Illegible lines of red, white, yellow, and green text on a black computer screen.
Unsplash | Markus Spiske

20 Totally Obvious Scam Messages People Got That They Had To Share

There's a good chance you've probably received a scam message or two in your lifetime. Scammers might call or text you, email you, or even DM you on any social media site, just to get some of your hard-earned money.

But spotting a scam is usually pretty easy. Some scammers are pretty bad at hiding their tracks. Like the ones in this list, where they were so bad, it's actually funny.

"I've seen some authentic looking phishing emails before. This isn't one of them."

A poorly written scam email where the sender is trying to fool the recipient into thinking their Netflix account is suspended.
Reddit | DocileManatee

You can usually sniff a phishing scam out by the email address the sender is using (which won't be right at all). But this email saved the recipient a lot of trouble by being one of the most indescribable messes out there.

"I just caught this in the wild."

A screenshot of a text message in which a scammer is attempting to get a person to click a link that clearly has the word "scam" in it.
Reddit | bPhrea

It's nice when scammers make it obvious that they're trying to scam you. I'm sure this scammer doesn't get a lot of hits, since their link is a bit of a dead giveaway.

"Hooray I have won a 'Walmart.'"

A popup telling a person that they won a "Walmart."
Reddit | Te_kosher_six_nine

I somehow doubt that they don't mean you get to run your own Walmart location. Do you think people actually click on obvious scams like this?

"Trust me bro."

A message from a person impersonating Dwayne Johnson, telling the recipient that they won $1000 and need to provide their bank info.
Reddit | Alexpromise1

As much as I would love it if the Rock randomly decided to give me $1000, I'd be calling bull pretty quickly.

I don't know why, but the the "trust me" is absolutely killing me right now.

"Some intense scam, be aware!"

A text exchange where a scammer is pretending to have hacked a phone in order to get money from someone.
Reddit | yannblas

The full exchange is a little longer, but honestly this is where all the gold is.

I love the fact that this person just texted a random number with no plan whatsoever.

"Tried to buy a Chow puppy. Asked them to write today's date as proof if it's legit."

An image of a random puppy with a photoshopped piece of paper with the date of August 24th, 2021 on it.
Reddit | Shrinks03

This is probably the funniest scam image I've ever seen. They didn't even try to make the paper look like it was in the picture.

According to OP, they sent another one, too.

Same dog, same tricks.

A random puppy on a chair. Next to it is a badly photoshopped piece of paper with the date August 24, 2021 on it.
Reddit | Shrinks03

At least they were consistent with puppy breed and the piece of paper. But oh my goodness this is amazing! They did it twice! I'm in tears right now.

"You never know who’s trying to scam you!"

A text from a person's dad, asking for Apple TV login info in a strangely suspicious way.
Reddit | shrekasss

I think it might just be a fact that most dads text like they're trying to steal your identity. But at least you know you can trust your dad. Mostly.

"My daughter posted a bad review for a product purchased from Amazon and received this a month later."

A screenshot of a threatening email from an Amazon-affiliated company called Lazle demanding the poor score the recipient left be changed.
Reddit | MmmmFloorPie

This is probably... not the way you get people to leave good reviews on your product page. Maybe just make better stuff, and leave the threats to the movies.

"This one made me laugh."

A screenshot from a fake Michael Jackson account DM-ing a person, asking for money and claiming Michael isn't actually dead.
reddit | desenagrator44

I'm, like, 85% sure this is a meme, but it still counts as a hilariously bad scam. The little "Hee Hee!" at the end is what's sending me off the deep end right now.

And then there's this one.

A screenshot of an Instagram DM where an account impersonating Elon Musk and Gwynne Shotwell ask for Amazon gift cards.
Reddit | MolochHunter

This one is absolutely a meme, and it's also absolutely insane. Imagine if somebody actually fell for this. Like, it's so stupid, that it's actually kind of impressive.

"Scam text message. Tricking them with cat facts!"

A text exchange in which a scammer gets scammed by a person impersonating a non-refundable cat fact service.
Reddit | dravack

It's the "no" that's doing me in here. I wonder if that scammer thought the random number they decided to text was actually a different scam account?

"I thought I was worth a bit more lol."

A text exchange in which a person is pretending to be an assassin to get money out of someone else.
Reddit | Pumpkin__Butt

I've seen plenty of scams before, but serial killer and assassin attempting to scam you out of money so you don't get killed is a new one. This is honestly so unhinged, and so funny.

I wonder if that pdf file has instructions on how to get scammed?

A screenshot of an email with an attachment called "scam.pdf."
Reddit | RetroDood

Some scammers are so good, you don't realize you just got scammed until it's too late. This scammer, though, didn't even try. I bet they got zero hits with this scheme.

"Someone wants me to deposit this online thru my bank. See any issues?"

An image of a cheque for $3500. The date, institution number, and amount are all obviously overlayed on top of a blank cheque.
reddit | darkbehi

Ah yes, because that's how you fill out info on a check. Just type on top of an image of one. No one will be able to tell the difference...

"What type of scam is this?"

A YouTube comment scam that claims somebody's won an iPhone.
Reddit | trailerparkboy69

I love it when comment sections have obvious scams like this. And by love it, I mean it annoys me to no end. Do people actually fall for these?

It might've been his car, too!

An ad for a car door handle signed by "George Washington," for sale for one cent.
Reddit | CButler19

Because you know, cars totally existed back when Washington was alive.

Weird fake signature aside, what's the point of selling a car door handle?

"Why bother making a bot to message THIS?"

A screenshot of a text notification of a scammer pretending to be the UK government, asking for iTunes gift cards or else the recipient will be "under the rest."
Reddit | Ok_Table7457

The poor grammar, the idea that the UK government would randomly ask someone for £1500 in iTunes gift cards, "you under the rest." This is probably the best thing I've ever seen.

"These scams are getting complex."

A bottle washed up on a beach with a message in it. The message reads, "we have been trying to reach you regarding your car's extended warranty."
Reddit | dredgehayt

I know this is just a joke, but imagine if people seriously sent scam messages through bottles washed up on the beach. That would be a whole new level of weird.


A text exchange in which a scammer sends the same message twice, confirming that it's fake.
Reddit | [deleted]

I can't believe the scam bot wouldn't even say meatball. Not even once. I'm not gonna lie, that's kind of disappointing.