One would think that in today’s day and age that people would be aware of Internet scams, but apparently that is not the case. Just in 2014 alone Internet scammers took close to $13 billion from people, and with numbers like that, it is pretty doubtful that the scamming is going to stop any time soon. The old expression “There is a sucker born every minute” seems more and more true all the time.
Here is a pro tip for all of you guys out there. If you get an email from someone you don’t know, and they ask you to send them money for any reason, any reason at all, just run the other way. Were you literally born yesterday? Do you really need all of these things explained to you? I mean, I will, I’m here for you, but honestly, people, you should be able to sniff these out all on your lonesome.
Sorry, I do not mean to sound harsh- it is just amazing to me that people still fall for this kind of thing. Maybe you do need it explained to you, maybe these scams are the kinds of things that you and your loved ones will fall for. Some of them are so simple that even a child should be able to figure them out, others might actually be a bit harder for the uninitiated to figure out. Well, if that is the case I won’t judge. Here are the 15 dumbest Internet scams that people still fall for anyway. And hey, try not to get ripped off out there.
15. The Nigerian Prince
This one is entirely pathetic, but apparently it works sometimes, otherwise why would it keep being trotted out over and over again? I am sure you have been sent hundreds of these emails over time, and if you do not believe me, just check your spam folder. I bet you have a couple in there right now. These are always written in pretty bad English, and always have a totally ridiculous premise. Usually a Nigerian prince, banker, or just all around rich person, has an enormous sum of money he needs moved out of the country. Just your luck he has decided to pick you to help him. He is going to need to use your bank account to store the money, and all he wants from you is a little bit of money back; because of good faith, bribes, taxes, who knows? The only thing for sure is your “prince” is a fake and if you are dumb enough he will soon have your money.
14. The Natural Disaster
This one is uncool. I mean none of them are cool actually, but this one is about as lame as you can get. The whole gist of this one is preying on peoples’ desire to help others. The scam artist often creates a fake website, but the less industrious often just send fake emails. Basically they pretend that they are representing victims of a natural disaster and are asking for funds to help them. The thing is though, in reality the only place your funds are going to go toward is to buy the scam artist a new PlayStation. It truly stinks that you have to be careful with people asking for money to help others, but hey…you do. The Internet is filled with fakes, so never give up your money unless you know for sure the charity is legit.
13. Robbed on Vacation
Now this one I could actually see someone falling for, initially anyway, before the scam became more well known. This person actually hacks the victim’s email, then sends out an email to a bunch of people saying something like “Hi, I am in France and I was robbed, they took all of my money, my credit cards, and my cell phone.” Then they ask for money to be wired to them. So you are not just getting a fake email, you are getting an email from someone you actually know. If one doesn’t think about it for too long, you might actually send some money. Then later that day you see the friend or family member who is supposed to be stranded in France at the local Arby’s mowing down on a Beef And Cheddar.
12. The Perfect Girlfriend
This one is almost painful. It usually happens with the guy as a victim, but can happen with a woman as a victim as well. The typical scenario is that a guy meets a woman online. She is hot, funny, cool, all of that. Of course the woman lives far away, otherwise the plan would not work. It is sort of imperative that this supposed hot woman does not live close by. Why? Well, because the hot woman is almost certainly a fat middle- aged guy. Sooner or later the guy and the “girl” kind of fall for each other, and then also of course the “girl” is going to need something. Maybe she is late on rent because of an emergency, maybe she needs money to buy a plane ticket to see you, but either way as soon as you send her money for any reason you will never hear from her again.
11. Gone Phishing
Phishing takes the whole Internet scam thing up a notch. You get an email from your bank, or from Amazon, or Paypal, whatever it may be. It says to click a link to fix what is wrong. If you don’t, then you might have your account suspended. So you click the link, but instead of going where you think you are going you go to a fake version of the website you think you are at. Then by logging in you actually give these scammers all your info, so they can steal your identity, take money from your account and so on. These sites sometimes look pretty professional, but the point is, just don’t do it. Don’t click the link if the email seems to be asking you to do anything out of the norm whatsoever. A good rule of thumb is if it seems odd at all, then it probably is.
10. You’ve Been Approved
Hey look! Some company just wrote you out of the blue to offer you a new credit card! How stupid are they anyway? Don’t they know that your credit is horrible? All you have to do is send in the activation fee and you have $5,000 in credit. The only problem is that, of course, once you send in the activation fee you never hear from these guys again. And why is that? Oh, because there is no credit card now, and there never was a credit card. The whole thing was just made up to get you to send in the activation fee. When it comes to credit cards, do your research. All it takes is a quick google search to see if the company that is offering you credit is legit. So why don’t you take a couple of minutes and do that?
9. You Just Won the Lottery
How cool is this? Here you are minding your own business when all of a sudden you get an email saying you won a lottery overseas. The cool thing about all of this? You never even entered a lottery! How lucky are you anyway? All you have to do is send them the $100 processing fee and they send you the check. Now this one would only work if you are a total idiot, but hey, they keep rolling scams like this out, so there must be a lot of total idiots out there. Look, you did not win a lottery that was based out of Kenya, and if you did, then there is obviously no way you need to pay them to get your money. Come on man, do I really need to explain this? Some of these you should be able to see coming a mile away.
8. You Just Got A Virus
Now this one is a bit of a tough one. You are on your computer rolling along minding your own business, when all of a sudden something pops up on your screen and says that you have a virus and that you need to download your virus protection to get rid of it. So what do you do? Well, if you are smart you ignore it, but if you are dumb then you click the pop up. But guess what? Instead of getting rid of viruses, what you just did was download a virus, where someone can search through your computer and your history to steal all your information. This one gets a lot of people. The first time you see this pop up, you probably are going to panic a little bit. Don’t panic though, just close it up, shut down your computer and start it up again. Just don’t click it!
7. Buy A Ticket To The Best Show Ever!
Dude, it turns out there is a concert coming to town next week, will all of your favorite bands playing, and you never even heard about it! Thank God these promoters happened to send you an email to tell you all about it. Man, you got that ticket just in time. The thing is, when you show up next week to some abandoned field in the middle of nowhere, you are not going to see all of your favorite bands, or even thousands of people. What you are going to see are a couple of dozen idiots walking around looking for the concert. Who are these idiots? Well, just the only other people as dumb as you are that fell for this scam. Scams like this are currently on the rise, so do your homework and don’t get ripped off.
6. Faked Out On Facebook
We all know about Catfishing these days. It used to be something that was almost unheard of, someone pretending to be someone else on the Internet? Who would do such a thing? Well, all sorts of people, apparently. There are other scams that take it further, though. They take your friend’s profile photo and copy a lot of their information and then start messaging you on Facebook. Of course if you are paying attention you will pick up on this right away, but all a scammer needs is one person that is not on point and they can make a lot of money. What would you do if one of your best friends was messaging you on Facebook saying that they were in trouble and asking for you to PayPal them some money? Well, you would help of course. Too bad you gave your money to a stranger.
5. Online Funding Sites
Some of these are scams, and some of them are just pathetic people trying to get you to give them money. Either way, don’t do it. Back in the old days begging for money from strangers was thought of as kind of lame. Not anymore. Now it is as normal as apple pie to ask people you have never met for money. Again, there are two types of these things. The first is an outright scam, where someone asks for money because their daughter has a rare type of cancer. The only problem is, they made the whole thing up. The other type is the person that asks for something that is real, but is totally lame. Do you really care if some random chick from Arkansas can make it to Las Vegas for her best friend’s wedding? I don’t.
This one would be almost funny if it was not so sad. These usually come up when someone is messing around on adult sites. So you are already feeling kind of guilty when all of a sudden something pops up that actually freezes your screen. Sometimes it will say that your computer has been frozen by the FBI because you broke some sort of law, and that you need to pay 300 bucks to get them to unfreeze it. Here is a pro tip…the FBI does not do things like that. Other times, it might tell you that your computer is damaged, and that there are hackers and you need to pay for them to remove it. These things are awful. You have to literally force your computer to shutdown and reset your Chrome or Safari. Don’t panic though, just like everything else on this list it is all just a scam, and something that you can deal with without paying any money.
3. The Fake Cop
This one is kind of gutsy. Sometimes this goes down on the Internet, other times they will actually call you and pretend to be the police. Either way, they are letting you know that they have some loved one in custody, and that person needs bail money. Hey, think for a second. If the cops arrest someone you know, are they really going to run around trying to figure out someone that they can call that will bail them out? No they are not. Just like any other scam, if you actually stop and think about it for a second then it does not make any sense. These scammers try and make sure that you actually do not think about it, that you just act quickly without any thought. They know that if you think about it they have no chance.
2. Work From Home
Hey you! Yes you, sitting there at the screen reading this article! Do you hate your job? Or do you have a hard time even finding a job at all? Well, just work from home and I can show you how! It really is not that hard, I can hook you up to the point that you will be making a grand a week in no time. All you need to do is buy this software to process credit cards and we are good to go. Just send me 300 bucks and we can get started. If this sounds like it might be a good idea to you, please do yourself a favor. Log off your computer and never get on it again. If you had not noticed, a lot of these scams come from greed, and the fact that someone thinks they can get something for nothing. Pro tip. You can’t.
1. Buy Gold Today
I know that you are probably worried about getting ripped off after reading this article. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. You just need to buy some gold and silver; that stuff never loses its worth, it is probably one of the safest investments that you could possibly make. The only problem is, you are so stupid that you just paid some guy over the Internet for the gold. No, he is not going to send you any gold. In fact he probably does not even have access to any gold. But you still sent him money. If you want to buy gold, for the sake of all that is holy please do so with a reputable person that you can buy it from and physically hold it in your hand. And no matter what you do…don’t ever buy gold from a Nigerian prince.