Like all of us, you have surely already felt great pride after smelling a scam attempt from miles away. You probably threw yourself a: “I don’t do it to me” before laughing at this poor scammer with methods far too clumsy to trap an alpha brain like yours. Ok, well done, but now confess: like the rest of us, you’ve also been taken in by much smarter scams, and that day, you just had to swallow your pride. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there at least once.
1. Fake garbage collectors who pass for New Year’s Eve
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The tradition is that each new year, we give a little money to the garbage collectors. The guys are doing a tough job for all of us, so it’s fair game. And it works like that: they ring the doorbell of private individuals announcing that they pass for New Year’s gifts, and the private individuals give them cash. It’s super simple. So simple that vile rascals take over the system on their own: they ring the doorbell of private individuals, announce that they are garbage collectors (when no, you have understood it), and leave with cash. We are fooled, because it is hard to see ourselves asking them: “uuuh can I see your garbage collector’s card? », and we lose money for nothing. It’s annoying.
2. The “free” Brazilian bracelet
In the tourist areas of several European capitals, guys can approach you with all the sympathy in the world. Generally, they speak several languages (including yours), and ask you lots of questions. During this time, very naturally, they begin to tie a small Brazilian bracelet around your wrist, as if it were a gift. Except it’s not a gift. After you tie the thing, the guys ask you for money for the bracelet (which you can’t take off anymore, since it’s tied.) If you accept, everything goes well. If you refuse, the atmosphere cools, the tone rises, and the situation can quickly become tense. So you accept. And you feel like a jerk you didn’t see the thing coming.
3. Forced chimney sweeps
There is a law that requires you to have your chimney swept at least twice a year (and it’s not a heavy metaphor to talk about ass), a matter of security, except that smart guys take advantage of it to come and rip you off. . They show up at your house and announce that they have been sent by the copro, the city, or whatever, and that you have to accept that they sweep your chimney. The problem is that they just pretend to do their job (while you pay them), and some even take the opportunity to scout before a possible burglary. Now, most people are aware of the scam, but many still get tricked the first time. Afterwards, if you get trapped when you didn’t even have a chimney, it’s because there you really aren’t a light.
4. The locksmith who tricks you
Locksmith is a bit of a Wild West job: there are the good ones, the honest ones, those recommended by insurance companies, and there are the bad ones who take advantage of your urgent situation to rip you off. The most common scam consists in making you believe that you have to change your lock when the guy could have opened your door in two seconds with a simple X-ray of your neighbor’s kidneys. So, instead of doing an operation for 50 bucks, he does one worth 150, and makes you pay 500 for it because otherwise it’s not funny (and also because you don’t know anything about it, you, at the locksmith). That’s why it’s best to always call your insurance first so they can recommend licensed locksmiths.
5. “Handmade” items in local markets
In the markets, there is everything. Good and bad. And when a stand sells “artisanal”, “handmade” objects, it can be true or it can be false. As a result, we have all found ourselves buying a small knife or a small wooden ashtray with 30 bullets when it had been made by a kid on the other side of the world for a production cost of 50 cents. And unless you know about it, you have no way of knowing. Unless it says “Made in China” underneath. There is a clue anyway.
6. Guides who send you to friends’ shops
In a lot of countries in Asia and Africa, using the services of a guide is a good way to visit the best places, those to which you would not necessarily have had access as a simple tourist. But again, it’s all about luck, and your guide, who often needs to make ends meet, can often take you from store to store. Shops obviously run by friends of his, with products that are too expensive for what they’re worth (the kind of essential oils that treat body aches, impotence and heartache). In short, instead of making you visit cool places, the gentleman makes you go around the places where you will be best siphoned off the wallet. And since he’s usually very nice, it’s hard to piss him off.
7. Real estate ads that are too good to be true
In our search for apartments, we have all had to drool at least once in front of a dream ad for a 50 m² apartment in the Marais at only 800 bucks a month. It was obviously a big fat family rip-off. Fortunately, most of the time, we realize it in time when the “owner” asks us to send all our papers when we haven’t visited anything yet. Nevertheless, we still went through this moment when we (really) wanted to believe it, and that’s stupid.
Among the standardized scams that no one sees anymore so much we have accepted them, there are casinos. We’ve all been there before, when everyone knows it: you don’t win money in a casino. So yes, we all have “a friend who has already pocketed 500 balls when he came with 20”, but in reality it’s rare, and all casino employees will tell you: everything is done for you to leave with less dough than when you arrived.
9. Disguised guys taking pictures with tourists
The first time you go on a trip to a big city, you may have to deal with a guy in disguise who comes to take a picture with you. For example, if you’re in Rome, the guy is dressed as a Roman soldier and offers to take a picture with him. Since you hadn’t asked him anything, and the photo was taken with your own camera, you tell yourself that it’s free, but NENNI. We’re going to ask you to pay, and if you refuse, we’re going to force you to delete the photo from your device. After this misadventure, you will obviously never be caught again.
10. Photos in amusement parks
The print is made on gold paper or what? Where does it cost 12 bucks a poor photo taken automatically by a machine where there’s a guy we don’t even know on it? Nevertheless, this photo, we bought it, and it makes a nice memory on our fridge. Like what there are scams that still have a bright future ahead of them.