Leo Gura

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

104 posts in this topic

This one is more of a scam on national level but in my home-country, in eastern Europe we were promised that a highway would be built all the way from west to east of the country. At the moment it goes from west to somewhat middle and then you are left with shit roads for another 150 miles. 

The highway has been paid for through taxpayers money at least 3 times now in the last 20 years. Billions of euros have dissapeared. It still hasn't been built. The company that got paid still exists and operates. However suspiciously politicians have become rich, houses worth tens of millions have been built....and the highway is nowhere to be found. Nobody has ever ben found guilty. ....

The last 3 governments we had were ruthlessly exploiting the funds of European union and openly stealing money from the national treasury. Nothing ever happened for decades the country was robbed blind by the government it elected because the majority of the country was too dumb and too blinded by their poverty and lack of education to vote for a better party.......thank god that generation is dying out now and it looks like we are finally heading towards better times. 


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@Ethan1 you had me cracking up xD


Divest from the conceptual. Experience the actual.

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the reason scam happens because you are not thinking logically. 

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Posted (edited)

Not me, but my parents were scammed. The manager of my parent's company did some shady stuff like taking money from clients but never telling us. Our business was about teaching how to do stock marketing and trading and other related stuff. This manager guy is actually part of a group of several hundred people that scam new business owners. Now among the clients who actually got scammed by the manager, they sent random lots of people from their group and started blaming it all on my parents. So naturally the ones who actually got scammed blamed us too in the mob mentality. Someone who had a newspaper editor as a friend, got us in the newspaper in the form of an article as well, calling us a fraud company. They also bribed the police in a separate state(Jammu and kashmir, India) (I live in Delhi, India), to come arrest my parents. Jammu Kashmir cuz back then that state had a more independent government from the central government, so police had most of the control, so easy to bribe, and get away with shady stuff. They took most of our money and got our bank account's freezed so we couldnt use money to help ourselves with legal matters like getting a good lawyer. 

It's been 3+ years, both parents still in jail. These people are able to evade law because of money, and they're just stalling the case. They really thought this out. At this point, all we have is a government lawyer and those aren't that good here.

 

Now if I had to describe my parent's mentality which would have led to this, I don't know. I bet they had really thought this out and paid much attention to what they were doing, mainly because something similar has happened to them in 2008 as well. The scammers were just too good at what they do.(Not saying my parents were perfect at inspection, they must have slipped up in many places and ignored red flags) And these people are pure stage orange. They got both my parents incarcerated, didn't care that me(14 at the time) and my sister(3 at the time), would probably have to go to some institute to live where they keep children with both parents incarcerated, if not somewhere worse.

 

tldr; a group of people who scam new successful business owners some how infiltrated my parent's company through jobs, and fucked us up from the inside, and then got away with all the law shit with money

Edited by Swarnim

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#1 When I first moved out someone called me and asked if my computer was running slower than usual, said he was from Microsoft. he installed some malware on my laptop via Teamview and made me transfer him a couple hundred bucks. If I had a credit card at that time it would've been much more. 

#2 Someone from my internet provider called me and said I had a free speed upgrade, he even had my customer ID. I said cool, he proceeded to put a TV cable on my account doubling my monthly bill. Was a pain in the ass to get that money back but I did (unlike #1). 

Lessons learned: Don't trust anyone on the phone... and when they offer you something free/cheap tell them to fuck right off. 

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, Matt23 said:

A guy came up to me on the street, asking for $20 for a bus ticket to go home. I gave him the money.  He seemed genuine to me.

Similar kind of story with me. Happened twice, with different people.
Common story they tell someone: Bus ticket to go home, or show you an image of their mom who needs help, coming to this country to work, but have no personal files with them.


These were kind of amateurs imo. Stuck with one approach they had and not flexible enough to change sth fundamental about it...
What I noticed:

  • Frame control: They set a high price for what they need ($40 for ticket) then they ask for something less. [I don't know if they do it deliberately]

 

  • There's sth off about their (weirdly constant level) played "pain" or low mood. Played victim.
    ... When they believe some peace of evidence you ask for will finally convince you to give them money, you can feel the difference when they have an energy surge of eagerness to show it to you

 

  • Appealing to "goodness", "God will help you", ...  <-- trying to guilt/shame you into action and play/prey on your self-image as a "good, honest, helpful, etc. person" + blowing up smoke up your ass (your kindness and positive qualities) -- possibly gaslighting you at the end if you don't give in. "If you were a good person you would..."
  • Tried to hug me and shit, initiating touch quickly as it establishes the newly met as a "trustworthy person" ... Ideally no hugs. ... They might steal sth.
     
  • "Tell-tale sign" :P: Look at their shoes! If they wear nice clean sneakers (or fashionable clothing), they're likely lying. = Actively look for incongruence ; Look for invalidating info; ask questions and see if they spin up new story, repeat themselves or some other way avoid a direct answer (+ persistence) --> red flag
  • Check if they (truly) empathize with your side, if they are willing to understand yours (and how well) and if they are willing to go out of the way. (Is there a "safety net" for you?)
  • If they offer you sth small in the beginning as a gift (flower, etc.), they make it more likely you'll give them sth

 

Lesson:
Be unaltered by other's attempts to validate/improve/alter your self-image (Thick face), remain meta-aware, be grounded in your own truth and ruthless if need be. Turn back and walk away.
Be kinda nice to them but firm, ... you don't know if their gang/fam lives around your neighborhood, as in my case.
Give yourself self-love and compassion if (you think) you've been scammed.
__
Study your self-deception and self-justification. ("This type of mistakes won't happen to me." etc.)
 

 


Reasons for falling prey (first time only):

  • Lack of experience and stories about these kind of things
  • Not knowing how to dissuade me from the story they told (= not looking at disconfirming evidence; the somewhat "clean fashionable look" for someone without money, etc.)
  • because they constantly beg and talk, barely leaving room for reflection. (= letting myself get rushed)
  • Letting myself be frame-controlled, giving some money but considerably smaller than what they asked.
  • Not letting my "strong, bad, rude, ruthless" side out, because stuck being the habitual "nice person who wants to help".
  • Being on my own with the people, with none else to reality-check me or give me room to breathe and think/reflect in the interaction. (Maybe they target people who are on their own.)
Edited by peqkno
reason for falling prey

Miracle:    Impossible from an old understanding of reality, but possible from a new one.

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Posted (edited)

Phishing via email.

Check if it's actually the real service provider sending the mail. Look for the people's credentials ("why you should trust them"), not just words, question even the validity of those credentials they show. Check the URLs and which servers the browser gets redirected to; if it's the real website.
Don't let yourself get hurried by being asked to decide quickly, delay if possible.

Confirm with other sources (staff of provider) that something really is up.

Why my friend fell prey to the scam?
Didn't expect it and didn't know much about phishing.
Was a pretty simple act they had to do (enter password)
Not tech savvy (looking at redirect, urls, ...) - and only told me by chance and we resolved it before more damage could be done.

Edited by peqkno

Miracle:    Impossible from an old understanding of reality, but possible from a new one.

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Sweden: Järntoget. A "capital" of drug dealing in Gothenburg.

It's a place I have researched through imperical observation. I have been tripping in that place more than 3 times (Moderate doses: LSD, Weed), deliberately observing.

4 times I have been scammed in the same way: Black people trying to sell me weed. Of course, the weed was fake each time.

But these people were convincing. They were so convincing that I repeated my mistakes. 

Basically, they acted as if their weed was real and that I was getting a bargain. They used always doubled down on their lies that "the weed was real", they even acted as if they expected me to buy the thing, because it was gonna be worth it. Their reasons always made sense, their acting went along with their style, the environment.

Basically, they acted superbly as if they had good weed and that I should buy it. They acted as if they were real-deal sellers, selling me good stuff, where they actually didn't. 

The thoughts always came to me that they might be scamming, but I couldn't find any evidence for it, because their act was so congruent; and so I got scammed in self-doubt, "taking the risk" so to speak.

I can only imagine people who has not been scammed before thus don't get the suspicion in the midst of their congruency. But they have to be very congruent: to make their reasons for trading with you, believable: "Win win"

It's as if the scammers apply to our good nature, and they do this with congruent acting. As if it was real: No suspicion = free money for the scammer.

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Let me tell you about Adrian Santana. Mid 2017 I went backpacking around south east Asia. I stayed at a hostel in central Hanoi for around 9 months before deciding to live here. We lived in 20 bed dormitories, there was a nice bar and social area with communal facilities and it cost 3 bucks a night. There were constantly travellers coming through and many of us who were long stays formed close friendships. 

 

After around 5 months, this stout, tanned sweaty fellow comes through. He's says he's half colombian, half Spanish doctor who is taking a break from work and traveling. His name is Adrian Santana.

 

Initially Adrian came off a bit strange. He was always vying for attention and he certainly wanted to make people laugh. He would often buy us drinks and eventually we started to warm up to him. 

 

Fast forward a month or so and Adrian is one of my closest friends. We spent many a night having fun in the hostel and around the city. He was well liked by many and our relationships were deep and personal, not just surface level. 

 

One night I come into the dormitory and find Adrian in tears and one of our mates comforting him. He says he's just been given news that his grandmother died and he's having a hard time of it. I go up to the bar and a few separate people say "did you hear Adrian's Mother died?" I corrected them and said no it was his Grandmother. They were sure he said Mother... Whatever, I thought, nothing to it just miscommunication. 

 

Over time we're getting to know Adrian better. He's got seemingly limitless cash and he's always buying drinks for people and taking us for extravagant meals. I thought damn, they must be paying the doctors in Colombia well. Or was it Spain? I couldn't get a clear answer out of Adrian. One week he says we need to hit the town cos it's his 30th birthday and we'll have a BIG night. What a night it was. He buys a huge bouquet of helium balloons from a vendor outside and releases them in the bar. He's buying rounds of drinks for random people. Epic 30th birthday celebration. Except two weeks later, it's his birthday night again?? This time he's 28 years old. Okay something fishy going on here but fuck it we're having fun. 

 

I kept money in my bedside locker and I left it unlocked for a few hours one day. I came back to find my money gone, around $120. I tell some friends about the incident, including Adrian. He's pissed and he says we need to go on a mission to try and find it ASAP. I go to the hostel reception and we check the cameras. We can't see inside the room, but the only person seen going in or out is the cleaner. The manager agrees to confront the cleaner and Adrian concurs, it's a good course of action. Later in the bar he buys me multiple drinks and he offers his commiserations for my loss. Theft happens in hostels though, eh? 

 

At some point Adrian confesses he's in financial straits and so he has to leave the city and go to a town nearby. He's gone for 2 months or so and we don't hear a word. Then he comes back fully loaded. The partying continues for a month or so. At this point Adrian is killing it. Everyone is eating out of his hand and he told us he must have banged at least 15 girls that month (I certainly saw him hooking up with 3 or 4). One of my friends jokes that Adrian had sex with more people in one month than he had in his entire life. Eventually Adrian is bust again but this time, he needs to leave for real. And just like that he was gone. 

 

A week or so later, we see a post on a local Facebook group from a woman. She's looking for her boyfriend. They had a whirlwind romance and they were deeply in love. One day boyfriend found out his Dad had cancer and told her he had to leave. He desperately needed money to contribute to the cancer treatment, so he asked his love to borrow around two thousand dollars. She obliged and he said he'd send it to her when he returned to Spain. Now he had ghosted her. His name is... Adrian Santana. 

 

Two weeks go by and I get a messge on insta from a south Korean girl. She's been searching for over 1 year for her boyfriend. They lived together and were due to marry, but one day he had a family crisis, he needed to borrow money and get home. He would pay her when he got home except the call never came. Now she's got sick and after diagnosis she's got a sexually transmitted disease. The guys name? Adrian Santana.

 

So at this point we try to contact Adrian but guess what? He's gone off ALL social media. Like he was never there. All accounts gone. 

 

At this point we realised what had happened. This guy was a complete imposter. He'd go from place to place, country to country, setting up a new life, new friendships, partying and telling people a made up life story. He'd spend all his money garnering power and attention. Once he had people in a position of trust he'd rob or scam them, then take the money and move on. 

 

Then I remembered: when that $120 went missing, only the cleaner was seen leaving and entering the room. But guess who was in the room the whole time? My dear friend, Adrian Santana.


Divest from the conceptual. Experience the actual.

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I remember back in Albania. I don't know if we were scammed or not because the moment we were going to pay the money that person had left his home which was his office. There was a guy from New Zealand convincing my father that he will help him with paperwork to live in New Zealand and after many encounters with him he left with no notice. My father assumed he was a spy and this work was just to prove his 'occupation' 

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On 12/08/2021 at 7:46 PM, mysticalninja said:

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.

I am absolutely gobsmacked by this. $1600! I literally had exactly the same issue, had the mole removed just 2 days ago. Same shit said it’ll be sent to a lab as he said that’s just the general process with these sorts of things although there’s highly likely nothing to be concerned about. But they do it anyway. No fees just all done through the nhs, infact I’d be surprised if I ever hear anything about it ever again. You Americans get totally scammed with anything and everything within the medical field. Uk nhs proves that empirically. $1600!! Amazing. Stunned

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Posted (edited)

Years ago I put a gig up online for someone to do a music related job for me. As they were doing it, they were very friendly and it really felt like we related to each other. We talked about a bunch of bands and shared taste in music. They gained my trust by doing this and I really felt like they were legitimate, so when they asked for early payment before the job was done, I didn't think twice and sent them the money. Afterwards, they promptly deactivated their phone number, never finished the job and I never heard from them again.

Edited by EternalForest

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Was in such a materialistic mindset back in the day I was merely overcome by greed. I wanted a new mobile phone so bad that I bought one off a guy from the likes of a UK version of Craigslist. I paid half through PayPal and half bank transfer. I never received the phone. 

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Posted (edited)

I was selling my car because I needed to move quickly due to Covid. I used Craigslist to sell it.

The guy who showed up to buy it looked at the engine and told me about a problem that it had and said “oh! I knew it, typical east coast engine problem”. He went into a detailed explanation of the problem, and pointed to parts. 
 

he wanted the car for about $600 less than the agreed price, and showed me an injury on his arm and said “look, this is a bullet hole because I was a cop. I wouldn’t lie to you”. 
 

I sold it to him and he was supposed to mail me back the license plates but he never did.

looking back, 95% certain he was full of shit.

lesson: just because people act like they know more than you and flaunt authority doesn’t mean they do. It may even be a clear sign they are BSing.

Edited by Bob Seeker

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Recently I gave my credit card details to a con website. Happened, because I was trying to download a game late at night, down and tired, and didn't pay attention to the warning signs. When it didn't work, I checked the reviews and blocked my card :( 

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1 hour ago, Elisabeth said:

Recently I gave my credit card details to a con website.

That's why you're supposed to use Privacy.com


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Every time I spoke on the phone with my aunt she invited me to live with her for free. She was rich and I had money issues and debt I thought I would start paying off. Eventually I ended my housing contract and moved 400 miles and when I had settled in she charged me with a higher rent than I had before. She pretended to never have said it, or pretended that she had conditions I didn't fulfill, essentially changed stories every other minute.

I knew that she could be a sleazy person, sending back food on restaurants to avoid paying, or pretending a product was broken before she bought it if she broke something. But I expected that she wouldn't swindle a relative or someone she knew, especially because her reputation would be compromized among our common acquaintances. Ironically she had warned me about getting agreements written down on paper, but I assumed that she looked out for me, not that I should need that from her.

She was really shocked when I didn't comply to her and said I would move out, and I noticed that the people she surrounded herself with were the kind of people who would look the other way when things were happening in front of them. So I guess I learned that truth doesn't matter in many social circles, if it's the 'offender' who is meeting their needs more. And to look at the kind of people that are willing to stick around someone, and if they have something in common. And to get things in writing even from relatives.

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A lot of old passwords keep getting exposed (and flagged by google) by data breaches. We need to be careful that we don't use the same password for every account because if someone gets hold of that one password obviously it could impact you severly.

There is software which helps you get around this like 1password or Nordpass.

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