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://reddit.com/r/Scams/comments/dohaea/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_4/**

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 2019-10-29 07:12:56 via reddit

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40 Comments

  1. I don’t know if it would be appropriate to add in here, but I see a lot of posts in this sub showing email scams with the sole purpose of making fun of the poor spelling and grammar that a lot of these email scams have.

    I feel a lot of people think that these emails are made by people who don’t speak English as a native language and that these errors are just errors from poor translation or out of ignorance.

    But the truth is that the emails have these glaringly obvious errors on purpose. You see, technology these days makes it easy to send these emails to millions of people, however, they are still limited in the amount of people they can interact with when they get a response. This makes it a priority to increase the % of people they interact with who are likely to fall for the scam.

    So the idea is that people who spot these errors immediately are not very likely to fall for the scam anyways, so by the scammers putting the errors in there, the responses that they get will be more likely to be people who don’t pay attention to these clues and, increasing the % of people they interact with who actually end up falling for the scam.

    Point being that…. If you notice the spelling and grammar errors in these scam emails… Then you weren’t the target anyways.

  2. I had the friendship bracelet happen to me in France when I was younger. It was terrifying this guy was basically physically restraining me with the bracelet until I gave him money.

  3. Thanks for the update! Glad to see MLMs have been added to the list. Is the secret shopper scam on here? I guess it would be a general fraudulent funds scam, but it seems specific and common enough to warrant its own blurb, imo.

    Edit: never mind, I see it under the fake check section.

  4. The platforms that were used:
    Twitter, Whatsapp, Paypal

    On Twitter, there’s this thing called “#Twitter Philanthropy.” On #TwitterPhilanthropy, there seems to be that there are legit people who will help you out with your bills and groceries or whatever you need help with. There’s an account called “Bill Pulte (@pulte)” for example. He’s a billionaire who’s been helping people in such a way. He makes posts talking about how he will give away large sums of money like $1000 or a car for example. All you have to do is like, retweet the post and follow his account so he can DM you if you are chosen.

    Also on #TwitterPhilanthropy, there are people who are scammers that are copying Bill Pulte. They take advantage of people who are suffering a terrible financial situation. They say they will give away large sums of money if you like, retweet and follow their accounts. Of course some people who are super desperate for money like I was, will fall victim to this. Sometimes you can message them directly which I did. Well, and then I fell victim to a scammer after I messaged them directyly. They had their whatsapp number in their Twitter bio. I texted it and it all went downhill from there. I will explain how he scammed me.

    So once I started texting the scammer, who’s name was Johnathan, he asked me where I was from. I told where I was from and then he proceeded to ask me if I had a bank account and a credit card. I told him I have a bank account but no credit card. Then he asked me if I do banking online which I said I do. Then he asked me to give him my ***banking username and password so that he could make a direct deposit immediately***. I was so desperate that I AL-MOST fell for that and turned over my username and password, but I didn’t and said that we should operate through PayPal.

    After he tried to convince me that he was safe and that I could trust him with my information, showing me photos of him succesfully sending money to different people in order to try to gain my trust, and after I refused again, we decided to just work through PayPal.

    Now here’s where I started *losing* money! Pay attention!

    The scammer Johnathan told me that he would PayPal me $1000, but since he has a ***PayPal Business Account***, I would need to **pay an Authorization Fee of $50** in order for him to be able to send me the money and to protect him from getting scammed. So, I said let’s do it! So Johnathan told me to wait a minute and then he came back and sent me a **yahoo email** to send the money to. He told me to make sure I send him the money as **”Friends and Family” instead of “Goods and Services”** **THIS IS IMPORTANT remember this!**

    So I made sure to send money to the email he sent me and after I sent the money to the email, he started complaigning that I had sent the money as “Goods and Services” which I don’t think I did, but it could have messed up. So he refunded the money. I should have stopped right there, but I thought it must have just been a fluke. He came back to me with a **new email to send money to,** he told me to make sure I send it as **”Friends and Family” this time**, which I made double sure. Once I sent him the money AGAIN, he started “having trouble” with his PayPal account and he couldn’t give me the money he promised. So I asked for a refund and of course he couldn’t give me a refund. So after arguing about not getting my refund, he somehow convinces me to send him $20 for money, and of course he sends me another email and I send the moneyy to that email as “friends and family” and of course again he wasn’t able to send me the money because of problems with his account.

    After that, I absolutely lost it and started threatening him, telling him that I was going to call my bank, paypal and whatsapp and my “lawyer” and report him and get my money back, and that I would let people know everywhere what he was doing. I also tried to send him a link that was disguised as a youtube short link in order to try to get his location and IP address, but he never clicked on the link…

    So, I called PayPal, and I asked them if there was such a thing as having to pay an authorization fee in order for someone with a business account to send money, and thay said that is not a thing.

    I also asked them if they could help me get a refund since the scammer wasn’t giving me a refund. PayPal said they woudln’t be able to help me because I had sent the money as “Friends and Family” instead of “Goods and Services!” They told me to contact my bank! So I did that, and guess what?! My bank couldn’t help me either! They told me they couldn’t help me because PayPal did what they had to do on their end. So I called PayPal once I again to tell them what my bank had told me. Of course PayPal once again told me that since I sent the money as **”Friends and Family”** I would have to try to get the refund back from the scammer personally, which obviously wasn’t going to happen… So here I AM! Writing this out to warn people about this scam! All my threats were made in vain…

    Again, Johnathan had sent me photos of him successfully sending money to different people in order to try and gain my trust and show that he was legit, you know. That definitely helped him gain trsut from me. And He also said that I could trust him and that he was safe! Of course he was…

    So now I’m out of $76. I had had about $90 in my account to begin with, and then I got scammed out of $76… Now I am way worse off than I was before and struggling even harder now and I’m in an even deeper state of depression. Johnathan took advantage of my situation and screwed me over big time and it’s my own fault for falling for it twice… I wish I hadn’t’ been so desperate, but it could have been way worse… I could have given him my banking information…

    Anyway, I hope that you all take note of my stupidity, and don’t let anyone trick you like this. DO NOT send money to people through PayPal that you don’t know as “friends and family” send it as “goods and services” so just in case it is a scam, PayPal will be able to help you and get you a refund.

    – HonestTruthism

  5. I don’t see it on this list yet, but I wanted to warn people that scammers are in your mailbox too. My wife and I bought a brand new car and bought a warranty through Nissan. Now we are getting fake mail (some of them even look very legit with a signed representative and address!) saying that “something is up with our warranty and need to call this number immediately”.

    Crazy thing is they knew our names, the year of the car and vin number. This has happened with both our GM and Nissan vehicles.

    Calling gets you to a rep that tries his best to get you to switch to a better rate for your warranty (and they are very aggressive) but its a FAKE warranty and our Nissan rep warned us if we had signed up and cancelled ours with them that we’d have to negotiate an entirely knew contract for our car (not to mention lost a lot of money). So don’t trust anything in your mail even if it looks like a legit company! Call your actual dealer and find out if it’s BS.

  6. I get random people on Instagram asking me to flip cash through Western Union:

    <pretty much verbatim from the most recent attempt>
    “What I do is flip money through western union I have a great system that allows me to change any amount flipped for example if you flip 100 I look you up in my system and change your amount to 2200 you keep 1500 and send me back 700 for your flip”

    This is too good to be true, and sure to get me into trouble for being an accomplice to fraud.

  7. I have a ad on Craigslist and OF COURSE all the scammers are texting (to a privacy number) & lucky lucky me!!! They all want to overpay 😂
    I usually have them mail the check to our local sheriffs department but is there a better address I can provide? Or is this a mute point? Just curious.

  8. Recently I was re-ordering something from Amazon, so I looked at my orders list to find the item. It had been some months since I’d ordered it, and I remembered it being inexpensive, but it looked like it had been marked down.

    When I clicked on the item, up came a pop-up screen for checkout which looked somewhat different from the Amazon checkout page and was from a different seller than the one I had bought from, before.

    Shipping charge for an item under $10 was $35. Luckily I was able to log out and find the correct order, but the image duplicated everything from the legitimate order, and showed up on my order screen first.

    Edit: grammar

  9. Google hangouts scam
    This is a terrible scammer hangout!!!!!

    Love scam

    If your on hangouts. Get out asap
    There is no real person behind the words…
    Girls ask for cards either prepaid visa or Mastercard with 50 or 60 bucks. To meet takes 10 to 15 cards…

    Every time it comes to a no show. For a wierd reason. Mostly someone ends up in the hospital or in a traffic accident.

    After a few days they ask for more cards. And more of them to meet.
    Sometimes they entice you to a threesome. It never happens.

    The cards started off with… Steam, google pay, or itunes.

    All of it is B.S. They are Phillipines people at work centers .. I have an add from a company looking for people to apply and clearly states what they doing..
    Scamming by the use of pictures from the internet…

    Socialcatfish.com has became my friend. Reverse image lookup. Even if it’s a body part…. it will find it.
    I’ve been taken for 100’s of thousands
    And now completely broke!!!

    Modeling scam

    Girls on dating sites play like they are models. First small fee to see them, then its …. you need my contract…. on to power of attorney…. on to fake accident and meds with hospitals…. taxes. Alwayse the promise of full refund.

    Again 200,000

    Fake Doctor or Nurse
    Playing they in foreign countries. Working on a project or on battle front.
    Money to fly them around, again hospital stays, food, hotel Bill’s, on and on

    This one from Nigeria as very poor grammar and perfect love notes copied from internet sites.

  10. Facebook has been so full of scams. Be careful of who you add as a friend. I’ve had numerous varied attempts, “boyfriends”, little old ladies, PCH claiming I won money but I had to send a deposit and a couple of “celebrities” (the worst!) One celeb wanted to send me money to avoid his ex wife (lol!) and even THE Johnny Depp asked me to donate to a charity and send the receipt to him. Just insane!

  11. I decided to scam the scammers. They deposited 700$ in my account which I was suppose to send back… Well I withdrew the money closed all my accounts and started over buwahahah
    Bad day for them Sandy’s. Lmao

  12. Got a few emails from “apple” saying my apple id was locked coz it was used suspiciously on another device and then sent me a pdf attachment on instructions on what i need to do by clicking the hyperlinks they sent. Yes it had a few spelling errors and they used apple logo with said email. Didn’t open it but i did logged on to my apple id account in the apple website and all seemed normal. Careful

  13. You’re missing a few scams using malware

    Keylogger, RAT/Botnet. Usually from phishing, you’ll now be used to spread it farther. It will record all of your keystrokes, and hopefully get your credit card info, pin number, and password

    Fake browser. If your browser is suddenly different after a download, get an antivirus stat. Every. Single. Link. All of them are ads now, these ads are usually adware as well or spyware, the virus will also likely start using popups (internet explorer is used) and can start downloading even more viruses. Yahoo! Powered is a good example of one of these. I guess I kinda lied on every single link, but you have to be extremely vigilant on what links are showing since a large quantity are malicious. Change your browser back and then download an antivirus if you dont have one already, and run it.

    Fake download button. These are ads that are disguised as a download and will contain a huge payload of viruses.

  14. I feel like I should mention the broken car scam as I sometimes see it here in Europe.
    As you drive on less frequented roads you may see a car stopped by the road, often expensive and with foreign car plates. For example here in Slovakia most often you can see Bulgarian car plates. There is usually a big well dressed bored looking dude (or two) leaning on the car, waiting for somebody to stop and try to help. If you don’t look like a viable victim they can drive away or let you help them ‘fix’ something, or even pretend they don’t have any issues and are just taking a break. If you are alone (or young, travelling alone just with your kids, a woman, or just too helpful) they might try force-selling you some jewelry, electronics or perfumes.
    Basically if you see such car the best thing to do would be calling the road police and reporting a stopped car so they can dispatch an roadside car service or even the police.
    Stay safe!

  15. There is also the fake profile on dating sites scam. They act like they are in the military etc and are overseas. Then have a variety of issues that they need financial assistance with and try to get gift cards or bank account access. It’s pretty brutal.

  16. Got a new scam for the list that I just found when I woke up. Got a text saying my nab account was going to stop working on my device because it detected weird stuff or whatever, there was a link to https:nab/com/au/device-access-services/ (replaced the fullstops between nab, com and au so it didn’t make a link.

    Also want to add that my web browser did stop me from proceeding onto the site. Had clicked because I was curious how it looked.

    It nearly got me because the only difference is the actual nab site has www. At the start.

    Should I make post with the screenshot I got?

  17. My mother recently received Flonase in the mail from two different people she doesn’t know, she didn’t order it and it’s from two different states. Both packages were mailed from houses recently sold when I looked it up, not sure what to do with these because this is a lot of flonase and I dont want her to be randomly charged for this either, any thoughts on if this is a scam?

  18. I was approached by a “philanthropist” on Twitter. She has started messaging me through WhatsApp. He sent me his routing number and checking account number to pay off my credit card. Too good to be true I know. He then says once it clears he will Apple Pay me $$ to buy iPhones for him and mail them to him. I told him he was a scammer and he sent me a picture of him with his drivers license. I’m still fairly convinced he is trying to scam me but now I’m unsure.

  19. I’m not sure if I can post this but, I was recently scammed is there anyway to get him or get the money back or whatever??

  20. Illuminati Fake Recruit Agents they ask you for an initiation fee. You can spot them cus most of them are illiterate. They go after the desperate ones who are vulnerable to scams and pretty much hopeless. Try to find their IP address and you will see their from Africa,Nigeria,or some other 3rd world country. Please don’t waste your time or hard earned money on these sick people.

  21. Can we have a conversation about the surveyjunkies website (not to be confused with surveyjunkie)… I posted a thread. People need to be made aware of whether or not it’s a scam.

  22. Does anyone here know whether Alfa.cz us a scam? It’s an auction website from the Cech Republic.

  23. Thank you for all this. Would love your advice on a blackmail scam from Omegle. Yes dic pic was sent, yes first payment was sent. Now just want to help others by trying to track these people down. Anyway to do this or futile?

  24. Is there a master list of bot keywords somewhere? I keep looking for one haven’t found it yet but I might just be overlooking an obvious link.

  25. I’ve gotten scammed by a guy about a year ago who said he can “invest” my money and “certainly double” it.

    FML

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