Scams are everywhere and the internet has led to increasingly sophisticated frauds that can fool even the most hardened skeptics. Be careful out there - these people have warned you.
BetterFroyo asked the good people of Reddit: What scam did you fall for?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
15. This magazine scam.
My college roommate and I fell victim to that magazine scam where people go door to door saying they're selling magazine subscriptions to help raise money for homeless children with AIDS or something. They play on your sympathies and get you to write them a cheque. Spoiler alert: You never get any magazines nor help any children.
I was uneasy about it at the time but I'm uneasy around people in general so I thought I was just being paranoid. Years later, we found out this was a common scamming technique. Big lightbulb moment for me there.
14. A fake DNA test.
When I was eleven, I signed up at "genealogie.de" - a page that, supposedly, helps with finding out more about your heritage. I read through the entire AGBs (not kidding) and there was no indication that it'd cost anything.
A week later I get an email saying I have to pay 60 bucks by May 21st of that year. I'm telling you this because what that sh*t lead to was the actual fun part - since I was only 11, I was scared sh*tless and decided not to tell my parents. I even did some research on how I, as a kid, could get the money to those people.
I was so scared, I scribbled the words "It will all be over on May 21st" on my desk at school - which lead to me being taken aside by a teacher asking me whether I wanted to kill myself. I explained the situation to her, she told me to talk to my parents and it all ended well. We didn't pay a penny, my father wrote them a "what pathetic people would try to scam a child?"-email and the thing was settled.
Instagram ad offered a backpack as free and all you had to pay was shipping. Shipping was vastly overpriced but still lower than what I thought the bag was worth. It never came.
There's an episode of the Reply All podcast about those "free" product ads on social media. Definitely worth listening to. https://gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/dvhe3l/117-the-worlds-most-expensive-free-watch
Fell for this too, with yoga wear on Instagram. Luckily I paid through PayPal and got a full reimbursement.
12. More like Ruinscape.
One time on Runescape I fell for the "buy limit" scam. Some dude said he needed help buying feathers but had hit his buy limit. I myself had just recently learned about the buy limits and been inconvenienced as well so I sympathized. If you don't play, the guy basically put up his own items at a marked up price on the general market, tricked me into buying them, then dipped before I got paid back and I was stuck with all of his feathers and no money.
Ah yes the Runescape days. Back in those days I remember I got scammed out of a steel platebody. Guy convinced me that it would be duplicated it if I dropped it and pressed alt f4. Wasn't a very bright moment there all those years ago, but then again... it was a steel platebody.
11. Don't give money to strangers in parks.
While in high school, was walking through a park and a woman was walking my way. As soon as we passed each other she says: "you dropped something." I turn around and she's holding a gold necklace. I told her it's not mine, she says it's not hers, but agrees that we both found it and I can give her $50 to keep it. I think to myself that it's worth a lot more, so I give ger $50 just to get home and get scolded by my dad for falling for stuff like this. Turns out it'a a well known scam and I paid $50 for a cheap metal necklace.
This reminds me of the show Better Call Saul. There's an episode where these people have a bulk amount of fake Rolex watches and they pull the same scam on unsuspecting suckers.
10. Just like in "101 Dalmatians."
A man from a gas company said that they were inserting new electricity and gas meters in all the apartments in my block. When I opened the door he walked straight in but showed me his ID, so seemed legit. My shower had been interrupted so I was in a bad mood and very keen to get rid of the guy. He said he just needed to phone his company for proof from me that he had visited as he was new to the job. It turns out that me confirming this on the phone was a voice signature binding me into a new 2 year contract with this service provider, who then wanted to increase the price of my gas and electricity by 100%. After he left I felt uneasy and searched the company, and then phoned citizens advice for help. Turns out they targeted my place because they searched where the students were living as they are more vulnerable.
What was the resolution? Tell me you didn't just let them walk over you and you sorted it
Citizens advice were amazing and sorted it all for me. They undid the contract on the grounds that: A) I was lied to as they stated it was a building-wide change when it wasn't B) They had gained entry into my flat without my permission to do so C) The verbal contract was enacted without me knowing so D) My landlord states in my contract that I cannot change my electricity provider without asking for consent first
They also filed grounds against student vulnerability and as I have chronic illnesses they factored that in. I was rewarded £20 'compensation' but in order to access it I had to give them my bank details, which I didn't do.
9. Well done, girl.
Girl asked me to throw something away for her. I got up to throw it away and she took my seat.
I do a similar thing with my gf all the time. Whenever I have an empty can or wrapper, I pretend I need to do something which requires both hands, like zipping up my coat or putting something in my wallet and ask her "could you hold this for a moment?"
The first few times she asked when I needed it back after 15 min. Now she realizes what happened as soon as she takes whatever I give her and she throws it at my head.
8. Oh, a free trip, you say?
Didn't fall for it entirely, but I recently wrote my name and number onto one of those pink slips saying you could "Win a trip to the bahamas" and was texted about a month later saying that I won. I got so happy. I called their number and apparantely they were paying for the hotel but not anything else. Decided to look more into it and their website (harmony beaches) looks super shady and out of date. Apparantely it's a scam to get you to go to timeshare meetings (people try to convince you to buy expensive stuff and buy into pyramid schemes) Alot of people have been scammed this way. Dodged a bullet honestly.
I get calls like that now and then, and also for a trip to Florida. I live in Florida LOL! And for those who don't know, "winning" a trip to the Bahamas when you live in Florida is about like being told you won a trip to the Grand Canyon when you live in Arizona. I can take a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas for about the same price as a day in mouse world over in Orlando. Besides the timeshare scam, the other scam for these is usually telling you they just need a credit card to pay the taxes and/or port fees. Of course, you know what happens once they have the credit card info!
7. They're just knives.
Well almost, I "passed" the interview, but apparently so did everyone else except the first person who I suspect was paid to act like she didn't get in judging by her exaggerated "🤷♀️" when she walked out the office as she was looking at us to make Cutco seem exclusive.
I told my dad and he advice me to abandon ship with them ASAP.
6. Yeah, that's not gonna work.
When I was 14 I wanted to get CPR certified so that I could put it on my babysitting flyers. I found some website online that charged me like $20 for an "online certification." Did it and put that sh*t on my flyers only to later realize I had been scammed and it was not possible to get certified online. I'm just glad nobody's kid ever needed CPR because I did NOT know how to do that sh*t (I have since become certified for real through my work).
I can't help but imagine you having that certificate for, like, five years and telling people you're CPR certified. Then one evening you're eating dinner watching Netflix and you just randomly realize you don't actually know how to do CPR.
I mean...this is accurate lmao. I'm just glad it was while watching Netflix and not while somebody is dying because someone pointed to me and was like "SHE knows CPR!"
5. Think of the future...
Getting money on your birthday and your parents saying they'll "save it."
Those parents don't end up in good retirement homes.
4. Not a scam per se, but still sketchy.
I was trying to renew my car registration online and was in a hurry. I clicked through everything really fast, and since my name, address, credit card number, etc was saved in my browser, it auto filled out most items and I didn't really need to read any of it. After I paid, I got some strange confirmation email saying I could download the PDF guide about car registration that I bought.
I retraced my steps, and it turns out I clicked an ad on the car registration page that redirected me to a site that looked exactly like the site I was on, but was instead some page to buy this PDF guide. Technically not a scam because in the fine print they do say what you are buying, but it was obviously praying on idiots like me who didn't carefully read the whole page and who blindly clicked on the "renew now" icon.
Wife and I went to Las Vegas for the first time back in 2015. Wanted to get tickets to a show. They were a bit expensive so we decided to think on it for a while. Walk outside and saw a stand saying they were selling discounted tickets. All you had to do was sit in on some sales thing for two hours the next day.
We thought, "How bad can it be? Let's just say no to anything they say."
Sitting in on that thing was one of the most miserable ways I ever spent two hours in my life.
So if you're going to Las Vegas, avoid anything saying they'll sell you something for a discount. Timeshare meetings are the worst.
A buddy of mine is really gullible and has fallen victim to many scams. When selling his phone on Craigslist he fell for the old "I wanna buy your phone for my relative overseas..." TWICE. Shipped the phone both times only to never receive payment. The other scam he fell for was when he got a call saying he won a $500 gift card to Walmart and all they needed from his was his personal information. Surprisingly he has not fallen victim to identify theft.
1. Welcome to the jungle.
First time in New York. I had to recharge my subway card, and was standing behind a guy on the MetroCard machine. A guy walks to me, dressed in MTA uniform and tells me that I don't have to wait. He asks me how much did I want to put on the card, and says he's got one ready for that. Swipes a card on the scanner, I go in, he gives me the card and asks me for the money. That was when I realized it was a scam, but I feared he would get violent or anything so I didn't say nothing, gave him the money and he gave me a card. Needless to say, it was empty.
In the future go to the police the NYPD takes people scamming or harassing tourists very very seriously. Most scams fall under a three strikes equals mandatory minimum 5 year sentence rule.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!