Leo Gura

Mega-Thread - Share Stories Of How You've Been Scammed, Cheated, Swindled

117 posts in this topic

I am doing research for a new episode about how to avoid scammers, cheaters, exploiters, con-artists, etc.

I would like to hear your stories about how you were conned or swindled in life. It could be financial, business, medical, relationship, etc. Could be something major or minor.

Please keep your story concise. We don't need your entire life story.

Also share what lesson you learned from this incident. And what is it about you that made you fall prey to this con?


You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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I had an asshole superior at work who couldn’t get along with our funding department. His social skills sucked, and he needed to leech off someone with keen communication and interpersonal skills. Unfortunately, that person was me. He presented as an opportunity for growth and exposure..but once the goal was reached in expanding funding for the team, he never acknowledged my effort. It was clear I was only a means to meet a self glorifying end.

Lesson Learned: When engaging in any partnership, contemplate the level of mutual value add. Also, check the persons reputation amongst peers. If you think a con man will treat you any different than anyone he/she has in the past because you are somehow special, you are greatly mistaken.

 

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Bald guy once tellin me he is god and shit, wanting me to buy his book list and life purpose course - complete nuthead lol.

So now that the obvious joke is out of the way, here is my scammer moment:
In late 2014 there was this company called VEMMA which sold some sort of "healthy energy drink" and just got big in my city. You know back then, terms like "Ponzi scheme" or "multi level marketing" wasnt known to the greater public, including me. I remember one night, my best friend was calling me to announce our future financial independence. He didnt tell me a lot, just to come to certain house adress the next day at 5 PM. So because I was curious what this stuff was all about I followed through. When I arrived at that adress the next day, there was freaking Lamborghini parked in front of the house, which added to the WTF factor. I entered the building and found myself with around 10 other people in this living-roomesque place - my friend and some other old acquintances included. Suddenly this very good looking, well deressed, bambi-eyed guy entered the room - he one of those faces you just trust from the first moment you see him. He greeted everyone in a very salesmanesque way, then started his presentation.

To this day, I am still baffled with what this guy did to us. I am not from the naive side,.I had a father who really tried to instil in me some common sense when it comes to that stuff. But hell, there was just something abot that person and his way of conveying the message - that flipped some deep rooted switches in our cognitive-emotional apperatus. He basically told us we will all get rich, we can all get a nice car, passive income, health, jet set lifestyle and a hot girl or boyfriend . When I think about the pure transcript, it sounds like something you could base a parody on - literally unbelieveable that anyone with some working intelligence could every fall for it - but he didnt make IT FEEL that way. It all felt incredibly real and just one signature away. Your dream life, everything you ever wanted - right there and within ones reach. Now, what signature you might ask? 

Well, to get "into" this whole thing - you had to buy the starter package - which was like 750€. 
It included several boxes of this "healthy energy" drink plus some DVD's with selling strategies. Our job then was to recruit new people and so on. 
9/10 people signed the deal. BAM. 

Only after the whole thing was over and we got back home, this reality distortion field was slowly getting weaker. 
We  started to get back to the real world - making some calculations, doing some online research about this company etc.
Finally realizing the fraudulent nature of that whole project.

Long story short: It was a pyramid-scheme. 
I have had some friends who tried to make it work - but of course, no one made any real money with it. As for me, after realizing that I just threw this money out of the window - I wanted to get refund. It wasnt possible. They used some sort of legal grey zone to not make refunds possible. 

Well, I was angry. 
But nowadays I am still amazed by this guys charisma. He could have been using that for doing good as well. 

Edited by undeather

MD. Internal medicine/gastroenterology - Evidence based integral health approaches

"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

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@undeather Great share. Classic story.


You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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I was scammed by my ex boyfriend. And cheated on by the third boyfriend. 

The second case was cheating. The first case was him coming up with reasons to ask me money and I would give him money. I kept giving him money over a period of a year. At the end of the year I found out that all the reasons were lies. He didn't need the money for any genuine reason. He was simply scamming me because I believed his reasons. So he started exploiting my trust. 

Lesson learned - not to trust someone so easily. Check their commitment levels. Focus more on their actions than their manipulative words. Words are cheap. Don't invest in someone simply because they're being sweet. Invest only as much as they invest in you, so you're keeping it level headed and equal, whether financially or emotionally. 

 


INFJ-T,ptsd,BPD, autism, anger issues

Cleared out ignore list today. 

..

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2 minutes ago, AtheisticNonduality said:

I went to college. ;)

Classic ;)


You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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I was about 21 yo, I had a couple of elevated moles on my back.  They could catch objects and I didn't like the look of them when shirtless.  So I went to a dermatologist and just say I want a simple mole removal. I checked my insurance and it said mole removal was covered.  So I get them removed, very easy to do, virtually painless and only took a couple minutes.  Without telling me anything, Dr sends the moles for in depth skin cancer testing after removal.  He also billed the removals as "cosmetic" and not "medical necessity".  This was because it was for appearance/looks and that was not a medical/health problem.  I was not told about any of this.  Because of the billing, insurance didn't cover it due to it being cosmetic, and they didn't cover the cancer testing.  Conveniently for the doctor he could also charge more for it being cosmetic.  21 yo poor college student me gets a bill for $ 1600.  I tried to complain but to no avail.

Lesson:  Get as much clarity in the medical field as possible, so many hidden fees.  Ask about what your being charged for, check insurance closely.  Doctors will run up your bill and add on any testing they can reasonably justify.  Be firm with what you need/expect, stand up for yourself.

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I wanted to put up an ad for my freelance business, so I went to yell.com to put it up there. The guy on the phone spoke passionately about the success of my business if I used this website. But to post my ad on the website, I must pay for an entire year, nothing smaller, and there is no cancellation allowed. Of course there was no free trial. After the guy spoke to me for an hour, convincing me that I would succeed, I signed up. It cost $350 per month, for one year. It’s been four months, and I haven’t received a single phone call. Other websites which were free gave me traffic, but this one, nobody called or inquired about my business. And now I have to spend eight months watching them take my money, knowing that I won’t get anything back in return.


"Not believing your own thoughts, you’re free from the primal desire: the thought that reality should be different than it is. You realise the wordless, the unthinkable. You understand that any mystery is only what you yourself have created. In fact, there’s no mystery. Everything is as clear as day. It’s simple, because there really isn’t anything. There’s only the story appearing now. And not even that.” — Byron Katie

 

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I was a clerk at a coffee shop and this guy came in to buy a bottle of water with a 20 dollar bill. I took the bill, and was looking in the register to give him his change. Then he said he had some extra coins so that it was easier for me to give him the change.

He gave me the coins and I don't remember how but, as he was talking he took the 20 dollar bill back (or I gave it back to him), and I didn't realize it, it was very quick. In the end he walked away with the bottle of water, the 20 dollar bill and like 18 dollars extra.

During the interaction I suspected he was tricking me but I was too much of a nice guy and didn't want to cause any problems with the customers.

Lesson learned:

Stand up to people no matter what the social situation is.

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The only times I have been personally scammed has been on RuneScape and Youtube. I used to make YouTube videos and had close to 400 subscribers which was a big deal to me in the 5th grade, as I had other friends who did YouTube and RuneScape who weren’t quite at my level. But then, an account that I thought was an actual YouTube moderator asked for my password in a convincing way. The message and account seemed legit. I gave my password and my account was stolen.

Funny story where I scammed a scammer:

In this short story, I saw a PS4 for sale for 50$ on a website. Despite my dad saying it was a scam, I was really convinced that it was gonna work. My dad knew it but wanted me to learn. So he paid 50$ for a PS4 in China with his credit card. A few weeks later, all I got was a 50$ U.S. coin in the mail. We did a chargeback and the online system asked for item to be returned so we just but a quarter in the mail! :) They couldn’t do anything about it cause they were scamming me.

Take that scammers!


“Our most valuable resource is not time, but rather it is consciousness itself. Consciousness is the basis for everything, and without it, there could be no time and no resource possible. It is only through consciousness and its cultivation that one’s passions, one’s focus, one’s curiosity, one’s time, and one’s capacity to love can be actualized and lived to the fullest.” - r0ckyreed

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Once I bought a used microwave on the ebay version of craig's list and when I arrived at the adress I noticed that the neighborhood was more of a suspicious one and got a bad feeling. However I told myself that this might be just some bias and proceeded. I did not get the last name but was told that when I messaged her she would open the door and so she did. When I was inside an old (around 60)  very pleasent woman opened the door smiling and let me try some cookies she just baked with this microwave and I admit they were delicious. She told me she baked them for the holidays and sells them and that she gets a new kitchen from her daughter and that's why she wants to get rid of some of the older stuff. I checked the mikrowave while eating and getting chattered to and then we tested that thing with a glas of water. But after 10 seconds she told me that this is the evidence that it worked and so it seemed. I took a quick look at the covering and the inside and gave her the money. 

On my way home I felt that something was odd about the niceness of that lady and when I got home I tested it with sone food again but I was suspicious and stayed there to watch again and after a minute that thing got so hot that the glass plate inside bursted and the metall covering expanded. When I took a closer look at the skews I saw that they were slighly manipulated and when I opened the covering I found out that the moter wasn't the original and ill attached. I was quiet shocked when I realized I could've burned down the entire house because I needed a new microwave quickly with a low budget.

I complained and the person answered it must have broken on my way home because her 10 sec test with the water showed that it worked. Then she didn't reply. 

I assume that she is part of a family that looks for broken electronics  on the trash and repairs and sells it because the webprofile has a lot of such stuff. 

So don't buy used electronics from people you don't know and don't let yourself be distracted by stories, kind words and food. 

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I was part of a bank scam, my bank account was used as a middle man in the scam.

last january I called bank customer care number (which was given in bank website) to fix my google pay account, they asked for otp and I gave them without thinking much (stupid). Next night 1200$ came to my account and withdrawn at same time, next day a old man from north of india called me accusing I stole his money, two days back he had a debit card issue(which was of a different bank) and called the customer care and gave Otp number just like me. I request him to file a police case, which he did (old man was calling me regularly to give his money back, I understood his pain and never said anything bad for accusing me). I also went to my bank raising the issue and they washed there hands of by  telling me there customer care handling is given to a private company and are not done by banking employees. Case is still going on and I dont think old man is gonna get his money back. There are like thousands of cases like this still pending and police cyber department is really bad at finding these scammers.

Here is another story one happend to my friend, he got a call from a famous property for house keeping job, they did first round of interview which was just asking name and all, my friend was suscpicious hearing african english from the interviewer and played along with him. later they sent him a call letter, which was perfect it had even got seal of the property, but with email id only different, seeing it my friend was sure the african guy who did interview was a scammer, they called my friend again and said he was appointed but have to give some amount of money to apply for visa and all, my friend got in real desi mode and started trolling african scammer. These type of incidents are common here many youth and old people have lost money.

lesson learned: I need to be more aware about things happening in my country and aware when I interact with strangers.

 

Edited by Harikrishnan

I will be waiting here, For your silence to break, For your soul to shake,              For your love to wake! Rumi

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How about the scam where companies which rely on the ruthless exploitation of labor try to sell employees on the idea that if they work hard and apply themselves, they'll be taken care of.

On several occasions I could have been killed (or been very seriously injured) during a few year stint as a low wage, non-Union Utility worker who regularly had to access people's property in rough, low income neighborhoods. 

Quickly learned that if one is in a disadvantaged socio-economic position, you will almost certainly be exploited unless you take deliberate steps to prevent that from happening.

Not my story, but the shameful way that this Frito-Lay employee was treated also seems relevant here.

 

Edited by DocWatts

I'm writing a philosophy book! Check it out at : https://7provtruths.org/

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I met a hyper charismatic narcissistic boss who was always proud of himself for how great his company was and how bad other companies were. He was using a lot of strong language to discredit other companies, it was fun but very manipulative. I thought I would have fun in his company but ended up being bullied by him and coworkers and working more than expected. I was also working without any contract and he told me that he would have to pay me less if he had to declare me.

I learned to not trust people who brag too much and criticize others a lot.

Edited by Raphael

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Many years ago, I delivered my laptop to the same place I bought it from for repairs (the biggest electronics company in my country). They said they couldn't fix it but that I could get a replacement laptop with the same specs, so I agreed to that. My laptop had a very powerful Intel Core i7, and the replacement one had a lousy Intel Core i5 and I could feel the difference immediately. Lesson: don't trust salespeople (?) xD


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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Once when I was about 20 and very shy and a "nice person". I was a trainee and had little money, I was tricked in signing up for an well known NGO by a hot girl in the city centre. At first our conversation started a little bit flirtingly and she flattered me a lot and we seemed to have some things in common. It was very pleasent and I got some facts. After 5 minutes she started implicitly making me feel guilty for not taking the responsibility for the poor children around the world and she emphasized how they were suffering and all kinds of hardship. At the same time she blamed all the people who help. I told her I had little money and can't really afford it but she pressed me for 10 more minutes making me feel guilty and doing some calculations could do this and somehow I couldn't go although I sought a way out of the conversation. finally I signed that shit. I left feeling a bit abused. 

 

It took a long time and more pain to understand how such things work and that she pushed some bottons. 

 

 

Edited by Seeker531

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Right now we´ve got a new director corporate controlling. This is what I have been doing basically in the shadow of redbeard. But well I am not sure if I wanna be a director. I don´t have the same type of logic as a new CFO. I would hate to have to implement his stupid ideas. 

Anyways the woman is terrible. She wants me to create different reports - what I basically do - I link ALL the cells to a central software  + some calculation in Excel - EVERYTHING is done automatically. The only thing you need to enter is a date. Refresh. Ready! But behind is a MOUNTAIN of data - on different levels, different layers, different structures. For different purposes. Normal stuff. This woman: "How long do you need to create this report? For something like that I needed in my old company not more than 10 minutes" Me: "Ehm.. I don´t know, if the complexity of what is behind is comparible. One hour? Maybe two. It´s diffucult to say upfront". She: "One hour??? Jesus! Well do it. But don´t change the format! I hate it when one column is wider than the other one for no reason" I swear, this is what she told! Not thank you, not great, that it will be ready by tomorrow. But that she will hate me if I change the width of her damned columns. 

I needed yesterday 2 hours in the evening and today another 4 hours. Stupid me - didn´t hit 10 minutes. It was actually  not one report but series of reports - not the bad ones, I have to say for the benefit of terrible woman.

But what can I say? I like this kind of work. I would rather do something like that without appreciation and being manipulated, so that I don´t even dare to tell the real time it takes, than do some shitty boring work and get a lot of thanks. 

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