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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Have you met anyone who fell for an Internet scam?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30398points) August 21st, 2012

It finally happened. I met someone who actually told me he’d believed he’d won a foreign lottery. Not only that, but he had responded to the emails soliciting his bank account information in order to receive some untold enormous sum.

I was amazed.

Have you ever met someone who fell for one of these scams?

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10 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Yes. We had a security guard who was an older gentleman that was not too up on the ways of the world. After he retired he wrote his former boss about how he was helping out an executive in Kenya to get his money out of the country before the government confiscated it.

We managed to get to him before he gave away too much info. They pestered him for weeks.

linguaphile's avatar

Yes—one of my friends admitted just two days ago that she and her partner fell for a scam that lost them $2500.

They saw a work-from-home ad where they were supposed to be personal assistants. They were sent a check to cash to buy “required supplies” for their personal assistant stuff with and were told to send back some money for other supplies. I’m not sure why my very intelligent, well meaning friends fell for this—they said it was because they were desperate for jobs and money and didn’t know any better.

Of course, their “boss” was nowhere to be found when they learned the check wasn’t legit and they were stuck with a bunch of purchased supplies they didn’t need. Ugh. Just ugh.

anartist's avatar

There are big scams and little scams.

I fell for a small one while searching for free page-flip code to use in a website. And oddly I was just at the best place to get it when I was lured away. I had just come to Sean O’Shell’s Pixelwit site to download his free page flip when my computer [for some unknown reason] flashed a “warning—malicious site” notice.

So I left. and the next site I picked offered free “online” pageflips. But they were so controlled as to be unusable. And pushing a deadline, I succumbed to buying a $100 page-flip package from them. But it was the same thing, still online, still very few controls, and they offered yet more stuff, customizing the page flips for a fee etc.

I couldn’t get the $100 back but I knew when to leave and went back to Pixelwit and downloaded the free page flip. It was great!

abundantlife's avatar

This was utter stupidity. If the person is that dumb not to see that it is a scam then noway it can be spared. The most scams happen during online shopping.

flutherother's avatar

I paid $20 to be directed to a free online music sharing service.

tedibear's avatar

I had a bank customer come in to cash some traveler’s checks. They looked a little off and while I was looking at them, he told us that he got them from “a guy who sent him an email.” He was supposed to cash them, and then wire money to the “guy” while keeping 10% of the amount of the checks as a thank you. He didn’t believe us that this was a scam. We ended up depositing the checks and putting a 9 business day hold on them. We knew they would come back bad, so that hold prevented him from using the money that wasn’t going to be there anyway. We couldn’t stop him from making a cash withdrawal on his available balance though, which he did, and then went to Western Union to wire the money.

Of course, the checks were bad and he was completely shocked. He happened to come into the bank the day we got the items back and surprise, surprise, he had more checks from the same scammer.

By the way, people who fall for scams aren’t necessarily stupid. More often they’re naive or desperate.

bkcunningham's avatar

I met a lady who was corresponding with someone from Christian Singles. com and actually spoke on the phone to the chap from the UK. It turned out when he was coming to the states to visit her, he had to do a side trip to Africa for his “import/export business” where he fell into a trap by some rebels, became hospitalized and needed her help getting his $3 million out of Africa and into his bank in the UK.

The lady is a senior who lost her husband three years ago to cancer and her only son died in an auto accident five years ago. She was ready to start dating and thought she was hip and cool doing it through an Internet dating site. I begged her to be careful and even tried to tell her this guy was setting her up for a scam. She wouldn’t hear anything anyone told her.

Thankfully, when her new love interest found his way into the hands of African rebels and was hospitalized and unable to come see her BUT asked her to assist with the infamous transfer scam, her eyes were opened.

SuperMouse's avatar

When we first broke up my ex-husband came perilously close to falling for one of the dating scams. He was very taken by a “wealthy” woman who said she traveled the world buying and selling antiques. She was stuck in some unfriendly country and needed him to bail her out. I smelled scam as soon as she began telling him about her untold riches. He didn’t listen at first but as the tales grew bigger and bigger he realized he was being scammed.

I agree with @tedibear most people who fall for these things are more naive then stupid. At that point in his life the ex had spent very little time on the internet and none whatsoever on dating sites. He knew nothing of these types of things and wanted to believe this rich woman wanted him.

cazzie's avatar

About a year after my ex and I broke up in New Zealand, he fell for a dating scam. She took him for several hundred dollars, saying she was raising money for a children’s hospital/orphanage in Africa. Between that story and the picture she sent, alarm bells went off in my head. I tried to warn him, but he just told me I was ‘being shallow and jealous’. Laugh was on him. If I had known he was that gullible, I would have taken him for a lot more money when I left. (nah… I have too much self respect for that….)

woodcutter's avatar

I fell for a set of Ronco knives that looked ok on TV but after having them about a year they have started to rust a little. Total shit. I got what I paid for I guess.

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