10 Common Scams to Be Wary Of – That Are Fooling Millions of Americans

sitting ss - 10 Common Scams to Be Wary Of - That Are Fooling Millions of Americans

Sadly, scams are now part of our society. It’s so popular that if you are lucky enough to have never been a victim of a scam, then you would know at least one person who has.

While some scams are well-sophisticated and planned out, others are ridiculous and should be spotted from a mile away, yet people keep falling for them. Luckily, an online community shared these ridiculous scams people still fall for, so you can avoid them.

1. Gift Cards For The IRS

IRS audit

Someone mentioned paying “an overdue utility bill in Apple Gift Cards.” It brought up the discussion of the IRS and gift cards scam. The scam involves the victim being lied to by an “IRS agent” that they can use gift cards to pay overdue bills, back taxes, or nonexistent legal fees. 

The first question is why the IRS would initiate a call when they can send a mail to pass the message. The second should be, why gift cards? But, ridiculous scams, right? People still fall for this one.

2. Kids Behind Bars

older man retiree
Image Credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

One person shares a story: “As a teller manager, I have had a few elderly people who actually believe their grandkids are in jail and need to take 20k out of their accounts in cash to bail them out. Literally, tell them they are falling for a scam and to call their grandkids in front of me. Of course, the kid then answers.”

The scammer makes grandparents believe their grandkids are in jail and that they need to bail them out with cash. Isn’t it cruel to play on the intelligence of seniors?

3. Get Rich Quick Schemes

woman holding piggy bank with money
Image Credit: Jason Stitt / Shutterstock.

This is the most ridiculous of them all. Most times, if not all, when something sounds too good to be true, it is because it is. I want to know what causes people to fall victim still; greed or desperation? Any “get rich quick” opportunity that sounds risk-free should be done cautiously or avoided altogether. I’m looking at you, MLM.

4. Online Weight Experts 

woman weight loss
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How amazing would it be to lose weight by clicking a link and using a pill, patch, or cream? But think about it for a moment. The truth is captivating weight loss ads that promise weight loss in some days only if you use their products are false promises from companies who want to take your hard-earned money.

5. Computer Virus Scam

woman at computer worried
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Have you heard of the computer virus scam? They write, “Hello, this is John White. I am calling from Windows Technical Support. We have received notification that there are many errors on your computer and that it may have a virus.”

The scam can be a pop-up warning that a virus infected your computer or phone. Please don’t fall for it. If you click the link, it might ask you to pay a fee to buy the software. 

6. Free Vacations

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Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Have you been offered a free vacation before? This scam involves the scammers calling or texting the victims saying they have won a free vacation, and they need to call a number to either claim the prize or get more details.

The “claim” might come as a service charge or travel club membership. Furthermore, the scammers might also steal the victim’s personal information if they sign up.

7. Dating Apps

woman close up of face
Image Credit: Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock.

Literally, the number of people getting scammed daily on dating sites is alarming. You meet the perfect girl, she’s everything you’ve ever wanted, but she’s broke and needs money to get a plane ticket to get to you. Also, her mum is sick and needs money to complete her treatment. Hear this: you’re probably getting scammed, and not by your true love.

8. Romance Scam

man and woman, couple on a date

This is a more personal type of scam, and unlike dating apps, it can take place anywhere, and the scammers usually play the long game. A contributor shares their colleague’s experience:

“My coworker, who was widowed three years ago, met a man online and has been speaking with him for over a year. He says he has an apartment in an upscale neighborhood of the nearby city. They haven’t met in person because he is building a bridge in Dubai. He was going to come home for Christmas, but the flights were very expensive. I am 95% sure this is a romance scam.”

This one has people trusting strangers online. Strangers they have never met in person. Sadly, many older people get roped into these romance scams and forfeit their 401k and savings to the scammer pretending to love them.

9. Multi-Level Marketing Scam

 
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The scam here is getting you to bring more people to get scammed. The fraudsters promise great wealth, but you must bring in referrals to earn. MLM is never about selling products. It is always about getting more people to sign up underneath you.

Anytime you’re approached with a “small business opportunity,” Google and Google again. And always ask Google, “Is this company an MLM?” If it is, RUN!

10. The Lottery

100 dollar bills
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Let’s talk about this dumb scam. Millions play the lottery, hoping to become the “next big millionaire.” The ridiculous part is people think the chances of them winning a lottery in a different country are high. A lottery they never entered in the first place. They get a call, declaring them winners, but of course, they must cover the bank fees for a fake check. 

Please! Be extra careful with how you use the internet, always ask questions, and do research before investing in anything.

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This thread inspired this post.

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