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.
Oh, the beginning of the interwebs.
Those were the days.
We definitely did not see what was to come.
Maybe it should've stayed simple.
We'll never know.
Computers rule the world now.
Let's see where we are in another twenty years.
RedditorEzucraAaAa wanted to wax nostalgic about the good old days of technology and its humble beginnings.
"Redditors, what's something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?"
I miss the simplicity of not having a thousand apps. I'm simple.
Ah Memories...the messengers aol GIFGiphy
"Search engines before Google existed. Alta Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler..."
"Downloading custom cursors for your computer. I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber."
"Amazing. I had totally forgotten about all the virusy stuff I downloaded to my home computer, purely so the cursor would disappear and reappear. My parents had zero knowhow with computers either, so likely had no idea wtf I was downloading. Cursors were cool though, despite all the malware."
"During the early days of the web, when most websites weren't plastered with advertising... Website view counters."
"Back in the day of counters, one day I went to my website and the counter was in the thousands. I just thought it malfunctioned and ignored it. Years later I learned that my website, which had a MIDI collection, was published in a newspaper in another country. I couldn't say for sure if that was true and whether it aligned with the counter change."
"Yea the internet was simpler too, layout style I mean. I like old style HTML webpage layouts. I personally don’t like hyper modern logos and designs on interfaces. Something about old slightly pixelated designs about them home screens and app logos really made them satisfying. I’ve even went as far as seeing if I could install some extensions that could change the layout of sites, make them feel older, give them that 2000’s html look."
Found ItLooking The Loud House GIF by NickelodeonGiphy
"I used to waste so much time with stumble upon."
What a strange and crazy place the internet was.
notificationBaby Love GIF by LINE FRIENDSGiphy
"Poking on Facebook."
"I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back."
"Many flash games are not dead. BEHOLD! The flashpoint project. They have saved thousands of the old flash games in a playable format. Go forth and relive your childhood Also paging u/The_Middler_is_Here"
I will find you...
"There was a rhythm game that I don't remember the name of that me and some friends would challenge each other in, and it had the song Guitar vs Piano 2 which introduced me to Envy, who was a pretty big newgrounds artist at the time. I wanna go check out their stuff again now, I'd completely forgot about them till now."
"Forums. There used to be so many, incredibly active and dedicated forums."
"A lot of the forums I visited were ruined by photobucket when they decided they wanted paid a lot of money from their users. So many build threads and tutorials ruined."
"IMDb had the best message boards back in the day. Chatting with your internet friends around the globe about every nuance in your fave movie. Man I miss that. Reddit is close, but nothing beats the olden days."
FunEgg Hatch GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Do you guys remember those egg things that hatched little creatures after a while? You'd put one on your website and then the artist would update the source url with images of it hatching? There were all kinds of little fun things like that."
Those were the days!
Do you have something you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.