There are so many scammers out there waiting to take advantage of you and despite the warnings, people still fall for the same scams and most of the time, end up losing money over them or worse, their lives.
1. The Nigerian Prince...and his bedridden friends
These emails always start the same way...there is someone in dire need of funds. They are sick, ousted from a government, their money was stolen can you donate...any number of things have happened, but they definitely need your help (*cough, cough* bank account number, SSN, address, mother's maiden name) to wire them some funds. The worst is the use of a sick kid as the bait, imaginary in this case of course, but people with big hearts always want to help and so they stupidly give these people their info and have their bank accounts cleaned out.
2. Herbs and sleep will cure your cancer
Trust me when I say this...when someone is dying, they will try anything if they want to live, so of course these scammers take full advantage. They tell them, they need this or that set of herbs and herbal pills which of course only they sell the secret ingredients for, and keep sending in your monthly payments, and just like that, your deadly cancer will be cured. You also have the other set who try to convince patients that they just need more sleep and to exercise more, and that will do it. There are people in optimal health who do all the right things naturally, and still get cancer. There are those who smoke 5 packs a day, drink all night, and do drugs, who never get cancer. Cancer is a bitch, and though a few herbs and some exercise will help a lot of people with a lot of things, more often then not, that alone isn't enough. This one is very scary because for many people we are talking life and death and unfortunately in many cases, getting people's hopes unnaturally high for some cancers with high death rates for which there are no known cures.
3. Lose 50 lbs today!
Americans spend just about as much money as they do on junk food as they do on failed gym memberships, exercise equipment they'll never use, and on lose weight fast scams. No matter how many times someone has to say....there is no quick and easy way to lose a lot of weight, people never believe it. They see these before and after pics of random people who've been catfished with false claims that these people lost this ton of weight in just a week, or 6, when in reality, the people pictured took 6 months, a year, 2 on their own, or had surgery to lose that weight. There are so many scam products and fad diets where you have to eat half a beetle in hot sauce with an oat cookie, and that's supposed to lose all this weight for you with no exercise AT ALL!!! Always in caps. If the goal is weight loss, it should be to lose it in a healthy amount of time, through a healthy whole foods diet and exercise, so that GASP, every 6 weeks, you won't need another scammy diet to help you lose weight before the prom, or your wedding, or to fit into your summer clothes.
4. Movie Theater Snacks
Let me reality check you for a moment. A large popcorn is $8, a large candy is $4.25, A Hotdog is $5, a burger and fries, $12. Those aren't made up prices...those are the actual theater prices from a major movie chain. These aren't specialty items that can't be found elsewhere. These aren't prepared by a chef with quality organic ingredients...no, this is the same stuff down the street at the grocery store you can find for $1 for the same candy, $2 for even more popcorn than you could get in a large, and any fast food place has a 6 dollar or less burger/fry combo.
The sad thing about some of these products like chips or candy is you open it up and half of it is filled with air...so you get even less than you would had you just done what the most brilliant people on earth have been doing since forever, and that's bringing in their own treats.
5. Black Friday...Saturday, Sunday, October...Sales
A 40 inch TV for $150, a computer for $225! Worth waiting outside for a week to get...um, not so much. You really need to look into what you're buying because basically in order for something to be considered a sale, it must be sold at a price that is lower than a previous one...Captain Obvious says duh, we know that much...however, what stores often do in order to fulfill that legal obligation, is they will mark up the item about a month or two prior to the intended sales time...prominently display that thing, talk about that thing. Customer knows about that thing, and then on (insert sales day), the prices is slashed so so SO incredibly low that you must buy it, however, its being sold at the exact same price as it was before a month ago.
Also a lot of those tvs and electronics and home goods for sales are items that haven't sold because they're horrible pieces of junk that a company pays a big box store to offload for them so that they can recoup their fees during some frenzy sale, but the warrantee WILL run out and the company will foreclose long before you ever have a chance to complain about it. Your best bet these days is online shopping where you can actually compare and see prices over time and get up to date notifications vs. that impulse buy because you saw the sale sign or it's a summer sale or whatever where you are most definitely getting scammed.
6. Pink is a luxury
A lot of women know about this now, but women's items...oh, wait, silly me, how do you know they are women's items...because they are pink, duh... are sold at a mark -up over men's items for doing the same exact thing. Razors, hair products, deodorant, you name it. If there is a women's vs. a men's branding happening, the woman's will 100% of the time cost much more. The same goes for some other necessary items like say a tampon which is considered, and I quote, a luxury item. It's considered optional...I'm sorry, I wasn't aware men wanted to sit on a chair pooling with someone else's blood anymore than another woman would. Who pray tell is a sanitary item optional for? Unlike say a razor where we can just break down and I guess if we have to (she says really sarcastically) buy the blue or the yellow brand and save some money, there is no other option for the latter.
7. This is your bank and/or tech support
These people have gotten really good at being really bad. They will now send you an email that looks like an exact replica of the ones sent from your bank asking you to enter in your password info, or verify your account. You will also get calls from this or that software company offering you some new hardware for a steal if you pay for shipping or a minimal fee...what they really want is your personal info which they will then use to rob you blind or steal your identity.
Close down the fake email and legitimately log into your bank account from the actual website as you know it. Don't follow any links. If a "company" wants you to verify information, simply start spouting off fake info, like, yes, my address is 1134 Scammer Street. Funny how they don't seem to tell you that your info isn't matching what they have on file even though they claim to be your "company." Ask that the company to mail you the info. TRUST ME, your bank has your address on file. Don't follow any links for free products that then ask you for account info or to enter in security answers and whatever else...for something free??? Why would they need that info...oh, right...right...they're scamming you!