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common scams people keep falling for
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Security & privacy

Here are the scams people keep falling for, according to Reddit

Hailing itself as “The front page of the internet,” Reddit is among the most popular sites in the world. Over 50 million people use the site daily. Anybody can sign up for an account and post information, images and videos. Want to know more? Tap or click here for our beginner’s guide to Reddit.

When a Redditor posted, “What’s a scam that so many people fall for without realizing it?” hundreds of replies followed. Here are some scams you need to watch out for. 

Your grandson is in trouble

Crooks are using AI to impersonate people’s voices, then call their family members to ask for money to get them out of a jam. A standard scheme is to say they need bail money to get out of jail. 

Here’s how to avoid falling for this one:

  • When you get a panicked call from a loved one, end the call as soon as you can.
  • Call them directly and ask if they’re really in danger. They’re likely fine and there’s nothing to worry about.
  • If you can’t get a hold of them, reach out to a mutual family member or friend to make sure they’re OK.

Tip: Talk to your elderly loved ones about this all-too-common scam

Pyramid schemes

Free beauty seminars or weight loss solutions are almost always multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes. The only way to make money is to recruit others to sell the same stuff they’re trying to offload on friends and family, including press-on nails, supplements, candles and even Bitcoin. 

“Put in $500 to get $35,000 back!” That’s another one you’ll find. Put in a small amount of money now, and you’ll get it back, plus a significant profit sometime down the line. The catch is you’ll have to find more people to invest their money in the scheme. 

While there are legit MLM companies (Avon, Tupperware), those at the top are usually the only ones who make big money. The majority of people lose money. Avoid MLM at all costs, and if you know someone involved, get them out!

Want to know if joining a MLM company is right for you? Check out the company’s ratings with the Better Business Bureau and follow the FTC’s guidelines on spotting a pyramid scheme

Run into some problems? The FTC recommends you file MLM complaints here.

Crooked dealerships

A car is one of many people’s most significant purchases after a house. You did your homework and agreed on a fair price for your desired vehicle. You shook hands with the dealer and thought it was over. Think again. 

Now you have to meet with the finance guy, who will review your costs while tacking on a bunch of extras you don’t need. Wheel and windshield insurance, extended warranty, paint protection and rustproofing are common add-ons. 

You can see your negotiated price skyrocket by 20% or more. When you complain, they’ll sigh and tell you that management might not take it well. Forget management. It’s your money. Tell them you won’t buy the car unless they remove the extras. Better yet, tell the dealership beforehand you’re not interested in any add-ons. If they argue, find another dealer.

Pro tip: The invoice price gives you a rough estimate of what the dealership paid for the car. Go to, build the vehicle to your desired specs, and look for the invoice price. That’s where you should start negotiating from, not the MSRP. 

Business coaching

Social media is full of people saying they’ll change your life. They’ll help you out of debt, make you rich, and you’ll be happy forever after. All you need to do is drop a few thousand dollars for a starter class. Of course.

The truth is most of these people are repeating stuff they ripped off from others. “Get off your butt and start getting things done!” Do you really need to pay someone to tell you that?

Kim recently interviewed a woman who started a successful Etsy shop right out of her home. Check out the best ways to make money by starting an online resell business.

Fake deals

It’s easy to get caught in the frenzy of the big annual sales such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day. That big-screen TV is 40% off? You’d be crazy not to buy it. Not so fast. 

How do you know when the deals are really deals? Retailers often mark prices up before big sale events, so they seem like a bargain on the big day. These sales are also a convenient way to clear out the inventory nobody is buying. 

Here’s what you need to do:

Bonus fun: 3D For Reddit offers a fantastic experience for browsing the site in a museum setting. Add /r/subreddit to the URL to switch rooms!

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Reddit 101: 12 handy subreddits for travel tips, learning, motivation and more

Good news! This annoying type of scam call was just banned

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