Hello visitors and subscribers of scams
! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!
If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.
Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on Blackmail email scam thread: https://www.reddit.com/Scams/comments/jij7zf/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_6/
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not
think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.
Spoofing Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you. Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created. SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.
The most common scams The fake check scam
(Credit to nimble2
for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams
- The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check. Sometimes they'll call it a "cashier's check", a "certified check", or a "verified check".
- You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This makes you think that the check is real and the funds have cleared. However, the money appearing in your account is not the same as the check actually clearing. The bank must make the funds available to you before they have cleared the check because that is the law.
- For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone some of the money, using services like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Walmart-2-Walmart. Sometimes the scammer will ask for you to purchase gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Steam, etc) and give them the codes to redeem the gift cards. Some scammers may also give you instructions on how to buy and send them bitcoins.
- Within a couple of weeks, though it can take as long as a month, your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money from the fake check, that money will be gone and you will owe that money to the bank. Some posters have even had their bank accounts closed and have been blocked from having another account for 5 years using ChexSystems.
If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent. Phone verification code scams
Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it. Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins. Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere. Cartel scam
You will be threatened by scammers who claim to be affiliated with a cartel. They may send you gory pictures and threaten your life and the lives of your family. Usually the victim will have attempted to contact an escort prior to the scam, but sometimes the scammers target people randomly. If you are targeted by a cartel scam all you need to do is ignore the scammers as their threats are clearly empty. Boss/CEO scam
A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse. Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist. Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule. Craigslist Carfax/vehicle history scam
You'll encounter a scammer on Craigslist who wants to buy the vehicle you have listed, but they will ask for a VIN report from a random site that they have created and they will expect you to pay for it. Double dip/recovery scammers
This is a scam aimed at people who have already fallen for a scam previously. Scammers will reach out to the victim and claim to be able to help the victim recover funds they lost in the scam. General fraudulent funds scams
The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter. Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement. The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here
is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods. The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account. The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money. Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam part 5: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5/
PSA: you did not win a giftcard: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/fffmle/psa_you_did_not_win_a_gift_card/ Sugar scams
Sugar scammers operate all over the internet and usually come in two varieties: advance-fee scams where the scammer will ask for a payment from you before sending you lots of money, and fake check style scams where the scammer will either pull a classic fake check scam, or will do a "bill pay" style scam that involves them paying your bills, or them giving you banking information to pay your bills. If you encounter these scammers, report their accounts and move on. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a messaging platform used extensively by all kinds of scammers. If you are talking with someone online and they want you to switch to Hangouts, they are likely a scammer and you should proceed with caution. Publishers Clearing House scams
PCH scams are often advance-fee scams, where you will be promised lots of money after you make an initial payment. You will never need to pay if you win money from the real PCH. Pet scams
You are looking for a specific breed of puppy, bird, or other pet. You come across a nice-looking website that claims to be breeding them and has some available right now - they may even be on sale! The breeders are not local to your area (and may not even list a physical location) but they assure you they can safely ship the pet to you after a deposit or full payment. If you go through with the payment, you will likely be contacted by the "shipper" who will inform you about an unexpected shipping/customs/processing fee required to deliver your new pet. But there was never any pet, both the "breeder" and the "shipper" are scammers, typically operating out of Africa. These sites are rampant and account for a large percentage of online pet seller websites - they typically have a similar layout/template (screenshot - example)
If you are considering buying a pet online, some easy things to check are: (1) The registration date of the domain (if it was created recently it is likely a scam website) (2) Reverse image search the pictures of available pets - you will usually find other scam websites using the same photos. (3) Copy a sentence/section of the text from the "about us" page and put it into google (in quotes) - these scammers often copy large parts of their website's text from other places. (4) Search for the domain name and look for entries on petscams.com or other scam-tracking sites. (5) Strongly consider buying/adopting your pet from a local shelter or breeder where you can see the animal in person before putting any money down.
Thanks to djscsi
for this entry. Fake shipping company scams
These scams usually start when you try to buy something illegal online. You will be scammed for the initial payment, and then you will receive an email from the fake shipping company telling you that you need to pay them some sort of fee or bribe. If you pay this, they will keep trying to scam you with increasingly absurd stories until you stop paying, at which point they will blackmail you. If you are involved in this scam, all you can do is ignore the scammers and move on, and try to dispute your payments if possible. Chinese Upwork scam
Someone will ask you to create an Upwork or other freelancer site account for them and will offer money in return. You will not be paid, and they want to use the accounts to scam people. Quickbooks invoice scam
This is a fake check style scam that takes advantage of Quickbooks. The blackmail email scam
The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here
scam. The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail. Rental scams
Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse. Craigslist vehicle scams
A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on. Advance-fee scam
, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum. Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to. Digit wallet scam
A variation of the fake check scam, the scammer sends you money through a digital wallet (i.e. Venmo, Apple Pay, Zelle, Cash App) along with a message claiming they've sent the money to the wrong person and a request to send the money back. Customer service for these digital wallets may even suggest that you send the money back. However, the money sent is from a stolen credit card and will be removed from your account after a few days. Your transfer is not reversed since it came from your own funds. Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories. Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer. Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card. Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website. Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.
You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls. Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS
, Canadian CRA
, British HMRC
, and Australian Tax Office
to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world. Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards. [Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number. Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program. Tech Support Call
You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam. Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats. Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators. Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information. Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin. Relative in custody
Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same
. Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help. General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money. One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.
Online shopping scams THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer. Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products. Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer. Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time. Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off. Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam. Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month. Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items. Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online. Computer scams Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.
Assorted scams Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush
. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings. Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.
Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 submitted by
Good morning. It is currently 9 in the morning, and I am just finishing up my coffee at a local shop. I always get the same thing: A large iced coffee with 4 ice cubes and 2 packets of sugar. That concoction makes it the perfect temperature to enjoy.
I tend to do everything by routine, because I like to think it makes me more organized if I do it that way. Life is just a whole bunch of patterns someone has yet to figure out.
I was looking more into Jason’s assets and accounts. I came across something that made me laugh. He has been paying Kiley $1,000 every week. So from my observations, Kiley looks like an escort.
I think that this is helpful, because now I know that she doesn’t have a trustful relationship with him. I mean the money was being paid to the website to hire escorts. I really don’t care about Kiley though. She isn’t important to the game anymore.
I have to go to work in about an hour so I need to finish this up pretty quickly. I wanted to make the process of fucking with Jason long. I went on the dark web for a minute to see if I could come across a device that could withdraw money via ATM from previous accounts that had been connected to said ATM.
If that made any sense, my plan would be to buy this tool, and steal money from Jason’s account. I know I used bitcoin for the last one, but I thought this would be more eventful. I wanted more hands-on experience if you know what I mean.
I forgot to mention that I saw that Jason had a permit for concealed carry, so I need to keep this in mind.
After searching on a couple of the markets that I have accounts with, I finally came across it. It was around $200. I just went ahead, and used the funds that were already on my account to purchase it. It says that it ships domestically, so it should be here in the next few days. I will continue with this update after I get done with my shift.
I have just finished my shift, and I'm exhausted from how pestering my boss is. That prick just loves his sales quotas.
I got a confirmation letter from the vendor to my private email saying:
Your purchase was confirmed and the shipping process will now begin … thanks for doing business.
Fantastic! Now we can get to the fun part. I wanted to look more into his odd transaction with a car wash in Florida. I looked up the car wash, and it was only 2 miles away from Jason’s vacation home. I went ahead and called.
Some women picked up, “JJ’s car wash … how may I help you?"
I replied with, “Good, good. I was just wondering if I could get in contact with the owner? I wanted to come over, and do an evaluation on the value of the land … Is he there right now, or could you possibly give me a phone number to reach him?”
She hesitated, and said, “Uhhh, I'm sorry, sir, I'm not really sure if I can give that info out. Let me ask my manager.”
I interrupted her with, “No, that won’t be necessary. Just give me his email, and I’ll send him the information myself. Thanks.”
She said, “Sure … it's [email protected]
I hung up saying, “Thanks so much for your help. It means a lot. Thanks.”
Some people are just so oblivious to the world that they’ll believe anything they hear. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining because that email is the same as Jason's. He owns some little car wash near his house in Florida. I wanted to look more into this, but thought that for right now it's a waste of time. (Added "that". Apostrophe on "it's", because it's= it is.)
Well, I went ahead and drove over to the nightclub Jason goes to every Wednesday night to see what he was up to there. I disguised myself as much as I could. I mean there were a lot of people here so no one would notice me unless I was face to face with them. I had a hat on and a hoodie. I just looked down at the floor as much as I could. I followed Jason in after he arrived with his driver. He went upstairs where VIPS are only allowed. I kept an eye on him for a while. He then disappeared to a back room which had me curious. I needed to figure a way to get upstairs without anyone questioning my authenticity. I went to the back room where I guess the staff gets ready. I found this work shirt that was black and an extra pair of pants that were a size too big. I had a belt on me so that wasn’t an issue and I put on the clothes and now I looked like a waiter. I went to the bar and said I needed 6 “on the rock” martinis and handed her a tray to put them on. She asked, “You work here?” I said, “Yeah, new … these are going upstairs so make it quick.” She nodded and proceeded to make the drinks. She handed me the tray and I carefully made my way up to one of the security guards at the stairs. I looked at him and said, “These are to go up to Mr. Peterson?. He looked at me up and down and waved his hand towards the stairs allowing me to go. I walked up the stairs with the tray in my hands and walked through the back door that Jason had recently disappeared to. I saw a few ladies that were all intoxicated and a couple of men sitting on the couch. There was a nice electric fireplace next to a computer desk that wrapped around the corner of the room. It was a decently big room with a minibar as well. I walked over towards the men. I said, “Excuse me gentlemen but, I have 6 martinis ready to drink in my hand.” I could tell that they all have been drinking because of the way they were slurring their words. Jason spoke up and said, “Perfect thank you … here’s a tip” handing me a $100 bill
I took the money and pocketed it saying, “Thank you .. if you need anything else please call down to the bar.” I walked out. That room was soundproof as well because when I walked out my ears were rushed with loud music from the dance floor. I saw another door to my right and my curiosity peaked and I walked through. It was this long hallway and a little red sign saying “Exit”. Nothing special here so I just walked out back downstairs. I went ahead a walked over to the security guard and asked him something, “Which one of those guys is the owner?” He replied with, “You should know this … Mr. Peterson just took over ownership a few weeks ago.” This caught me off guard and I said, “Oh right … thanks.” I was mind blown because of how many properties this guy owned. Where was he getting all of this money … I mean I know that he owns a security company but, 2 houses, 3 companies that all pay in cash, a personal driver, large bank transactions. All of this wasn’t adding up. I went online and did some research.
I have the suspicion that Jason is laundering money through his businesses. I don’t know who he is cleaning money for but, it’s probably someone who doesn’t want their money fucked with. This could be an issue because if I fuck with Jason’s life and his financial situation that someone else could be looking after him. I don’t fear anyone will find me because I make sure I do everything very securely. I should be getting the atm snipping tool soon and hope to make a move on Jason and uncover his dirt. I’m getting excited just writing this right now knowing that I could possibly ruin not just Jason's life but his whole operation. Before I do begin my adventure I need to make a couple of precautionary steps. I logged onto the dark web and found a trustful hacking service. I would never hire someone to hack unless I didn’t have the skills to do the task. I mean if somehow I turned up dead my plan would still carry out. So I found someone who could “ruin” his life. I’ve been chatting with him now to see what type of services he offers and I found one that fits my purpose. I also told him I wouldn’t buy unless I failed my game, which means death. He understood and told me how it would work. He said I would need to put the money in escrow and I told him if I don’t respond within 2 weeks that the money will be sent automatically. By putting the money in escrow it means I can’t take it out and he can’t accept the payment unless all conditions are met with a third party. I set up a zombie computer to be the third party. Usually the vendor or market your on will have an escrow system but, I wanted to make sure that he would certainly get the money if anything happens to me. So I set the zombie and sent the escrow away. The payment was $600 to do whatever was necessary to either ruin them financially or put them in jail. This hacker could make them be known as a child porn user by encrypting his computer with files that would have him arrested. I was thinking of this option or go to a darker market which would put a price on Jason’s head.
Now that this was all set up I could move on and take Jason’s money. I watched him after work for a few nights to see if he would use an atm. He was at a little food market having lunch and used the atm to withdraw $40. I know this because my little tool tells me. So I watched him from across the street to see when he left. He left after eating and walked back to his car where his driver was waiting. They drove off and I waited about 5 minutes before doing anything. Atm machines have cameras so I needed to cover my face before hacking his account. I checked which account he withdrew from before going inside since I had access to his computer passwords. The account he used had approximately $12,000 in it. I knew going into this that I would only withdraw a couple thousand because I didn’t want the bank instantly freezing his account even though after he noticed, he would call and tell them. So I set up a script that would take $10,000 through tiny transactions with bots and have them located from all over the world so it wouldn’t be able to trace back to me. It would then compile the transactions back to an offshore account that I made. I would set this into action as soon as I withdrew the $2,000 in cash from the atm. This would leave Jason with $0 in his one account. I knew that he had other accounts but, the one that I was targeting had the highest balance.
I put on a bandana and some dark sunglasses with a hoodie on and walked inside. I got myself a little drink and paid in cash making sure to keep my fingers off the handle. I then went over to the atm and placed the tool where you put the card in. It loaded up this menu on the screen and it listed a couple of names from the recent customers that withdrew money. I clicked the arrow down to “Jason Peterson” and typed in the box that said “Custom amount” $2,000. It then went to another screen saying “Please remove your card before money dispenses.” I removed the tool and out came Jasons 2 grand. I put it in my wallet and walked out to my car. I made sure to park in a parking lot that was decently empty with no cameras to catch my plate. I pulled out my phone and went to the Facebook marketplace. I was feeling a new laptop right about now so I started scrolling through. I found one that matched my needs and messaged the seller, “Hey, I am interested in your listing … could we meet today?” He replied back pretty quickly with, “Sure, let’s meet at the [redacted] Starbucks!” The laptop was listed for $250. I told him I would pay in cash and I would be there in 20 minutes. I went to the Starbucks and met with the guy selling it. He was a nice guy who told me he just upgraded so that’s why he was selling it. I asked him to turn it on to make sure it works, which it did. I handed him the cash and wished him well. I walked outside and got into my car. I pulled around to the drive-through and got myself a large coffee with extra cream and sugar. After I got my coffee I went home and got a call from my boss asking where I was today. I told him that I really didn’t feel like working today which he replied telling me to not come back tomorrow and I was finished working there. I had a pretty big smile on my face at this point because now my time would be devoted to ruining Jason’s life.
I poured myself a nice glass of whiskey to end off the night right. I mean this would be the perfect time to celebrate. I just got fired and have over 10 grand in my pocket. I don’t want to get ahead of myself yet. It has been a couple of days since I sent that money in escrow and if I don’t get my job done before the 2 weeks are over then someone else will do it for me. This was like a tiny challenge in the midst of the much bigger challenge. Look at this way. I want to take credit for ruining Jason’s life or all of my work will go to waste. I mean the dark web hacker isn’t watching Jason’s every move and reading him like I was. All he had to do was sit on his ass and type on a computer. In this day and age that’s all you need. Hell, that’s how I ruined Connor’s life. I told you from the beginning that I wanted to up my game. I had the proper funds now to really up my game. In the morning, I went to go to a local Walmart to pick up a few things. I wanted to make a homemade suppressor. I was looking at the prices on the dark web but, if I could save some money doing it, then why not right? So I looked up how to make a homemade suppressor and picked up the right supplies to make it. You need some PVC pipes, steel wool, a drill, and a few other things and you got yourself a suppressor. It didn’t take to long to make and it fits real snug on my .50 caliber sniper rifle. No, I wasn’t going to kill Jason because that would be too easy. I wanted to fuck with him a little longer before really getting down and dirty. Pull his strings like a puppet if you will. My plan was this. I would find a time where Jason was alone and I would call him. I would tell him if he wanted his money back that we would have to meet. I would specify that he and only him would come and if anyone else was to show that his funds would be long gone before he ever got there. I would then drug him with chloroform and take him to a secluded place where no one would find us. I would then tell him to give up all of the information on the people he works for or he and Kiley dies. I thought to introduce that I know Kiley that it would motivate him a little more. Just the strings in his life. If that didn’t work my plan would be to tell him that the police were raiding his house for child pornography which I downloaded on his computer. I would show him his files from my laptop remotely to prove it and if that didn’t work we would figure something else out.
I wanted to move forward with this as soon as possible. I grabbed my car keys and headed out the door. Today I wasn’t going to do anything with Jason. Today I needed to shop. While I was at Walmart this morning I grabbed some bleach and rubbing alcohol to produce the chemical chloroform which would make Jason unconscious. I also picked up some latex gloves for prints. I bought myself a burner phone at a gas station near my apartment too. Now that I have all of my supplies I headed over to a Starbucks. I ordered my usual large coffee with 4 ice cubes and 2 packets of sugar. I brought my new laptop with me and connected it to the free wifi. This laptop wouldn’t be coming home with me. I was going to use this laptop to connect me to Jason’s stock portfolio. After I hacked into it I would sell all of his stocks that were a part of any company he owned leaving him with nothing in return. Basically sweeping the owner's name tag out from under his feet. I would then corrupt the hard drive and throw the laptop in the dumpster. After this, it was time to burn everything he owned to the ground. I wanted to leave him and the people he worked for with nothing in return … absolutely nothing.
Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
Some great introductions for new users are My first bitcoin
, Bitcoin explained
and ELI5 Bitcoin
. Also, the following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Also have to give mention to Lopp.net
, the Princeton crypto series
and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series
. Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute
. Bitcoin statistics can be found here
. Developer resources can be found here
. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here
. Potential upcoming protocol improvements here
. Scaling resources here
. The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here
(LOL!), and of course Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper
that started it all! :) Key properties of bitcoin
- Limited Supply - There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly deflationary. The halving countdown can be found here.
- Open source - Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read the source code yourself here.
- Accountable - The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
- Decentralized - Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works.
- Censorship resistant - No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
- Push system - There are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoins reside has the authority to move them.
- Low fee scaling - On chain transaction fees depend on network demand and how much priority you wish to assign to the transaction. Most wallets calculate on chain fees automatically but you can view current fees here. On chain fees have risen recently due to network demand however instant micropayments are on the way via the Lightning Network, a second layer scaling solution currently rolling out on the Bitcoin mainnet. You can even run a node on a Raspberry Pi :)
- Borderless - No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
- Trustless - Bitcoin solved the Byzantine's Generals Problem which means nobody needs to trust anybody for it to work.
- Pseudonymous - No need to expose personal information when purchasing with cash or transacting.
- Secure - Encrypted cryptographically and can’t be brute forced or confiscated with proper key management such as hardware wallets.
- Programmable - Individual units of bitcoin can be programmed to transfer based on certain criteria being met
- Nearly instant - From a few seconds to a few minutes depending on need for confirmations. After a few confirmations transactions are irreversible.
- Peer-to-peer - No intermediaries with a cut, no need for trusted third parties.
- Portable - Bitcoins are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can even be transported by simply remembering a string of words for wallet recovery.
- Scalable - Each bitcoin is divisible down to 8 decimals allowing it to grow in value while still accommodating micro-transactions.
- Designed Money - Bitcoin was created to fit all the fundamental properties of money better than gold or fiat
Where can I buy bitcoins? Bitcoin.org
are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also, check out the bitcoinity exchange resources
for a larger list of options for purchases. Here
is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage
Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price
people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev
is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank"
and personally secure your bitcoins OR
you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks"
which will hold the bitcoins for you.
- If you prefer to "Be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, there are many software wallet options here. If you want easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor or Ledger is recommended. A more advanced option is to secure them yourself using paper wallets generated offline. Some popular mobile and desktop wallet options are listed below and most are cross platform.
Another interesting use case for physical storage/transfer is the Opendime
. Opendime is a small USB stick that allows you to spend Bitcoin by physically passing it along so it's anonymous and tangible like cash.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
- If you prefer to let third party "Bitcoin banks" manage your coins, try Gemini but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk.
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Where can I spend bitcoins?
Check out spendabit
or bitcoin directory
for some good options, some of the more commons ones are listed below.
|Store ||Product |
|Gyft ||Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc. |
|Steam, HumbleBundle, Games Planet, itch.io, g2g and kinguin ||For when you need to get your game on |
|Microsoft ||Xbox games, phone apps and software |
|Spendabit, Overstock, The Bitcoin Directory and BazaarBay ||Retail shopping with millions of results |
|ShakePay ||Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds |
|NewEgg and Dell ||For all your electronics needs |
|Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Hyphen.to, Coinsfer, More #1, #2 ||Bill payment |
|Menufy, Takeaway, Thuisbezorgd NL, Pizza For Coins ||Takeout delivered to your door! |
|Expedia, Cheapair, Lot, Destinia, BTCTrip, Abitsky, SkyTours, Fluege the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats ||For when you need to get away |
|BitHost ||VPS service |
|Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA ||VPN services |
|Namecheap, Porkbun ||For new domain name registration |
|Stampnik ||Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage |
|Reddit Gold ||Premium membership which can be gifted to others |
are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations, such as Wikipedia
, United Way
and the EFF
. You can find a longer list here
There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
- 1-3% savings over credit cards or PayPal.
- No chargebacks (final settlement in 10 minutes as opposed to 3+ months).
- Accept business from a global customer base.
- Increased privacy.
- Convert 100% of the sale to the currency of your choice for deposit to your account, or choose to keep a percentage of the sale in bitcoin if you wish to begin accumulating it.
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;
Can I mine bitcoin?
Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home
. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here
. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining
would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node
using this setup guide
is an easy option for getting set up. You can view the global node distribution here
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
|Site ||Description |
|WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, XBTfreelancer, Cryptogrind, Bitlancerr, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, Rein Project ||Freelancing |
|OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market ||Marketplaces |
|Streamium.io, XOtika.tv NSFW, /GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW ||Video Streaming |
|Bitasker, BitforTip ||Tasks |
|Supload.com, SatoshiBox, JoyStream, File Army ||File/Image Sharing |
|CoinAd, A-ads, Coinzilla.io ||Advertising |
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket
by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins)
The following is a short
list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
|Project ||Description |
|Lightning Network, Amiko Pay, and Strawpay ||Payment channels for network scaling |
|Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain ||Sidechains |
|21, Inc. ||Open source library for the machine payable web |
|ShapeShift.io ||Trade between bitcoins and altcoins easily |
|Open Transactions, Counterparty, Omni, Open Assets, Symbiont and Chain ||Financial asset platforms |
|Hivemind and Augur ||Prediction markets |
|Mediachain ||Decentralized media library |
|Tierion and Factom ||Records & Titles on the blockchain |
|BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar ||Decentralized markets |
|Samourai and Dark Wallet - abandoned ||Privacy-enhancing wallets |
|JoinMarket ||CoinJoin implementation (Increase privacy and/or Earn interest on bitcoin holdings) |
|Coinffeine and Bisq ||Decentralized bitcoin exchanges |
|Keybase and Bitrated ||Identity & Reputation management |
|Telehash ||Mesh networking |
|JoyStream ||BitTorrent client with paid seeding |
|MORPHiS ||Decentralized, encrypted internet |
|Storj and Sia ||Decentralized file storage |
|Streamium ||Pay in real time for on-demand services |
|Abra ||Global P2P money transmitter network |
|bitSIM ||PIN secure hardware token between SIM & Phone |
|Identifi ||Decentralized address book w/ ratings system |
|BitGo ||Multisig bitcoin API |
|Insight ||Open source blockchain API |
|Leet ||Kill your friends and take their money ;) |
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
|Unit ||Symbol ||Value ||Info |
|millibitcoin ||mBTC ||1,000 per bitcoin ||SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (mL) or millimetre (mm) |
|microbitcoin ||μBTC ||1,000,000 per bitcoin ||SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μL) or micrometre (μm) |
|bit ||bit ||1,000,000 per bitcoin ||Colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin |
|satoshi ||sat ||100,000,000 per bitcoin ||Smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor |
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
- 0.001 BTC
- 1 mBTC
- 1,000 bits
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki
. Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. A complete list of bitcoin related subreddits can be found here
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
I'm currently traveling through South America, where credit cards are rarely accepted (only by really high-end restaurants and hotels). I normally take cash out of the ATM and use that, but I screwed up and forgot to take my card back from the ATM so it got eaten. I called the ATM's bank and they said it would take 5 days to get the card back, but I was already on my way to a different country. My bank said they could mail a new ATM card but that would also take 5+ days. So I found myself stuck with about $25 to last me for 5 days, maybe even more. submitted by
I looked at my different options, Western Union and MoneyGram wanted to charge about $15, plus a 3% fee on conversion rate - PLUS a bank wire fee of $25 by my own bank!
Then I had the idea to get on Coinmap, and lo and behold there's a cafe that accepts BTC. I stopped in for lunch and the owner asked me if I wanted to sell any Bitcoin. I was like hell yeah, that would be a lifesaver! He used a local exchange rate, which was worse than mine, so not only did I get a fresh stack of cash to hold me over for a week, I did everything completely "off the grid" and actually made a few percent instead of paying like $50 in fees.
It was my first cash sale of Bitcoin and it really showed me how useful and flexible having a decentralized currency can be. Anyways, just wanted to share my success story from today :] Cheers all
TLDR: fairly new to reddit so I'm still getting accustomed to how reddit works. JW elder dad disowned me, destroyed family laptop (which I paid for), and kicked me out of the house because he oversaw me reading the post about the leaks about sexual abuse in the JW religion, originally posted this someplace else where readers may not know jws so bear with me. submitted by
long story: I feel this needs to get out and more people need to know about the reality of what this religion is and how it affects women and how it affected me personally within the last 4 hours. Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult, plain and simple. my sister and I were raised in this religion and were baptized fairly young. being baptized is not like in other religions when its done shortly after birth. in our case, we had to sit down for weekly bible studies and we were encouraged (i'd say coerced) into making the decision to pledge our lives to the jw faith. this happened when I was 8 years old. my older sister (whom I have lost contact with for years since my parents disowned and kicked her out when she was 21) was also baptized at a young age. this was also around the time when she experienced abuse of her own by a 30 year old male prominent member of the congregation.
this is how messed up the religion is: the guy who abused her would use his position in the congregation to get close and be around younger people, girls in particular. as the baptized male of the morning preaching group, during which we went door-to-door, he'd make sure to be in the car with the younger kids during summer time. as leader of the group, he decides who pairs up with who to go down a street and knock on doors. my sister had the misfortune of being chosen last to get paired up with... guess who... the leader. he made sure that the other pairs went down other roads while he would take her along a different road of houses to knock on. I still pass by the road sometimes where he took her. he purposely picked the road where there were homes up for sale where there would be less chance of people being home to see whats going on in the neighborhood. I remember her telling me that he insisted on going down this road because "people are lying with those for sale signs to pretend no one is home. lets go check on them anyway to spread the good news". and he took her along. she was 12 at the time but due to her height, she could pass as being 18.
as he took her down the houses with 'for sale' signs, he decided they knock on a particular house where they had tall long trees acting as a fence around their property, obscuring the view from neighbors. no one was home when they rang the front door bell. so then this pervert suggested they go around the back and see if maybe theres a side door or a backdoor apartment. he asked her "do you think we should check?". what was she going to say? no? you have to keep in mind, that in the JW world, we are urged to preach no matter what to everyone and anyone. any opportunity you have to spread the 'good news' must be taken. if theres a chance that we're going to find some god-searching soul in the backyard, its our duty to go check. so when he asked her that, he knew she was going to say yes.
as they went to the back, there was no door, but there were lawn chairs. later we'd find out that the home was indeed for sale but that he deliberately picked that house knowing that no one was home so as to lure my sister there and suggest they sit down and take a break. in a complete stranger's backyard! and its there where he put his arm around her, pretending to reach towards a water bottle he purposefully placed on her other side, and then kissed her on her, first on her forehead, and then on her cheek.
he was 30, she was 12. and at first she felt flattered and enjoyed the attention. and this happened on more than one occasion during that summer, when he'd take out the group of mostly young kids, and purposefully go down that block and stop at that house to spend time together in that backyard. she told me that sometimes they'd just sit and talk...and other times they'd lay down and makeout. and as they did this more often, his hands began going where they had no business going on her body and that's when she started to feel uncomfortable. because they had gone down that road so often, it began to catch the attention of the others in the group and one day one their dad's asked the 30yr old if they found someone interested in studying or something since it came to his attention that he and my sister kept going down that road and always took their time regrouping with the others. the sicko made my sister lie and say that they had found some older woman who was interested in studying the bible but that she was there only for that summer and so wanted to study as much as she could before she had to leave. how convenient. the dad of one of the other kids instantly knew something was up and questioned my sister in private. he was not an elder or anything. but he did truly care. and when she fessed up about what had been going on, he and her spoke directly to the congregation elders.... and heres where it got more messed up.
the 30 yr old accused my sister of lying, that nothing ever happened.. that she was making it all up. that it was lies concocted by the other dad to make the perv look bad and lose his position and his 'privileges' in the congregation. since there was no hard evidence at the time, the elders let the matter rest since it was all the perv's word against my sister. months later, a few elders (congregation leaders) went down that same road, for no reason connected to the summer's events. they just happened to be covering that territory with the day's preaching group. I was 9 at the time, and was with one of the elder's wives going door to door. a lady comes towards our group and says she doesn't like us at all and wants us off her sidewalk and her property. the elder's wife asks her why. the lady says that she remembers seeing a young couple going to the backyard of the house they clearly didn't live in, and would behave like 'dirty love birds'. immediately, one of the elders tell his wife to take me inside the car while they talk with older lady.
by connecting the dots of what the old lady must've told them, it becomes evident that the story was true and that the perv had indeed been abusing my sister. did the elders do anything? did they reopen the case? did they apologize to my sister? NO! instead, they told me to make like I didn't see or hear anything and that the 'worldly' lady cant be trusted. of course I told my sister this when I got home, and she told our parents.......... but they had already received a call from the elders telling them that in the case my sister and I bring this up again, the matter has been investigated and that nothing else is to be done. my father,who was a newly appointed elder at the time, sided with them and told us to never bring it up and in particular threatened my sister with severe beatings if she ever spoke about the 'alleged' incident. in fact, privately, they believed that it did happen but that it was my sister who made the first move upon the 30 year old perv due to the 'revealing' clothes she was wearing during those summer days. 'revealing' in the sense that her arms and calves were showing. yeah... in my dads eyes, IF anything happened, it was her fault and she shouldn't say anything anyway because we mustn't 'bring reproach upon Jehovah's name or his organization".
fast forward some years, she gets kicked out for having a non-jw boyfriend. her and I lose touch over personal matters between her and I. and then today, I come across that reddit post about the leaks. sitting in the living room with my laptop open, my dad sneaks up behind me, purposefully not making a sound so that he can see what websites I'm on, and once he sees the negative post about jehovahs witnesses, he loses his shit and takes away my laptop, which I paid for with my summer job, and immediately accuses me of being an apostate and starts taking whatever clothes he can pick up in his two arms and throws them outside. my mom is crying her eyes out, not at what my dad is doing to me, but because I was on a website critical about jehovahs witnesses. you have to understand, that in this toxic religion, any form of disloyalty to the organization is by extension a direct act of disloyalty to god himself. so she approves of my dads reactions. what really really sucks is that that was my laptop, that I was using for school and work. I've been effectively kicked out and now homeless, or at least until my best friend lets me crash at her place and use her tablet until her parents say no more. I cant go back to my part time job because my manager is another elder in the same congregation and I'm sure by now my dad has already spoken to him, telling him and the other elders that he's kicked me out.
you have to understand that in the jw religion, if an elder's child acts up in anyway against the faith, that elder could lose his position UNLESS he takes immediate steps to rid his house of any unbeleivers and apostates, which I now am since I was caught reading that post.
the world needs to know what this religion is like. it is not some friendly religion of good natured god-fearing people. sure there are people who are sincere in their belieif in god and spirituality. but for the most part, and especially for women and young kids, this is a toxic religion where loyalty to the organization comes first and foremost. if anything happens in private that could become public and make jw's look bag, they will do whatever in their power to keep it a secret. every form of plausible deniability, every form of reasonable doubt in their favor, any line of defense they can take to hide abuse and scandal will be take... so long as jw's don't get bad press. the world needs to know.
edit: wow! thank you for the support. no I'm not a minor. I'm 20. I'm still learning how reddit works and editing and stuff. will answer your replies. currently looking for place to stay. friend said I can stay with her for the week.
Edit 2: what infuriates me is how backwards this religion is. They discourage good careers but won’t stop asking for contributions. They discourage having long term plans, so when I talked about investing with some friends, their reaction is “what for?”. The end is around the corner. Lately I got very into cryptocurrencies and because my dad likes to go thru my debit card transactions, i’ve had to hide cash and use it to buy bitcoin at a local bitcoin atm. I used that to buy Ethereum. The fractional bitcoin I had is at an exchange I can withdraw from... but my Ethereum wallet was in my latptop, with the address and keys. With a destroyed laptop, there goes that. I got some of the friends in on cryptos and they made out nicely recently since summer. But again... once the elders caught wind of this, they spoke to my dad who yelled at me for making the family look materialistic... even though he has some bitcoin as well. The hypocrisy is everywhere and I can’t stand it anymore and I’m glad I’m out.
Edit 3: thank you all for being supportive. Forgot to be clear. Yes he took my laptop and smashed it. And inside was my Ethereum wallet address and the keys necessary to get funds out. I’m considering staying out parents house for the garbage and maybe salvage the hard drive.
Edit 4: thank you all so much for the many suggestions. Suing them isn’t going to get back my Ethereum wallet. If the hard drive is smashed, then it’s gone. If it’s not smashed, I still have to try to retrieve it somehow from their property. My dad is pretty knowledgeable with computers so I wouldn’t be surprised if he already went at it with a hammer. I can’t take my parents to court and force them to support me. That just means I have to keep them involved in my life and although that seems one way in theory, in practice it means having to deal with them and the resentment and the guilt tripping and the disappointmentment and animosity. Like what am I supposed to do? Live in their house while they make my life miserable with all sorts of passive aggressivity and resentment? Or do I collect at check from them? That’s just one messed up scenario. I’d rather have this clean break and start from scratch. From nothing. I have a week to come up with something. I was supposed to start school in a few weeks but that’s not gonna happen since I depended on them for rides and my job for tuition. I’m sure my jw boss/manager is going to use some minor infraction to have basis to fire me. So that’s done. Idk what my options are.
I want to emphasize that the point of my post was to share with everyone the realities of this toxic religion. With these leaks and the media spotlight, we are in a unique position and time to keep the spotlight on these injustices caused by some old men grasping to a mutated understanding of christ’s Teachings. This is not loving. This is not the truth. And any policy that lets pedophiles roam free can’t have the blessing of god.
I’ll never forget how years ago, there was an odd man who’d attend the mid week meetings. And when children would give their talks and parts, he’d give them a lollipop after the meeting. He wasn’t a baptized. He wasn’t really studying with anyone. He was just there to enjoy watching kids give their parts. It was creepy as hell! Did that behavior raise any red flags? Did the elders ask him to stop approaching kids he didn’t know? No way! In fact, elders and servants practically tripped over themselves offering him bible studies, hoping one of them would The one to convert and baptize him. He eventually disappeared but come on!!!! This is what’s allowed to happen in this organization. And it has to stop. And it will stop when the spotlight gets brighter and longer. And if my story can help keep that light longer, it’s worth it.
Edit 5: UPDATE - WOW! Thank you for reddit gold! I just read up on what that is lol. Thank you thank you!
Pressing charges: this harder than it seems. I have no evidence he physically took my laptop and smashed it. It’ll be my word against his. He’d rather see me lose than have any edge in recovering anything. Since I wrote the event in such a hasty manner, I left out some details about the actual smashing.
He saw I was reading the article. He then gets furious and asks why I’m reading apostate material. This is a guy whose only non-jw webpage visit is the Microsoft Edge browser homepage before he types in jw.org. Anything that is not org related he considers apostate material. At first I try to play it off like it just appeared in the news section but then he clicks on the history and sees I read a few articles about the leak. Given my personal history with my sister about abuse, he connects the dots that i must still harbor bad feelings towards the organization. And in the heated argument between us, I yell out how everyone is about to know the extent of their corruption and injustice and hypocrisy of every layer of the organization and that this is the true “end” of their world. That sealed my fate as an apostate when both my mom and dad hear me say that the organization is finished. Jws know that the moment there’s a hint of apostasy in the air, it must be dealt with immediately. I just texted some friends from the hall and haven’t gotten a reply back. Clearly I’m already being shunned. My one friend I’m with now is a non-jw who I have known for years and is kind enough to let me crash for a week.
The laptop is gone. I went by the house and noticed the garbage put out by the sidewalk. There were only two bags with what I could feel was soft garbage. Nothing metallic or laptop-like. Yes... I actually felt up the garbage. I could not have imagined that this is my life now, going thru garbage. Chances are he has the hard drive and already went to work on it.
I did get a text from my mom saying “you’ve been hiding money from us? Who are you?”
They must have gone thhru my room and found some bitcoin atm receipts which showed I bought bitcoin in cash from money I had withdrawn from the atm that I would say was for Kingdom Hall contributions. Yea... I had to fake giving the hall money so I could instead save up and buy bitcoin instead which I then converted into Ethereum... which is now gone and lost. Such is life.
I’m looking at job opportunities. I texted my jw/boss asking what time I should come in tomorrow, and haven’t received a response. So... I can assume the news has spread.
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