Scams are everywhere these days, though scams are nothing new. However, there were fewer scams in the past, which made them easier to spot. In modern times, scammers are becoming smarter and more conspicuous. Moreover, they can draw from an arsenal of tech platforms or apps to target vulnerable people.
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A Low Blow to Society
The saddest aspect is how elderly citizens are at the highest risk from scammers, who keep finding new ways to steal people’s retirement savings. However, some scams are legal. A recent online discussion exposes some modern-day normalized cons and some older, more innocent ones.
1. Tipping Utility Companies
So, does your utility company charge the earth? “The ‘add a tip’ line at the end of everything” offers our first freedom fighter. “No, I’m not tipping the electric company, thanks.” Imagine tipping Verizon for its stellar customer service.
2. Tipping, Period
America is unique in its tipping culture. However, for the workers relying on tips, life can be grueling. “Yeah, I’m tired of tip culture,” shares a service worker. “I want liveable wages.” Another thread member adds how they must still tip their food delivery driver when the order arrives “upside-down.”
3. The Jail Cell Hoax
There is a phone hoax aimed at the elderly, in which the caller tells Grandma someone in the family is in jail and to send the bail money. One Internet user shares how his father ended the scam. Grandparents living alone might not be so lucky but takes a special kind of lowlife to target the elderly.
4. The Reverse Phone Camera
In a Black Mirror-style episode, someone explains how a scammer called their friend, claiming to have reversed their phone camera, threatening to release his search history to his contact list. “He was a nervous wreck,” laughs the commenter. “I’m like, Dude, no!”
5. Canadian Jailbirds
This scam is another grandparent-grabber, but this time involving a grandson in a Canadian prison cell after “going there for a concert with a friend” when he was 17. I can think of worse places to be trapped than a Canadian prison — heck, it may even be enjoyable, eh?
6. I’ve Got Your Nose!
A disenfranchised young man can’t believe this one is a lie! “My grandpa took my nose back in ’92,” says the joker. “He passed shortly after without giving back.” I think anyone with a grandfather born at the start of the 20th century experienced this.
7. Where Did The Coin Go?
It doesn’t end there. It seems grandaddies have been scamming their grandkids for years with their sleight of hand. “Next, you’re going to tell me there isn’t a magical coin factory behind my ear,” comments the next person. “That’s my retirement savings.”
TV preachers (well, their commercial products) are the targets in this next broadside, where a commenter bemoans the existence of televangelists profiteering at the expense of the elderly. “I’m pretty saddened that televangelist and evangelical churches exist and scam old, desperate people,” laments the contributor.
9. Multi-Level Marketing Schemes
In the brilliant comedy series, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, we see multi-level marketing schemes satirized. However, pay-it-forward marketing rackets still exist today. “No, Karen, I don’t want your stick-on nails or random sugar shakes,” adds a critic.
“Timeshares,” begins a new thread. “How do people still think these are good?” This forum member still finds it staggering that anyone would invest in a timeshare. These are still a thing — or, according to a recent John Oliver segment, they are. This thread inspired this post.
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