18 Hilariously Absurd Scams That Still Fool People

Is everything a scam? There are so many scams! Some are very sophisticated and can really get people confused, especially elderly folks who tend to be trusting.

Even though these scams have been around for “forever,” people still fall for them, again and again. 

Stupid Scams That Still Work

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However, some scams are so stupid or have been around for so long that people keep falling for them. Someone asked on Reddit, what’s a scam that’s so stupid, yet people keep falling for?

These answers are the opinions of commenters and do not reflect the opinion of A Dime Saved.

Apple Gift Cards

Brunette young woman with closed eyes holding gift card
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“People who fall for phone scammers telling them they can pay an overdue utility bill in Apple gift cards,” someone wrote.

Another person added, “Not just utility bills, but back taxes and legal fines. I got a call from someone pretending to be a border agent. Totally seems legit to think I can avoid federal prison with the right amount on an apple gift card.”

The Flip Side

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Someone explained why someone might fall for this scam. They said, “The simple, sad fact is, some people hear IRS or jail and panic. The scammers are intentionally aiming for the lowest common denominator because you know for certain, if they fall for the “Pay taxes with gift cards” trick, their details are being shared to all their scummy friends for future use.”

Another person shared, “My MIL got one of these calls and roped my 40-year-old SIL into her panic, and I had to talk them both down remotely and tell them that no one is shutting off the electricity.”

Kid in Jail

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Someone wrote, “As a teller manager, I have had a few elderly people who actually believe their grandkids are in jail, and need to take out 20k out of their accounts in cash, in order to bail them out. Literally, tell them they are falling for a scam, and to call their grandkids in front of me. Of course, the kid then answers. Their hearts are in the right place, but they need to think before they take large amounts like that, but also if they gave the scammers their personal addresses.”

Ask Questions

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Someone shared, “My mom got one of those calls. “Grandma, I’m in trouble….” she was about 90, but she is very sharp. She asked what their name was, and they just kept saying, “Grandma, it’s me…”

The voices are the voices of their loved ones, and it can be very scary, so speak to your relatives and advise them to always call their loved one or ask questions when they get these types of calls

Get Rick Quick

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Someone wrote, “Any get-rich-quick subscription program. The actual get-rich scheme is launching a subscription program for a get-rich scheme.”

Another added, “Subscribe to my courses to learn how to get rich quick. I’m only offering this because I don’t want to use my tricks to get rich quick and want to share it with you instead.”

Facebook Algorithm

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We’ve all seen this going around! “Facebook is going to change its algorithm by you copying and pasting a post,” someone wrote.

The stakes are low, so it doesn’t really matter, but this doesn’t work. Someone wrote, “Literally yesterday I saw one of those dumb**** “I do not give FB permission to blah, blah, blah…” Yes, honey, you already did when you signed up and every time you accepted their new terms of service. Buried in the fine print, you entirely gave them permission.”

Quick Diets

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“Those “lose 15 pounds in 5 days” type diets in supermarket tabloids,” someone wrote.

Another replied, “Dude, it works; I lost 20 pounds in 10 days. The diet is called a very aggressive stomach flu. You can’t keep anything down.”

Virus on Computer

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“Hello, this is John White. I am calling from Windows Technical Support. We have received notification that there are many errors on your computer and that it may have a virus,” someone wrote.

Get Back At Them

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Another shared the following story, “A friend of mine kept one of these callers on the line for an hour and a half the other day. Because he works in IT, my friend kept him talking while he set up a virtual machine and let the scammer connect to it, then typed a web address onto the screen that he told the scammer would take him to his online bank so they could process payment. The link was to the YouTube video for Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Win Free Vacation

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“Congratulations, you just won free tickets to Fhloston Paradise!!! DM me for details,” someone wrote.

Do people fall for these?

Religious Grifters

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Someone wrote, “Joel Osteen and the religious grifters.”

Another commented, “Yeah, I was writing out a post about tithing and private planes. Just easier to upvote your comment.”


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“Literally any MLM. First, that came to mind was essential oils tho,” someone wrote.

Another added, “There are two scams involving essential oils; first is the MLM, where you recruit people to sell overpriced crap to other people. The other is the idea that essential oils are a replacement for health care, people suggesting treating cancer and all sorts with oils instead of medicine.”

Cars Extended Warranty

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“I’m calling about your car’s extended warranty…” someone said.

“Man, I was getting those calls before I even owned a car,” someone wrote.

Rich Influencer Course

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Someone wrote, “Buying a “rich” influencers course on dropshipping, crypto, etc. you’re paying a couple of hundred dollars for something you can learn from youtube or self-learning.”


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Someone shared the following story, “My parents used to waste at least $50 a week on tickets. Even when we were behind on bills, couldn’t afford groceries, and getting sued. They cared more about buying f**** lottery tickets than feeding their children and keeping the water running. They would say that they were entitled to win because they were religious and would use the money for good. I don’t talk to them much anymore, so I’m not sure if they still buy tickets obsessively, but they most likely do.”

How sad and terrible.

Missing Jury Duty

Brunette young woman with closed eyes holding gift card
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“Phone call scam saying you’ve missed jury duty or some such baloney, and direction to purchase gift cards and send them somewhere to get you out of trouble. No legit anything is going to ask for gift cards as payment,” someone wrote.

No government agency accepts gift cards as payment!


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Someone answered, “NFTs.” More people explained, “The NFT is the answer to the question of how to get people to give you money for absolutely no reason.”

New Cellphones

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“Maybe unpopular, but cell phone manufacturers coming out with a new phone every year for every product line, and somehow people keep gobbling them up,” someone wrote.

Not Normal People

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Someone added some context, “Most people buy the newest phone when their old one breaks, which happens every 5-10 years, so it’s just a rotating population buying the new phone, not the same population. Don’t get me wrong, there IS a population that will buy the new phone every year without fail, but those aren’t normal people.”

Free Campers

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“Idk if this is considered a scam or not, but it’s so funny on Facebook seeing these pages share something like “we are giving away free campers due to overstock, share this post and comment “done” for your chance to win a free camper” and then you read the comments, and it’s nothing but boomers commenting “done’,” someone wrote.

Need Money

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“I don’t know if people fall for it, but I remember answering a phone call a couple of years back where someone was very obviously doing a poor imitation of an old person. They claimed to be my great aunt living in Florida that needed money,” someone answered.

Backward Scam

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Closeup portrait greedy young woman corporate business employee, worker, student holding dollar banknotes tightly, isolated white background. Negative human emotions, facial expressions, feeling

They continued, “I have no family in Florida, and most of my great-aunts were already dead and would never have called me for money. It was so bad I found it somewhat entertaining, but I can’t believe anyone would fall for it. I felt like the scammers were so inept they got the scam backward; you are supposed to call old people pretending to be their grandchildren, not call young people pretending to be old.”

Fake Girlfriend/Boyfriend

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These scams are so common!

“The fake girlfriend/boyfriend who wants you to buy them a refundable ticket from where they are to you. So dumb; I wish people were smarter than that. I know someone who is falling for this, and he knows my Reddit name but also doesn’t listen to anyone when we tell him this, so maybe he’ll happen upon this one day,” someone wrote.

Hopefully, his friend sees this and realizes he is being taken for a ride.

Stupid Scams

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While some scams may seem too obvious to fall for, scammers continue to find success in exploiting people’s vulnerabilities and desperation. Always be vigilant and skeptical of unexpected offers, personal information requests, or unsolicited emails and phone calls. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. We can protect ourselves from falling victim to these silly effective scams by staying informed and cautious.

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This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved. 

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.