There are cons and scams that keep working. As long as there are possible victims, con-artists will use old scams that are known to be successful. Victims of these old scams can vary from young to old, rich to poor, and make no distinctions between nationalities.
I have decided to share 10 old scams that are still used with you. I am not sharing these to teach people to be con-artists. It is here to help you recognize when you might be in the scammer’s sights as a victim.
I recommend you share this knowledge with your loved ones who may easy marks for these types of scams.
1: Broken Glass
This is a very old scam and has been used with multiple items of “supposed” value. It goes like this: The con-artist has a neatly wrapped package that holds shards of broken glass. He/she is in a crowded area and finds a person they believe fits the profile of a perfect victim.
The scammer gets near the victim and when the victim turns or makes a sudden move, the con-artist bumps into them and drops the package with the broken glass.
“Oh, you made me break the expensive vase I was taking to my Grandmother,” the scammer says. Embarrassed about your clumsiness, you pull out your wallet and pay the price for the expensive vase that was already broken, and probably wasn’t a vase in the first place.
2: Charitable Scams
It never fails, when some catastrophe hits, we see people offering to accept donations for those who were harmed. Many of these are scams. It is sad that we have to be so non-trusting, but it is always best that you give your charitable donations to a reputable source.
3: Fake Lottery Ticket
Someone approaches you with the story that they have a winning lottery ticket, but they cannot cash it because of legal reasons. They show you the ticket and the lottery results from the newspaper. Sure enough, it is a $5,000 winner. They will give it to you for $1,000. Sounds like a great deal, so you bite.
Not only will you be out $1,000, you may go to jail when you try to cash that counterfeit lottery ticket.
4: Pre-Approved Credit Cards
While some of these are legit, but with outrageous interest rates, there are a few that have been sending out pre-approved offers if you just pay the annual fee up-front. You think you need the card and you send the annual fee, but the card never comes. You were actually pre-approved to be a con-victim.
5: Bank Investigator
You really don’t hear of this one being used too often anymore, because I believe many people have gained awareness. But, this is one of the old scams that netted many victims.
The con-artist picks their victim who is about to enter a bank. Dressed in proper attire and having a realistic badge, the con-artist explains that he is investigating a possible counterfeiting scheme. The con explains that he would like to document the bills the person receives from the bank.
After leaving the bank, you hand the bills to the person who starts writing the serial numbers on a notepad. You are suddenly “bumped” from behind by the con’s accomplice and the con switches your money for truly counterfeit money, or he/she simply runs away with your cash.
6: The Phish – Classic
There are scammers who have the ability to develop websites that are almost exact duplicates of your bank, eBay, Amazon, etc…
So they send you an email saying that there is a problem with your account. There is a link you are supposed to click to fix the issue.
Don’t Do It!
You will be directed to a site that looks like the site you think and you will give the scammer your log-in info. They will then use it to empty your bank, make purchases and more. They can steal you blind.
Just go to your account without clicking the link and you will probably discover there is no problem.
This is one of the most successful of old scams. It can be used in a variety of ways, but the primary method is the con-artist “takes a dive.” He or she may get hit by your car or fall on your ice laden sidewalk. They may claim injuries or have a broken material possession that they demand money for.
This scam can easily defeated by just saying you are calling the cops. Usually, the con-artist will make excuses and leave quickly.
8: The Hitman
You get an email stating that they were hired to kill you. But, they have studied you and believe you are not guilty of what the person is saying. They do not want to kill you, so they are willing to take a payment to call off the hit.
It is a scam!
No hitman would ever do this. If they were hired to kill you, believe me, you would be dead.
9: Overpayment Scam
This scam has been being used successfully for a long time. The main system works like this: the con finds a victim selling something on eBay, Craigslist or some other online location. They offer to buy it and send a check for the amount and a lot more for shipping. They ask you to deposit the check and send a money order to their preferred shipper. Several days later, the check comes back bad. You are out the shipping money you sent and the item you were selling.
10: The African Prince or Princess
It seems people fall for this daily. The scammer pretends affiliation with a rich person who died or something else. They need to get the money out of Africa, and it seems like you are the best person. C’mon… really???
Here is a sample of one of those emails:
From :Mrs Tema Williams
PLEASE KINDLY PARDON ME FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
Please, kindly pardon me for any inconvenience this letter may cost you because I know it may come to you as a surprise as we have no previous correspondence.
I got your contact as i was searching for helping hand in your country , this is why I decided to appeal to you directly for assistance because I’ have no relations or friends in your country for help me. I am Mrs. Tema Williams from Zimbabwe. I am a widow being that I lost my husband last year.
My husband was a serving director of the Cocoa exporting board until his death .He was assassinated last january by the rebels following the political uprising. Before his death he had a foreign account here in south Africa up to the tune of $6.5million united state dollar which he told the bank was for the importation of cocoa processing machine.
I want you to do me a favour to receive this funds to a safe account in your country or any safer place as the beneficiary.
For your assistance, I have two options for you. Firstly you can choose to have 5% of the money for your assistance, and helping my family investing this funds, or you can go into partnership with me for the proper profitable investment of the money in your country. Which ever the option you want, please do notify me in your reply.
I have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and industrial production. This is my reason for writing to you. Please if you are willing to assist me and my only Son Williams, indicate your interest in replying soonest.
Thanks and best regards
Mrs Tema Williams
Let me just say that nobody in Africa is going to split that amount of money with you.
Do not even respond to these emails.
These con-artists prey on “nice” people. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If we share posts like this and awaken people… make them ConAware, we can put a halt to these old scams that are still used with success. So please share this post with those people you know who could fall for these.
If you have any comments or questions, please post them below.