Scams may be as old as recallable memories, but the advent of the internet took them to all new levels. Of course, you're likely conversant with the classic “Nigerian Prince” email or the famous IRS phone calls threatening that you pay your tax right on the call or get shipped to prison. And while some scams are not hard to spot, others are so unbelievable you might think they are unreal. But they are, and real people like the members of one popular online community share how they became a target of funny scams.
1. Virus Alert Popup on Adult Site
Popups make for a seamless interactive website experience, but not for one user who almost got fleeced of his money by a fraudster pretending to offer help. “Got one of those popups that said my computer was infected with viruses, called the “Free” number that some Indian guy picked up.
He walked me through all the steps, showing me that my computer was infected with thousands of viruses, and finally got to the point where I would need to pay him with a debit or credit card,” he explains. However, it wasn't until the next day, when telling his parents about his ordeal, that he learned it was a scam.
2. Imposter Behind Social Media Account
Ever had a “friend” who never once asked you for money suddenly pop into your inbox with a request? It may help to confirm their identity before parting with your cash.
A forum member narrates how he almost lost hundred and fifty bucks to a hacker behind a friend's Facebook account. However, he found out it was a scam when he saw a post from his wife's friend warning that her husband's account had been hacked.
3. Pyramid Scheme MLM Fraud
We used to think that scams were all shady and dark. Our assessment may be wrong as one user points Amyway's way, citing it as a pyramid scheme disguised as real business promising unlimited wealth.
Someone else suggests that millions of innocent Americans are victims of this well-packaged fraud. A final commenter reminisce on their boss who constantly pushed Amway their way, describing the scheme's promoters as “insufferable and persistent.”
4. Rental Scam on Craigslist
According to many on the thread, Craigslist is home to millions of ads, but scammers now ply their trade through rental listings. One man's experience followed him getting a good rental deal on a property listing. He inspected the apartment only to find out the realtor was suddenly out of town attending to a sick friend.
He'd asked that the intending tenant drop his deposit with his representative, after which he'll deliver the property keys through FedEx.
When the victim suggested that he'll prefer to drop the deposit in exchange for the keys and documentation at the apartment, the fraudster asked to be trusted as he was a man of God.
5. Black Friday Scam
One user was saved by a security firewall of her credit card company after purchasing a 3D printer, laser engraver, and CNC for a Black Friday price on Facebook.
The victim says she suspected something was wrong when the credit card code from the company they bought the item for didn't lead anywhere. “Thankfully, the fraud was picked up automatically, and the payment never went through,” she retorts.
6. Pay on Delivery Scam
Have you shipped an item out and never got paid? One user has, and this is how she explains it: “Tried to sell my engagement ring on Facebook marketplace. Instead, I mailed it to another state.
I got a photo of the lady's driver's license and other images. It was fake, and looking back, there were signs. So embarrassing.” That's not a great way to part with a precious ring.
7. Job Placement Scam
If you've never got a routine call asking that you send in your resume for a job requiring you to pay a small processing fee, you should know it's one of the most typical funny scams out there. A former job seeker recounts that at the height of his job desperation, he lost $1200 to a non-existent job scam that promised a high-paying job fix where there's none.
8. The Lucky Website Visitor Scam
Another contributor shares a story of how in the early days of the internet, they got a website popup that awarded them a cash prize for being the 100,000,000th visitor on the site and asking for a small cash token to process the prize money. Their safety net was heeding the warning of another student who quickly let them in on the fraudulent trick.
9. The “I Want To Buy Your Car” Scam
One man says he got a check for the car he'd put for sale, went to the bank to inquire if it was real, and could have shipped the car anyway even before the cheque cleared, but for the bank manager's advice that he waits for the one week clearing period before sending his car over. Thousands of dollars could have gone down the drain in one weekend as the check turned out fake.
10. The “Your Bank Account Has Been Breach” Scam
The approach is to get you on a call, give you some personal information, and pretend to be calling from your bank with the excuse of a security breach while asking that you send a one-time password text to your phone so they can block hackers from accessing your account.
On sending the code, according to a firsthand victim on the thread, you'll wake up to a credit alert for goods and services you did not purchase on an untraceable marketplace.
Have you heard of any of these scary but funny scams or have another to add to this list? This thread inspired this post.