your 'idea box' (this being all the things you’ve been taught and make your persona)."
"Level 2: this was the hardest for me. They will put you in a position of compromise such that your failure is everyone’s failure, making peer pressure heavy. Strict hours that will open the door to demolarize practices in order to align you with the group’s main goal (which is to succeed this course). Hours get heavier: 8 AM to 3 AM next day. They tire you down, which allow the coach to manipulate your feelings. This is also the part where they will make you confess your darkest secrets (mine was heavy, so I couldn’t say it) and will make the group to pressure you to give in. I had a mental breakdown at this point, feeling like a hostage. By the end of the level, they will 'elevate' you with the help of previous members (literally, once you beat the final test, every single one of the members in the 3 programs will come and congratulate you; it was so relieving). This sets Level 3 in motion."
"Level 3: you will set goals for personal improvement for yourself. Pressure at this point was unbearable for me. I’d get calls every single hour to let know my progress, even followed around the city to 'bring reliable evidence.' It was at this point where my partner told me that she was worried about things that I did in the 2nd Level (coaches would tell her that I was unstable, and the things I confided to one of them in my vulnerable state, after they sworn to me that everything was private). I felt betrayed, and at this point I saw the thing for what it was, a scheme where vulnerable people would get comfort. For a price (which was getting more expensive each week). After that, I went home, had another breakdown. My psychiatrist recommended to call the thing off and start therapy, which I knew I needed and took the first step forward (I’d say that was the only positive thing about all this)."
"After all this, I decided to quit: they made me pay for the rest of the program and, after the swipe, I was banned from the premises. No one was allowed to look at me, call me, or other sort of contact. Even my partner decided to call the thing off 3 months after and started dating one of the guys she met there. Those were difficult times, but therapy and my nuclear family support was there for me."
"I’m in a better place now, learned from that experience and decided to get my mental health in my own hands from then on. I don’t know if it will work for other kind of people, but I’d recommend to go to a certified mental health professional instead of this."
While having a sense of belonging is human nature, be careful of the communities desperate to expand their membership.
Research, find out their intentions, and consult your friends.
When you're at a low point in life and feel lonely, your vulnerability is what makes you a target.
So be cautious when you set out to find your people. And don't ever feel obligated to pay money for your "friendships."
Art and creativity is subjective.
One person's garbage is another's dream.
So who really knows what makes a bad movie?
I just know I've witnessed a ton of them.
To each their own I guess.
Redditor NuclearWinterGameswanted to compare notes on the worst cinema has to offer. They asked:
"What is hands down the worst movie you've ever watched?"
There are so many bad movies out there who knows where to begin. I do... Jason X (Jason in Space). It's BRILLIANTLY bad. You'll thank me later.
Cringemarble hornets dancing GIFGiphy
"The Slenderman Movie."
"Definitely. I watched it once with my sister and it was so terrible that the only entertainment we got from it was making jokes about the cringeworthy scenes. They could've done so much more with this adaptation."
Oh Meow No!
"A talking cat."
"I loved this movie. A drunk Eric Roberts literally phoning in his dialog for the cat. The very clearly homosexual dad and son talking about girl problems..."
"Then finding out the director usually makes gay porn. I made some friends watch this. They weren't nearly as smitten as I was with it. I don't like cats and they do. I figured this was just some way a rich dipsh*t found to immortalize their cat. If I had that kind of money, I would have done it for my dog."
The Best of Bad
"Birdemic, the definition of 'comically bad.'"
"Birdemic is a masterpiece of ineptitude. No part of it was not the worst it could possibly be. Terrible acting? Woo-boy. Clueless directing? In spades. Ham-handed editing? Hopeless special effects? Sound quality of two tin cans tied with string? Birdemic has it all."
"Dragon Ball Evolution."
"Goku who for whatever reason is a high school student. Imagine getting a character that incredibly wrong. A character that you could google, and learn every single inch of their personality traits, likes, dislikes, speaking mannerisms etc. You would think it's impossible to play or write that character wrong."
Memed OutEmoji Apple GIFGiphy
"The Emoji Movie, I hate it trying to relate to kids today it's like a teacher using dead tiktok memes in their presentation."
I'm strangely fascinated. Oh help me.
Compared to Booksgame of thrones fire GIFGiphy
"Eragon. And the Avatar movie (The Last Airbender). Technically, there are worse. But those two... Are SO bad if you even barely compare them with the original (book/series)..."
Worst of the Worst
"I visited my mom a few weeks ago and I saw this awful piece of crap movie on Lifetime with her, about a disk jockey trying to find love and running into a killer. Horrible acting, horrible story, shi**y writing. Worst movie I ever saw in my life. I don’t know the title. That movie was the first Lifetime movie I saw in full since I was a child living in a house with one television. 😂 Those things didn’t get any better."
"'The Killer Shrews' when I was home after school in the 1950s, I watched black & white movies on TV. (I was probably 9 or 10). This one was so badly done, I kept watching out of fascination. People are isolated on an island, where shrews have grown to enormous size. There's a line like 'shrews had to eat their body weight in food every day,' so the risk is that they will attack and eat you."
"Much of the movie has people just sitting around, saying pointless dialogue, looking worried. That part is so boring. But then you see the shrews. They're dogs with big tails. They walk like dogs, casually, not at all threateningly, while the people shriek. Hand puppets of shrews were also used. The shrew scenes are so poorly done it's really funny. I had to keep watching."
Ho Ho NO!
"Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013). I thought I'm going for the 2015 Krampus I intended but mixed my movies and... it's just... bad in every aspect. Story, dialogues, scenes, acting, costumes, camera, sound, soundtrack, effects, everything is terrible!"
"Watched it with my girlfriend during the holidays and said all I liked about it (and we didn’t finish it) was the title and I pronounced it Krahm-POOSE… over and over at random times of the day for like a week."
The HorrorIan Mckellen Yes GIF by Cats MovieGiphy
"I've seen Cats 3 times, there is something horrifying and fascinating about it to me. It's a mystifying movie, I don't understand why, it's genuinely extremely terrible. The only part that shatters the glamour and just becomes outright bad to me is James Corden."
Now that is a list of horror. I can't imagine any of that sober.
Life is really tough right now.
It's never been easy, but the world is such a disaster, it's really hard to have faith in humanity.
We need to help one another.
And often times the greatest help comes from a complete stranger.
We all leave an imprint on one another, good or bad.
Some leave a more permanent one than others.
Redditornyxflarewanted to talk about the people from our lives that left a lasting impression. They asked:
"Who is one stranger you still remember?"
So who here still depends on the kindness of strangers?
1986Baby Facepalm GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"I was leaving the hospital in 1986 with my husband and newborn. A lady in the elevator admired the baby and then looked at us and said, 'be good to each other.' We weren’t."
Pay it Forward
"When I was 18 I was at McDonalds trying to get breakfast for all the guys from work, I came up like 5 bucks short and this old guy paid the difference and said 'you’ll have to help somebody out someday too.' So now whenever I get the chance to do something like that for someone that’s what I say. I hope the cycle makes it back to that guy."
"One day I woke up and had a headache. And that headache lasted every day for 2 years. I saw every doctor I could and tried every diet I could. No answers. My quality of life was non-existent and I was on the cusp of losing my job. I was at a restaurant with my mom, I was on one of my specialty diets that was supposed to help with headaches (spoilers, it wasn't)."
"I asked the waitress what was in the salad dressing. She asked 'I know it's none of my business, but can I ask why"' A short conversation later, she mentioned a doctor that worked specifically for people dealing with mold toxicity, otherwise known as MYCOTOXICOSIS."
"That waitress saved my life that day and I don't even remember her name. This was in Superior, Colorado at the now closed CB&Potts. If you happen to read this, you have no idea how grateful my family and I are to have run into you that day. Thank you."
Thanks Sweet Lady
"I had a person like this when I was a kid and I left my wallet next to a vending machine at the mall and when I came back it was gone. I lost a whole 7 dollars and I was devastated. This sweet little old lady saw me having a melt down and I was freaking out about how my parents were going to kill me and this lady legit gave me a 20."
"To an 8 year old who gets 2$ allowance per week a 20 was like getting handed 300$ as an adult. I hope it came back around for her too. Since this was in 1997 and she was probably 70 I don't think she would still be alive today."
"The Sikh man I met on a flight from god-knows-where to London who invited me to their temple to eat for free."
I'm amazed. There are good people in the world. Still jaded.
Thank you stranger...Ufc 205 Thank You GIF by UFCGiphy
"My anxiety was at it's peak and I was walking home from school. Then someone came up to me and just started talking to be like I was a normal person."
"Social skills were @ss, but he didn't seem to care. Gave me the confidence I needed to start doing the same and helping others who were lonely. Thank you, stranger. It was because of him that I was able to help others get out of their Social awkwardness."
"It was around February 2016 and the city got hit with a massive snow storm, I remember waiting at the bus stop with a mother and her child in a stroller. The bus was 45 minutes delayed, it was very cold with the wind chill, when the bus arrived we both got on."
"I chose a seat of the opposite side of the bus and this mother and her now crying child was sitting near the front, I could see that the mother was trying to warm her sons hands but was having no luck while her child kept crying. I moved from my seat and sat next to her and took her child’s hands in my hands. His hands were freezing while mine were toasty from my gloves."
"After about 5 minutes, the child calmed down and the bus was quiet again. I stayed with that mother and child for almost 2 hours on the bus until we finally got to our stop. I never learned of the child’s name or the mothers. I just simple sat there with them warming her child’s freezing hands up."
Stay for Me
"I don’t remember him, just what he did for me. I was 19, got t-boned in an intersection by someone running a red and was knocked unconscious. He was a witness, and I think someone said he was the first person to call 9-1-1. He took my phone while I was out (before the days of locking phones), called my house, no one home, called my dad’s cell, which was answered."
"He told my dad what had happened and which hospital the paramedics said they were taking me to, and somehow managed to avoid making my dad panic about me. I mostly came to before I got loaded into the ambulance, at which point he gave me back my phone and said my parents would meet me at the hospital."
"I gather he then stayed to talk to the cops to speak up for me because I didn’t remember what had happened and the other driver kept saying it was my fault. I never got to thank him for going so far out of his way to help a complete stranger."
I think about her often...
"I believe I was 19 at the time. I worked at Walmart at time and was working in the back that day when a lady that worked in the meat department was walking past me crying, I hugged her and asked what was wrong. She was covered in bruises and she told me her boyfriend beat her. She opened up and told me she was leaving him so I asked if she needed a place to stay that way she's safe and she told me no."
"Turns out he was waiting outside for her during her lunch, I once again asked if she was okay and if she needed help and she said no. After that night I never saw her again. I have no idea if she is alive and safe. I hope she's okay, I think about her often."
CrashCrashing Relapse Records GIF by Red FangGiphy
"This guy that helped me out after I rolled my truck, he was late for work because he stayed with me until the tow truck got there. Really restored my faith in humanity."
Some people just leave a lasting impression. So better. Be kind.
When we hear the words "addict" or "addiction", our mind usually jumps to drugs and alcohol.
But addictive behavior transcends those common vices.
Indeed, people can find themselves becoming addicted to just about anything.
While some pose a less significant threat to one's physical health, they remain no less serious a problem.
Redditor Windsorbear97 was curious to hear which addictions the Reddit community felt weren't given enough attention of concern, leading them to ask:
'What is an addiction that nobody takes seriously?"
Time to cut back on the screen time...
"My phone and my usage of said phone."- VagueViper88
And not the kind you find on stage...
"Some people thrive and are addicted to drama and chaos."- CM_NRS
You can't just have one
"Binge eating."- Loulabee1983
Oh look at that, I must have it!
"Especially if you grew up poor and have more money when you're an adult."
"My mom was so bad with this that when she died it was a disaster figuring out what she had paid for and where she had debt."
"I have a friend who would spend her whole paycheck on Amazon purchases and wouldn't even see this as being an issue, even when she would beg her parents or rich men for money to make rent."
"They usually buy junk they don't even need or clothes."
"So many clothes."
"They always shop when they are not feeling well, it is 100% a coping mechanism."
"I was in my 20s when I realized that no one else had a mom who would go to Walmart with a 100$ budget cause they were feeling sad."
"Such an obviously expensive addiction too." - User Deleted
How "social" is it though?
"Dopamine feedback loop from various forms of electronic entertainment and social media sites."- Clintman
"Went to a counsellor after I had taken any sort of social media app off of my phone in an attempt to stop using it to distract myself from what I'm feeling because I'm currently going through a break up."
"Basically as soon as I got too emotional in the session, she suggested we do this blinking exercise where you look at a nice photo and blink and do that a few times."
"we did this because she 'knew distractions worked well for me'."
"That's why I'm back here as well."
"Seems pointless to distract myself if my 'good' option is to be distracted by someone else sitting across the room."- Glum_Advertising_958
Can't think of getting through my day without it.
"Caffeine, without a doubt in my mind."- No_Relationship9732
Big money... not really
"It’s taken seriously to an extent, but things like the lottery are very glamorized, and there’s so many tv competitions and radio competitions etc out there nowadays and they’re kinda gateways."- Safe-Initiative4266
There's no harm in putting something off... until it's too late!
"It’s embarrassing because I should be able to 'just do it', but then a task that shouldn’t feel too hard will feel so daunting and impossible, I’ll end up doing it late or sometimes not at all, and the whole cycle is the root of so many problems in my life."
"It’s emotionally and functionally horrible when it gets bad enough."
"I’ve read all the advice out there and none of it works for me for longer than a day or two."
"I’m at my wit’s end and feel crazy because it’s so illogical but I can’t stop."- thatbassonist
Indeed, if you find yourself unable to kick a particular habit, it might be worth asking yourself if this is, in fact, just a habit.
And then find the courage to ask for help should you need it.