Scams

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of r/scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

##**If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.**

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/r/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on

**Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/r/Scams/comments/g8jqnr/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//**

Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. **Do not** think that this means that the scam won’t happen in your area.

#Spoofing

**[Caller ID spoofing](https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id)**

It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.

**[Email spoofing](https://www.barracuda.com/glossary/email-spoofing)**

The “from” field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It’s important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.

**[SMS spoofing](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_spoofing)**

SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

#The most common scams

**[The fake check scam](https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0159-fake-checks)**
(Credit to /u/nimble2 for this part)

The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:

* The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check. Sometimes they’ll call it a “cashier’s check”, a “certified check”, or a “verified check”.

* You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This makes you think that the check is real and the funds have cleared. However, the money appearing in your account **is not** the same as the check actually clearing. The bank must make the funds available to you before they have cleared the check because that is the law.
* For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone some of the money, using services like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Walmart-2-Walmart. Sometimes the scammer will ask for you to purchase gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Steam, etc) and give them the codes to redeem the gift cards. Some scammers may also give you instructions on how to buy and send them bitcoins.

* Within a couple of weeks, though it can take as long as a month, your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money from the fake check, that money will be gone and you will owe that money to the bank. Some posters have even had their bank accounts closed and have been blocked from having another account for 5 years using ChexSystems.

**General fraudulent funds scams**
If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.

**[Phone verification code scams](https://computertutorflorida.com/2019/01/the-verification-code-scam/)**
Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.

**Bitcoin job scams**

Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.

**[Email flooding](https://krebsonsecurity.com/2012/07/cyberheist-smokescreen-email-phone-sms-floods/)**

If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it’s very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.

**[Boss/CEO scam](https://abc7chicago.com/finance/gift-card-scam-uses-bosses-email-addresses-when-phishing/4556080/)**
A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.

**Employment certification scams**

You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.

**Craigslist fake payment scams**

Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.

**General fraudulent funds scams**
The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.

**[Credit card debt scam](http://www.wndu.com/home/headlines/New-scam-offers-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt-276992911.html)**

Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.

**[The parcel mule scam](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parcel_mule_scam)**

A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. [Here](http://abc7chicago.com/mans-identity-stolen-during-work-from-home-job-scam/3337661/) is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.

**[The Skype sex scam](http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37735369)**

You’re on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you’ve never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She’ll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture.
The scam: There’s no girl. You’ve sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he’ll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.

What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don’t know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.

**[The underage girl scam](https://www.thedailybeast.com/prisoners-catfished-soldiers-from-behind-bars-posing-as-underage-girls-army-says)**

You’re on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl’s father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.

What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.

**[Phishing](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing)**

Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.

**[The blackmail email scam](https://www.reddit.com/r/Scams/comments/9srjen/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_2/)**
The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. [Here](http://www.smh.com.au/technology/gadgets-on-the-go/latest-online-scam-aims-to-prick-porn-watchers-guilty-conscience-20170815-gxwvxl.html) are [some](https://www.fraudhelpdesk.org/alerts/blackmail-email-watching-porn/) news [articles](https://www.bbb.org/denver/news-events/news-releases/2017/09/alert-pornography-email-phishing-scam/) about [this](http://blog.dynamoo.com/2017/10/bogus-porn-blackmail-attempt-from.html) scam.

**[The blackmail mail scam](https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/01/bitcoin-blackmail-by-snail-mail-preys-on-those-with-guilty-conscience/)**

This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.

**[Rental scams](https://www.cambridgema.gov/cpd/communityresources/CrimePrevention/craigslistscams.aspx)**
Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for “safety reasons” and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.

**[Craigslist vehicle scams](https://www.fraudguides.com/internet/craigslist/car-scams/)**
A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.

**[Advance-fee scam](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance-fee_scam)**, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.

**[Man in the middle scams](https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/announcements/wa-organisations-lose-500000-man-middle-scams)**

Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.

**[Cam girl voting/viewer scam](https://mashable.com/2013/07/12/tinder-scam/)**

You will encounter a “cam girl” on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.

**[Amateur porn recruitment scam](https://www.reddit.com/r/Scams/comments/bjygwg/instagramtinder_scam/)**

You will encounter a “pornstar” on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with her/him, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.

**Hot girl SMS spam**

You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of “Hey babe I’m here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?” accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It’s spam, and they’ll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.

**[Identity verification scam](https://theonlinedatingscams.com/age-or-date-verification-scam/)**

You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.

This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.

**[Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing](https://reddit.com/r/antimlm)**

You apply for a vague job listing for ‘sales’ on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who’s always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life.
The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not “wanting it enough.” The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won’t see a cent. At the end of the day all you’ll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts.
What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won’t tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They’ll pump you up with promises of “self-generating income”, “being your own boss”, and “owning your own company.” They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They’re hoping you buy into the dream first.
If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they’ve already made it. They’ll constantly post about how they’re hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails.
If you think you’re being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can’t answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

##**Phone scams**

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.

**Tax Call**

You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the [American IRS](https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/scam-phone-calls-continue-irs-identifies-five-easy-ways-to-spot-suspicious-calls), [Canadian CRA](http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html), [British HMRC](https://www.gov.uk/topic/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams), and [Australian Tax Office](https://www.ato.gov.au/general/online-services/identity-security/verify-or-report-a-scam/) to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.

**[Warrant Call](http://wqad.com/2017/02/03/scott-county-sheriff-arrest-warrant-phone-calls-are-scams/)**

Very similar to the tax call. You’ll get a phone call from an “agent”, “officer”, “sheriff”, or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.

**[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]**

Very similar to the warrant call. You’ll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves “investigators”, and will sometimes give you a fake case number.

**[Student Loan Forgiveness Scam](https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/student-loan-forgiveness-scam/)**

Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.

**[Tech Support Call](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_support_scam)**
You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They’ll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they’ll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars.
The scam: There’s no virus. The technician isn’t a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective.
What to do you if you’re involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you’ve become wise to them and aren’t going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer’s common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud.
How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you’re unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn’t tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.

**[Chinese government scam](https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/04/scammers-impersonate-chinese-consulate)**

This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.

**[Chinese shipping scam](https://www.ic3.gov/media/2019/190328.aspx)**

This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.

**[Social security suspension scam](https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/09/your-social-security-number-isnt-suspended-ever)**

You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You’ll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It’s all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.

**Utilities cutoff**

You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.

**[Relative in custody](https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0204-family-emergency-scams)**
Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughter/nephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the *consequences will never be the same*.

**[Mexican family scam](https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/07/scammers-create-fake-emergencies-get-your-money)**

This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.

**General family scams**

Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.

**[One ring scam](https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/one-ring-phone-scam)**

Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

##**Online shopping scams**
**THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.**

**Dropshipping**

An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping.
The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.

**[Influencer scams](https://theuncorkedlibrarian.com/instagram-scams/)**

A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.

**[Triangulation fraud](https://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/11/how-carders-can-use-ebay-as-a-virtual-atm/)**

Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.

**Instagram influencer scams**

Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.

**Cheap Items**

Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices.
The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run.
What to do if you think you’re involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge.
How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they’re selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.

**[Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items](https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/01/02/amazon-scams-on-the-rise-in-2017-as-fraudulent-sellers-run-amok-and-profit-big/)**

You’re on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it.
The scam: One of three things usually happen:
1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money.
2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you.
2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded.
How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They’ll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.

**Scams on eBay**

There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.

**Scams on Amazon**

There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.

**Scams on Reddit**

Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.

**Computer scams**

**[Virus scam](http://www.kadansky.com/files/newsletters/2015/2015_08_31.html)**

A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

##**Assorted scams**

**[Chinese Brushing / direct shipping](https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/11/27/americans-are-receiving-unordered-parcels-from-chinese-e-criminals-and-cant-do-anything-about-it/#16b4a3cf73da)**

If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to [brush](https://www.wsj.com/articles/fake-orders-brush-up-online-sales-in-china-1425386416). Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.

**[Money flipping](https://www.stopfraudcolorado.gov/fraud-center/digital-fraud/money-flipping-scams.html)**

Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

##**Door to door scams**

**As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.**

**[Selling Magazines](https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/trapped-into-selling-magazines-door-to-door/388601/)**

Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.

**[Energy sales](http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/01/deregulation-energy-enron-company-electricity/)**

Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will “slam” you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.

**[Security system scams](https://www.protectamerica.com/home-security-blog/safe-sound/fake-home-security-salesmen-hints-actions-avoid-door-door-impostors_22188)**

Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.

**They ask to enter your home**

While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they’ve been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.

They’re scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

##**Street scams**

**[Begging With a Purpose](http://www.snopes.com/fraud/distress/stranded.asp)**

“I just need a few more dollars for the bus,” at the bus station, or “I just need $5 to get some gas,” at a gas station. There’s also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: “I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I’ll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase.”

**[Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-card_Monte)**

Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.

**[Drop and Break](http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/03/22/broken_bottle_scam_new_york_six_ways_to_avoid_the_classic_broken_bottle.html)**

You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it’s a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.

**[CD Sales](http://www.scam-detector.com/travel-scams/cd-bullies-in-new-york)**

You’re handed a free CD so you can check out the artist’s music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they’ve signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can’t give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.

**[White Van Speaker Scam](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_van_speaker_scam)**

You’re approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you’ll discover that they are worthless.

**[iPhone Street Sale](http://www.cultofmac.com/390561/scam-victim-finds-the-s-in-iphone-6s-stands-for-sugar/)**

You’re approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it’s open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you’ll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.

**[Buddhist Monk Pendant](https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/02/nyregion/fake-monks-begging-buddhist.html)**

A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.

**[Friendship Bracelet Scam](https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/theft-scams/tourist-scams)**
More common in western Europe, you’re approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay.
**Leftover sales**

This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.

**[Dent repair scams](https://komonews.com/news/consumer/dent-repair-scammers-targeting-local-parking-lots)**

Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.

**[Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam](https://europeforvisitors.com/paris/articles/paris-gold-ring-scam.htm)**

A scammer will “find” a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.

**[Distraction theft](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHRey54Cfzc)**

One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

##General resources##

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm

Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online

FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

Microsoft’s anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx

https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds

https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes


The content was posted by EugeneBYMCMB on 2020-04-27 03:00:01 via reddit

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33 Comments

  1. Lost pet scam

    My co worker lost her dog and was desperately posting online and in neighborhoods about her lost dog. Posted a bunch of photos and her phone number. Well she got a text from someone saying she just broke up with her ex and he had stolen a dog that she was sure was her lost dog, and he was trying to sell it.

    Desperate to have her dog back, my co worker started texting this guy saying she would meet him that night to get the dog, but he wanted money up front through cashapp… she sent him a couple hundred bucks, but she never got her dog back. The whole thing was a scam. He sent her photos she had already posted online, but he was unable to send any new photos of him.

    It was a really dirty and heart-wrenching scam because we were excited to get a lead on her missing dog..

    She never did get her dog back…

  2. This could just fall under the “general fraudulent funds scams” but it feels like I see this with increasing frequency:

    [**Digit wallet scam**](https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/22128-scam-alert-this-venmo-scam-sends-you-money-by-accident)

    A variation of the fake check scam, the scammer sends you money through a digital wallet (i.e. Venmo, Apple Pay, Zelle, Cash App) along with a message claiming they’ve sent the money to the wrong person and a request to send the money back. Customer service for these digital wallets may even suggest that you send the money back. However, the money sent is from a stolen credit card and will be removed from your account after a few days. Your transfer is not reversed since it came from your own funds.

  3. I got a pop-up on my phone that claimed to be from the FBI and said it was locked because I had visited a child pornography website. It said I had 10 mins to pay $500 or the police would serve a warrant on my house. If I paid, my phone would be unlocked and cleaned.

    1: I’m not a chomo, and have never visited a kiddy porn site.

    2: Cops don’t work that way. If they thought I had child pornography on my phone, they would have kicked down my door and shot my dog.

    I just ignored it and reset my phone. I wonder if they were fishing and hoping to find an actual pedo, or if they hoped that someone would pay out of fear of being falsely accused.

  4. Celebrity-Back Production Shows implying that you will be broadcasted on public television.
    A video production company (usually based in Boca Raton, FL) approaches a company saying that you “might be a good fit for one of our upcoming segments.” The deal is that they will produce a mini-documentary featuring your company which “will be distributed to Public Television stations in all 50 states” and has an estimated reach for one year of 60 million households. However, these mini-documentaries are **rarely shown** and it is impossible to track when they are shown. The series is not a regularly scheduled program and too long to be shown in-between the actual programs that local PBS stations schedule. Your company ends up paying $$$ ($23,500 and $3,500 travel fee) for a over-priced video that does **not** have the celebrity in it.

  5. Upwork job scam:

    Variant of the fake check scam. Scammer posts a job offer, generally for something well paying and with a guaranteed amount of consistent work to rely on, and upon receipt of proposal either asks for a resume (for direct contact with victim) or to take the conversation off of Upwork (a direct violation of ToS and making a victim’s account subject to possible banning). They do this to ensure they can continue the conversation should their efforts be reported and their account disabled.

    Upon being “hired” the victim will then be informed of the need to purchase specialized equipment in order to complete the job. The purchase will be funded by the scammer, with all equipment returned upon completion of the project. However, they insist you purchase only through their vendor as they supposedly can fulfill the order the fastest. A fake check will be sent to an address provided by the victim, which when deposited will appear to be pending in in their account for a day or so until the bank discovers it is fraudulent. The scammer will then move quickly to pressure the victim into “purchasing the equipment” before the fraud is discovered because the client wants to start immediately. There is no equipment to be purchased and the check is from either a frozen account or a complete forgery. At the end of the day the victim is stuck holding the bag while the scammers make off with their money.

    If you do freelance work on Upwork, Freelancer, or any other site like those (as I doubt this is unique solely to Upwork), be cautious about who you deal with.

  6. Variation on the eBay seller scam. Someone from China wants you to ship the item to them using the cheapest possible shipping tool for them otherwise they aren’t buying it. This involves no tracking number. You print the label, ship the item, they claim they never got it, eBay sides with them because there was no tracking number, and they are refunded. It’s likely more popular with graphics cards or expensive hardware.

  7. I see that MLM scams are bundled in with Affiliate Marketing scams- can we get more description on the latter?

  8. A cold call variant of the blackmail e-mail/mail scam ([as reported by Spokane’s KXLY](https://www.kxly.com/we-have-been-watching-you-for-8-months-scammers-leaving-creepy-voicemails/)): A TTS voice with a British accent calls you claiming that a group of hackers has hacked your cellphone and have been watching you “for about 8 months”, have footage of your daily routine, and are about to release a sex scandal that would ruin your career. The caller tells you that you must go to a fake bank website within 10 minutes or else the hackers will delete all the data from your devices and computers. They also claim that they think they can make you a “porn superstar”, implying this scam is also a much more dastardly variant of the porn actor recruitment scam.

  9. I’m a bot, *bleep*, *bloop*. Someone has linked to this thread from another place on reddit:

    – [/r/bitcoin] [Everyone should familiarize themselves with common scam types. This overview from /r/scams will help you spot red flags.](https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/gvbvo7/everyone_should_familiarize_themselves_with/)

     *^(If you follow any of the above links, please respect the rules of reddit and don’t vote in the other threads.) ^([Info](/r/TotesMessenger) ^/ ^[Contact](/message/compose?to=/r/TotesMessenger))*

  10. Fake bank login webpage:

    How this scam works is that the potential victim receives text messages formatted to appear as automated notifications from your bank warning that your account has been compromised and you should take action with their link. When accessing the webpage from mobile, it will look and appear as if you are logging in from a legitimate webpage. By logging in, the scammer will be able to see your login information from their computer, access your account, and remotely withdraw money from your account. Avoid accessing a webpage through an external link, and check the corner of the browser by the url to confirm that the link is verified and secure.

  11. I received a text with a link that said this:

    “STARBUCKS WRAP PROMOTION(PAID TO DRIVE)
    Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept:” Starbucks” seeks people — regular citizens, not professional drivers — to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “Starbucks” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps,” that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover some portion of your car’s exterior surface.
    What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness.The auto wraps tend to be colorful and eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertisement with a captive audience,meaning people who are stuck in traffic and can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum period you can participate is 3 month.
    You will be compensated with a $500 (Five hundred dollars per Week), which is essentially a “rental” payment for letting our company use the space. ” Starbucks” shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. Fill the form below if you’re interested in joining us in wrap promotion.”

    100% sure its a scam, probably will send you a fake check with extra money to pay for the “auto wrap”

  12. Wasting the Mexican Cartels time.

    Get sent a message from a “Pablo walker” or whoever introduces himself as a cartel pimp. Says you texted a girl and wasted her time and now you owe them money. Pay the fine or family gets hurt.

  13. Italian leather jacket scam: a very confident friendly man claims he is a famous Italian designer just coming back from a fashion show, he offers to give you leather jackets as a gift because he’s about to fly back to Italy and wants to avoid customs tax. But he needs to pay back his car rental company before he leaves, and he’s in a rush to get to the airport. He asks to borrow some money (thousands) in cash because his card company is Italian and the money wouldn’t arrive immediately. Out of debt to his generous fake leather jacket gift, you lend him the money – he never pays it back.

  14. I need to know what to do if I don’t pay this girl she is going to post me jacking off on utube is this a scam

  15. I wish I could send u what she said and see if she could get in trouble I’ll give u my email if u want so I can send what she said

  16. Social Security suspension Scam

    So, my mother had received a call from them, claiming she lived in a specific town, said she had a stolen vehicle that was found and her blood was in it (lol). Then they said she also was laundering money, moving it from bank to bank. They then proceeded to ask for her bank, then he asked where she banked, and how much she had in her account, but she was smart enough and lied before I got home and told me about it (she didn’t give any account information) I told her it was a scam, and I told her to give me the number so I can mess with them and scare the crap out of them, and it turned out to be a number with a voicemail box instead of asking to press 1, 2, or 3. So I then entirely knew it was a scam.

  17. Is it a common scam for people on places like OfferUp and Craigslist to offer free items and only ask for you to pay shipping? I was looking to get a PS4 for relatively cheap and cam across a listing on OfferUp for a free PS4 and all they asked was for they interested party to pay shipping. I decided to ask about it and seemed to be a real person. They were adamant about shipping it thru FedEd for some reason instead of using the proprietary shipping tool OfferUp has. They wanted me to pay through CashApp. Any idea how this could backfire other than I’m out $36?

  18. Variation on the gold ring scam. The scammer approached you asking for money. They’re in some sort of bind where they need cash, but can’t access any. All they have is this gold ring they claim is very valuable. If you could give them the cash they need, they’ll give you this ring in return and you can sell it to get your money back. The ring is not gold. It’s garbage and worth nothing. Scammer makes off with your cash and goes to find another victim.

  19. Vulture Real Estate Investor Spam should be listed here, given how it pops up here every now and then.

  20. [Your Name], we came across a parcel from June owed to you. Please claim ownership and schedule for delivery here: l6svs.info/BuNcHAR4nD0McH4rS

    Comes from a spoofed number. Has your name for authentic look. New number every day so no way to block them. They vary the text a bit and with new random chars.

    It goes around with different domain names. Here’s a bbb article but it’s not state specific. I know there are other articles and warnings.
    https://www.wane.com/dont-miss/bbb-warns-hoosiers-of-new-text-scam-about-late-package-deliveries/

  21. Hello I am new to both reddit and the group and sont know how to post on here. I just wanted to help warn people about a site I found on google trying to shop for gaming consoles. I found an xbox one s bundle for 245 on google and Clicked on it and bbn it took me to a site called fungaming.online, I never seen a site like that as it didn’t have a dot anything at the end. Also a big red flag that made me do some searching online to see if it was a safe or real site was they were selling ps4 pro with 2 controllers for 99 dollars lol. I tried to google about the site but nothing would pop up about what I was asking about it and say in the terms it was ran by dressforsale and when I searched that I found this group on google. seem dressforsale has made alot of similar sites, I also googled the area code which was a PA area code but the warehouse was in CA. I also googled the warehouse and it’s just a house lol. Please be careful people and if this isn’t the right spot to post this please let me know how and where to post about this

  22. The VIN Report scam.

    Basically the scammer finds people that are selling vehicles on Craigslist and asks them to buy a VIN report from X site.

  23. The Marriott hotel you’ve won a trip scam.. I cant block so many spoofed numbers I’ve got 30 saved under the name “Marriott scam” and add every new one to the list it’s to the point of harassment but its obviously a huge setup so I scare the scammer they hang up and a different “agent” calls the next day it’s a continuous cycle wtf am I supposed to do.

  24. I was scammed by someone from China. I paid by master card. I am in Romania (est Europe). What should I do? Please help, thanks!

  25. [**Death threat e-mail extortion scam**](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj7ux1GufcI): A victim receives an e-mail with their name in it from a supposed “hitman” who has a (non-existent) order to kill them from a (non-existent) person who has (non-existent) issues with them. To avoid losing their life, the victim must pay a specific amount of Bitcoins to the “hitman”. Once the victim pays up, the “hitman” will supposedly e-mail them the identity of the (non-existent) person who gave the “hitman” the “order” to kill the victim.

    This scam is most likely the end result of scammers gaining a victim’s identity from a data breach, public records or social media, or another scam such as a dating app scam.

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