Here’s a good recap of a Reddit thread listing scams people still fall for.
Of course they seem obvious to us, but some of our less-savvy friends and family may still get burned by this shit. Share it around.
Recap credit to u/Revlis-TK421
Welcome to being an adult. Here is a primer on scams:
The IRS will not call you to settle debts.
The chick you have been sending dick pics to who turns out to be under-aged with an angry dad? Never existed. Put it back in your pants, Romeo.
Any job/task/favor/advance that gives you a big check to deposit into your account and then forward on elsewhere and you get to keep some? Money wasn’t real. No employers would do this. Ever.
You didn’t just win <insert lottery/contest/giveaway> that you don’t remember entering. They just want you to send them money to process your “winnings” and by winnings I mean scam you for every penny they can.
Any time, any where, that someone wants you to pay them in gift cards.
Any time you get a cold call about your computer being infected and only their certified tech can help you. This applies to popups or emails as well. By the gods, don’t give them remote access to your system. They can see everything, modify anything, install anything. NEVER install a remote access application unless you would trust that person with you bank accounts, credit cards, medical records, SSN, etc. EVERYTHING on your computer is exposed 100% of the time they are connected. And they can install shit to let them connect back whenever they want.
Any cold email or call about your bank/credit/loan account. Never call the the number in these emails or letters. Look up a branch number independently thru a trusted source or go down in person.
You grandkid/cousin/goddaughter did not get kidnapped, stranded, or had an emergency in a foreign country. If it makes you feel better, call your family and ask.
Your “special” out of state or oversees friend who needs money to come visit you, family emergency, etc. He or she doesn’t exist. It’s a scammer pulling a romance scam, preying on good, trusting people that are lonely.
Any Nigerian prince. 419 Eater, yo.
Any investment promise of high returns in dividends. Ponzi.
Any business scheme where you are both an investor/customer and a recruiter. Multi-level marketing, aka Pyramid.
Any and every “Buy this book”, “Come to my seminar”, or “Just use this free kit” to get rich quick. There will be a product. They will try to sell it to you. Might not happen at the first meeting but it’s coming. And by try I mean use every dirty psychological trick in the bag, up to and including technical kidnapping (won’t let you leave until you sign something).
Don’t buy into a timeshare except for a really, really limited set of scenarios. The vast majority of people are sold the timeshare in very high pressure pitches and then never use them. And then they are next to impossible to get out from under. Your scenario is very, very likely not a scenario where you will get benefit and will be paying maintenance a on property you will never use.
Your extended warranty has not expired. Hell, don’t get the extended warranty in 99.99% of the cases.
Don’t try and use debt consolidation or payday loans as a way to get out of debt. Or at least do a hell of a lot of research first. These are predators and you will end up in more debt than you started with unless you can beat them at their own game. And they do this as a job, you don’t.
Be very careful with reverse mortgages.
In all probability, a liberal arts degree. EDIT: it’s a JOKE. Sort of. If you end up $200k in debt for a liberal arts degree and have to get a job as a waiter because no one is hiring degree holders for the History of Underwater Basket Weaving from the 3rd Dynasty, Eastern Provinces, then maybe I’m talking about you. Sorry.
Good luck, young Padawan. The world is fraught with scammers.