15 People Share the Details of How They Got Scammed

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Many of us have been unfortunate enough to end up on the wrong side of a scam at one point or another. Since knowledge is power and all of that, you might want to read through these 15 stories so what happened to these people doesn’t happen to you.

15. Totally fake.

The scam that almost got me is actually brilliant:

I was selling a car on craigslist and got a call from this guy who seemed super interested. He followed up by text asking if it had a clean history. Next text, he sends me a link to what appeared to be an alternative to carfax, asking me to get a history report for $30 before he drives out.

I was literally putting in my credit card info before I paused to think the website might be fake. Turns out it was only registered with ICANN that day. Totally fake.

14. My staff even helped.

Someone tried to scam me by creating a craigslist ad giving away things that I left outside my business. He even got some of my staff to help him load it onto a trailer by showing them the ad.

13. Needless to say.

Not me, but a customer at Best Buy.

A customer came in, demanding to speak with a manager, regarding a TV he had ordered. The manager he asked for was “Tammy”, and we had no managers by that name, nor pick up orders for this customer in our system.

I asked for more details. The customer had responded to a craigslist ad for an unbelievable price on a TV. The seller claimed to be a manager at our store, and instructed him to make payment by purchasing gift cards for the asking price, then send pics of the back of the gift cards to the seller. The customer did all this, then was advised the TV would be ready for pickup at our store.

Needless to say, there was no TV for him. He demanded to speak to an actual manager, who kindly informed him that he was out of luck.

12. Sorry, man.

Younger guy in a shirt and tie next to me at the gas station. He asked me for a few bucks for gas as he was on his way to a job interview. Said he’d been unemployed for a few months and this was sort of a dream job opportunity I ended up filling up his entire tank and wished him luck on the interview.

I saw him there twice a week for the next three months, always in a shirt and tie and always talking to other patrons. He eventually tried to scam me again a few months later, and I reminded him that he had already got me on that line and asked I if he had anymore. He said he could tell me about his dying grandmother he was trying to go see on the other side of town or about how he left his wallet at his office because he rushed out when his daughter’s school called and told him he need to pick her up because she was sick and throwing up everywhere. Then he paused and said, “sorry man” and got in his car and drove away. Never saw him again, but I assume he just moved to the next gas station down the street.

11. 15 minutes ahead.

I was 15 minutes ahead of an ex-GF getting to the bank to lock up my accounts. She came in and tried to clean them out. The bank stopped her and called the police. She talked her way out of it.

10. The old switcheroo.

short story from my childhood, someone tried to steal my working NES.​

late 80s, i was about 9 or something. had a “friend” call me up, invited me to his house so he could clean my NES. Thought it was strange, but he was very insistent and i didnt want to argue. Brought it over, he started cleaning the NES, asked me to get something from the kitchen (a butter knife i think). I went, found it after a few seconds of searching, brought it back. He said he was finished, left the NES on top of his TV, and left the room to get something.​

My NES looked very different. Stared at it a bit, it was missing a crack that had always been there. Looked on the floor where his NES was, it had the crack. Fucker tried the ol’ switcheroo. I tensed up, didnt want to argue with the kid, confrontation wasn’t my strong point. I just switched them back as quickly as i could. He was gone for a while, actually had a lot of time. After he came back, told him I had to go, thanked him for the cleaning, went home.​

After about 30 mins, he called my house again. He asked me which NES did i take home. told him i took mine. he asked again “yeah, but did you take the one on the TV or the one on the floor?” just told him again, i took mine. he sounded defeated as he said “alright, bye.”

9. I turned it over to the FBI.

Almost scammed. A friend of mine from college emailed me like he usually does asking how I am, mentions offhand that his firm is handling an angel investor round for a certain technology startup. I had invested through his employer before with no issue, so I asked him to send me information for me to research. He sends it, it all looks legit, I think it’s worth a shot and I ask how much. He sends me the payment information and it looks fishy, like he sends me a physical address for an office tower in Atlanta that I know his firm is not located in and he also cites a P.O. Box address in that building. I call the building and they say no name of his firm is registered to that building. I pick up the phone and call his cell phone. He doesn’t call back. I swing by his house the next day and he has no idea what I am talking about, he says his laptop, phone and wallet were stolen and that he’s been frantically closing accounts and getting replacements. Apparently, the scammer went through his contacts, figured out what he did for a living and was trying to bilk all his professional contacts. All of the information he sent me was copied and pasted or straight up forged based on template documents already on the computer. I turned everything I had over to the FBI and my friend’s attorneys. Everyone one of the guy’s contacts were solicited and a handful actually wired cash to the guy, who was eventually caught and convicted of wire fraud. I had to testify during his trial. He’s still in prison atm. Wild.

[EDIT] This all went down ~10 years ago.

8. A whole dollar.

In the 90’s my friend got all of these letterS saying he was a part of a contest, and he just had to keep mailing letters in to enter the “drawing.”

The wording they put in the later letters was something like “You’ve made it to the final round,” and “Congratulations, we are now prepared to write you a check for $10,000!”

All he had to do was call a 1-900 number that charged $2 a minute. It took him about 10 minutes to navigate the automated menus once they told him he was a winner and it ended with “And you have won… (drum roll)… ONE DOLLAR!”

7. Never owned or played the game.

One time I woke up to 10 $100 charges in micro-transactions for a mobile base building game. Never owned or played the game, and was overdrafted $600+ while the bank tried getting the money back.

6. Still pretty salty.

Best Buy employee convinced me I needed one of their $60 HDMI cables if I wanted Xbox games and action movies to look good on my TV. This was probably 10 years ago and I didn’t know much about electronics back then. I’m still pretty salty about it.

5. He was busted right there.

I bought $300+ tickets to see Knicks at MSG from Craigslist (dumb I know) that turned out to be fake. I got so pissed I walked into an nyc precinct and told them i want to file a complaint.

The detective at the time said they’re busting a lot of people in these fake ticket rings and we could bust him if we set up another sale. The next day I contacted the same guy from another number and we set up to meet him; the detective was dressed casually and I pretended to be his gf. He gave us the tickets by Dylan’s Candy bar and was busted right there. It was fun.

4. They call me all the time.

Yeah, I was on vacation and didnt have my phone on. The scammers called my house and my sister was house sitting for my wife and I. They told her I was going to be tried for an undisclosed criminal charge if I didnt pay them something like 900 dollars for the case to be dismissed or I would be arrested or served the next day. She tried calling me and I didnt answer as I was on vacation.

I left her one of my bank cards so she could buy food and stuff since she was doing me a favor. She payed them with it as she thought it was real and I am not a saint, so it was believable at the time and this was a while ago before these scammer tactics were well known. I was so mad as I noticed the charge when I checked my online banking while still away.

Worst thing is now I guess I am on a list of people who have fallen for this and they call me all the time.

3. They started being super pissy.

Was looking for a job and got a call for an interview and went in and it was some mlm for like vitamin juice or something. I was sitting in the front and was polite so I sat through the the video and then started to walk out and that’s when they started being super pissy. I said I don’t spend a lot of money without talking it over with my wife and the lady said “well I guess we cant do anything if your not the man of the house and your wife wears the pants”.

2. I felt a bit suspicious.

The worst one is probably when I was desperately applying for jobs after graduating.

Hadn’t found a job for months in the finance sector and just applied to be an admin assistant at a small local exchange. Looked up their website and everything looked legit, the hiring manager spoke fairly fluent English. They said they were interested in hiring me for a position that leveraged more of my education. I was stoked – almost 1.5x the pay and the workload was much more my style.

They wanted some identifying information like my driver’s license and passport. Didn’t think too much about it. Scanned it off and sent it to them. They told me everything looked good and they wanted to do a phone interview. I asked them why not in person, and they told me I wasn’t at that stage yet.

For some reason I felt a bit suspicious, so I looked like the address on their letterhead which was a legit business park in my area. Called them and the phone lines were dead. Called the building owner and they told me that the property was vacant, and had been for almost a year now.

At this point I knew identity theft would be possible, so I just went into a full blown panic getting everything exchanged. Learned a valuable lesson that day. Didn’t lose anything but fuck if my personal information is floating around somewhere.

1. They’re being crafty about it.

Pretty sure someone’s trying to scam me on eBay right now with an item I purchased.

EDIT to add situation:

They’re being crafty about it, but I got a little suspicious and found out their game after a little research. The scam they’re trying to pull is that they sent me a “small gift” in appreciation of my purchase, which in this case was a bag of candy. This gift was not mentioned in the listing, but in a message sent after I bought the item. If I go to eBay’s resolution center and say I didn’t receive the item, they’ll put the tracking number in for the candy and eBay will take their side since it will be marked as delivered. I now know that when I file my complaint I’ve got to put it as “Item not as described.” I’ll give it until Wednesday before I file a complaint though.

Buyer beware!