Scams have become an unpleasant part of life in today’s technological age, with thousands of victims being scammed out of millions of dollars every year. While getting scammed is a tragic and unsettling experience in 99% of cases, there is a small subset of hilarious scams that people still fall for. It is these scams that we will take a look at today.
The IRS Gift Card Scam
This is one of those hilarious scams that many people can’t believe victims actually fall for. The basic premise of the scam is someone purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service contacts you to let you know that you owe taxes to the IRS and it is going to be unpleasant if they have to take legal action to collect. They then offer the option of you sending them Amazon (or other) online gift card codes to pay off the debt. As ridiculous as it sounds, scammers keep using this scam because sometimes it works.
The Nigerian Prince Scam
This scam has been around so long that it has almost become legend, yet people still fall for it every year. With this scam, you get an email or a social media message from someone claiming to be a Nigerian prince or some other high ranking member of a far-away society. This person needs help getting their money out of the country and is willing to give you a cut of the riches if you let them use your bank account for the transaction. Giving someone access to your bank account or sending them money in the hopes of getting more money back in the future always ends in disappointment and them using your bank account can cause you serious problems that can be hard to extract yourself from.
The Out Of State/Late Night Emergency Scam
This scam is another one of the hilarious scams that people still fall for. The scam can take several different forms but it generally starts with a call, text, or email stating that a loved one is in trouble in an unfamiliar location that you had no clue they were going to or late at night when there are few options for them to solve the issue themselves. The scammer pretending to be your loved one then asks you to wire money for airfare, emergency vehicle repairs, bail money, or some other emergency situation to get them out of the trouble they are in. In most cases, the scammer gets your information from installing malware on someone else’s computer or phone. Unfortunately, there are enough kind-hearted people out there willing to help out others that this scam costs victims across the country thousands of dollars every year.
The Fake Festival Scam
This is one of the newer scams that have popped up in recent years. With this scam, the scammer creates an advertisement for a local festival that doesn’t exist and sells tickets to it online. The victim uses their debit card or credit card to purchase tickets to the event and may even get a confirmation that the tickets have been purchased. Then, on the day of the event, the victims show up to an empty lot wondering what happened to the festival. If an event is not being advertised by a reputable source, like the local newspaper or a national ticketing site, it may be best to wait until the day of the event and purchase your tickets in person.
All of these scams are scams that are very obvious in hindsight, but in the heat of the moment, you may be tempted to believe what the scammer is telling you. Scammers prey on people’s willingness to help others or take information on faith that the person giving it is an honest person. It is important to remember to check sources of information for validity and to keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
Toi Williams began her writing career in 2003 as a copywriter and editor and has authored hundreds of articles on numerous topics for a wide variety of companies. During her professional experience in the fields of Finance, Real Estate, and Law, she has obtained a broad understanding of these industries and brings this knowledge to her work as a writer.