Ever since folks called my elderly mom and told her they had kidnapped me in order to extort her, scammers have held a special place in my heart. (I was not kidnapped, and thankfully, my mom was not conned.) Specifically, that small little part of it that wishes them eternal damnation and diarrhea.
Unfortunately, millions of people in the U.S. fall victim to scams every year, per data from the Federal Trade Commission. Scammers use myriad tactics to trick those unsuspecting Americans out of their hard-earned money. Some pretend to be the FBI and threaten to arrest you unless you pay. Others say you’ve just received tons of inheritance money from a long-lost relative and offer to help you claim it—in exchange for a cut, that is.
“They might say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family had an emergency. Or that there’s a virus on your computer,” the FTC said in an article. “Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.”
The FTC, which is in charge of stopping scams, sounds the alarm on new and established scams year-round through its “Consumer Alerts.” Click through the slides to check out some of the most outlandish and infuriating scams of 2022, many of which were closely tied to the news cycle.