Craziest Stories from the World of Scams

6 cases from the internet (and an example of how to scam a scammer!)


Everyone thinks they can spot a scam a mile away. Whether it’s ‘your bank’ asking kindly for your password and username in an email or a Nigerian prince who just happens to have thousands for you… if you could just pay a little to unlock it.


But the weird and wonderful world of scams can be crazier than that…


1) Scammers thinking outside the box

One thing can be said about scammers, they certainly can be creative! This example of a ‘double bluff’ takes the cake though.

But on a serious note, we all know someone who could fall for such a scheme. Always remember that a legitimate source would never ask for such details online!


2) Product Recall

Product recalls are a serious business. I mean if the product you have purchased could be dangerous, of course you would want to have it replaced. This scammer was attempting to play on this fear, but s/he wasn’t exactly successful….

Put aside the terrible spelling for a second and just try to get your head around the idea of a spontaneously combusting debit card!!

Whilst this might not be the most believable scam out there, the official header and the urgency of the messages plays on the fears of consumers. This can often cloud a user’s judgement, and make them give information away that they usually would not.

The best way to avoid falling victim to this kind of scam is to take a breath and really check these kinds of communication. Never give personal details or information through email/mail. An official correspondence would never ask for this information.


3) Lost in Translation

When being addressed as ‘Hello-Dear’, it might send some alarm bells ringing. But this example of a scam email is probably one of the laziest around. I mean open that PDF ‘for reasons’.. really?


Perhaps this scammer didn’t think of copy & pasting a real Apple support email…


4) ‘Your identification documents will help us to validate your identity’ 

With 22% of US internet users being a victim of identity theft, its no laughing matter… but this blatant attempt to steal users information is!

This particular scam is using the format of an authentic and trusted company (in this case PayPal), as well as the issue of security to scam users. Once you send them your identification documents, they will be one step closer to stealing your identity…


5) Scam… or just not reading carefully enough?


Sometimes the saying ‘It’s too good to be true’ also applies to the world of ecommerce. A story from 2013 is the perfect demonstration of this, telling the tale of Peter Clatworthy.

When he noticed a great deal on eBay for a video game console he thought it was his lucky day, that was until the postman arrived with a single lonely envelope with a picture of an Xbox inside…

The advertisement on eBay stated:

"Xbox One Fifa 14 Day One Edition, Photo Brand new UK 2013"

Watch the full story below:


6) When a scammer gets scammed

This particular individual wants to let everyone know that ‘CaptainBlack’ is a fake online seller… but in doing so that they also happened to be trying to buying illegal data and got scammed himself. Advertising this to the entire internet might not be the best plan.

Not exactly a criminal mastermind.

Scamming the scammer!


Never, ever scam James Veitch… He made trolling a scammer into an art-form after receiving a scam email in his inbox.

Don’t believe me? Just watch his hilarious TED Talk to understand why!



How to avoid falling for a scam


This may have been a light-hearted look at scams, but they can be a serious problem online. The following tips can help protect you from being a victim.

  • Keep alert

Keeping alert can be the best defence against scams. Receive something odd by mail or a new message from an unknown contact? If the deal seems too good to be true, perhaps it is.

  • Keep personal details personal

In the age of social media, it can feel like everything is out in the open. But certain things should definitely be kept to yourself. Scammers are getting more advanced with the way they can collect your personal information.

  • Shop from places you trust

When you decide to buy something online, make sure the shop you are going to buy from feels right. Check for things such as a trustmark, a variety of payment methods, reliable returns etc.

  • Use to get a quick and easy-to-understand Trust Score on a website

Simply type in the URL of the website on Scamadviser to get a quick and easy overview of whether the website is safe or not.

Why not give it a try? Click here!



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