What Is Bitcoin? 10 Facts You Should Know The Fact Site
What Is Bitcoin? 10 Facts You Should Know The Fact Site
9 Interesting Bitcoin Facts Every Bitcoin Owner Should Know
Worthlessfacts.com : Worthless Facts
Little pep talk for you newbs and other too. Hard facts ...
5 Things to Know Before Investing in Bitcoin (2020 Updated)
The border-less reach of Bitcoin makes Orwellian government sanctions worthless, and obsolete. The ramifications of this fact, will be diplomatic FOMO of Bitcoin, as financial markets collapse in chaos. 2018 will be biblical, HODL onto your Bitcoin.
The border-less reach of Bitcoin makes Orwellian government sanctions worthless, and obsolete. The ramifications of this fact, will be diplomatic FOMO of Bitcoin, as financial markets collapse in chaos. 2018 will be biblical, HODL onto your Bitcoin. /r/Bitcoin
10-29 14:13 - 'Part 6 In fact, all but the smallest coins had been discontinued in the intervening 18 months since I last saw my friend, the money had became quite literally worthless. I can’t help thinking, If only she ha...' (i.redd.it) by /u/ebinacoin2000 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 327-337min
There doesn't seem to be anything unique to bitcoin other than it is the most popular blockchain coin right now. Doesn't the fact that it is easily replicable and unenforced and ungoverned make it not unique and thus worthless? /r/Bitcoin
Part 6 In fact, all but the smallest coins had been discontinued in the intervening 18 months since I last saw my friend, the money had became quite literally worthless. I cant help thinking, If only she had changed it into bitcoins... THE END /r/Bitcoin
US OFAC issues advisory: ransom payments for ransomware may involve felony charges and personal civil liability for staff.
Under the authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) or the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA),9 U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions, directly or indirectly, with individuals or entities (“persons”) on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), other blocked persons, and those covered by comprehensive country or region embargoes (e.g., Cuba, the Crimea region of Ukraine, Iran, North Korea, and Syria). Additionally, any transaction that causes a violation under IEEPA, including transactions by a non-U.S. person which causes a U.S. person to violate any IEEPA-based sanctions, is also prohibited. U.S. persons, wherever located, are also generally prohibited from facilitating actions of non-U.S. persons, which could not be directly performed by U.S. persons due to U.S. sanctions regulations. OFAC may impose civil penalties for sanctions violations based on strict liability, meaning that a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction may be held civilly liable even if it did not know or have reason to know it was engaging in a transaction with a person that is prohibited under sanctions laws and regulations administered by OFAC.
Sauce Here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/ofac_ransomware_advisory_10012020_1.pdf OFAC Sanctions list here: https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov/ Analysis: Both TWEA and IEEPA carries Criminal and Civil penalties, so under these acts they can fine the company, fine staff directly, or press criminal charges. We know the US Government as part of both the 5 eyes agreements and domestic bank monitoring programs under FACTA monitors all international wire transfers. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies generally leave a paper trail that can be traced back to who purchased the currency. What I expect to start happening here is most CFO's are going to write off the cost of the ransom as a tax deduction which tips off the IRS that a ransom of some kind was paid. I expect the next step is the IRS is going to start asking for additional proof of payment and additional information about the cases. That puts CFO's in a bind, because I expect both the IRS, and federal courts, won't let it fly that you didn't know who you were paying money to under the TWEA. They'll sit on the data, and when eventually an APT Group gets compromised, they'll trace the payments back via said tax records. At that point, if your org paid under this, that data gets used to open up a search warrant and then they rip you a new one especially if the payment was substantial. The bigger issue here is it opens up tremendous liability for security services firms and insurers who pay ransoms on behalf of clients or advise clients to pay ransoms. Now is a good time to review your backup strategy and ensure you have tested backups that are isolated from your infrastructure. For those of you with your hands tied behind your back, now is a good time to gently remind your management staff, and especially the CFO if you have their ear, that they cannot rely on the renound cryptographic competence of our eastern european bretheren, and that their worst-case risk is a determined remote attacker and adversary of the US infecting your network, destroying the data while making it look like a ransomware attack, selling you worthless encryption keys to fund their operation before flaunting the fact they took you for a fool with a press release taking credit for the attack to tip off state government you paid them in order to further disrupt the company operations via putting your talented technical staff or c-suite staff in handcuffs and injuring your PR. To those of you in the business who are afraid of being scapegoated or in a tenuous situation, getchu some evidence tape and some tags, some vanilla envelopes and a glue stick. Print 2 copies, put one copy in a folder, seal it with evidence tape and a tag, then use your handy glue stick to adhere the other vanilla folder to its back and put the 2nd copy in so you can review the paperwork without breaking the evidence seal and shove that sucker in a fire proof safe or safety deposit box. Also, Mailstore home is free. TL;DR: If your company is attacked by ransomware, tell the management only facts of the occurance you know, what you can and cannot do for them, and don't advise them of anything upto and including getting a security services firm involved. I wouldn't even tell them paying the ransom might work. If you're going to have a verbal conversation, make it a one-on-one. Happy Saturday all!
Little pep talk for you newbs and other too. Hard facts you need to remember about bitcoin!
Don't let these dips sway your thoughts into thinking doom and gloom. Just remember this; 1)Fiat money has the ability to become worthless due to the fact that a central entity controls its production. In times of crisis they'll print too much and as much as they could which will just cause everything out there to be worth less. 2)Companies (stocks) have the ability to become worthless as well being that they function on the dollar as a piggyback. They got pumped due to the dollar, NOT because they did better business. Maybe Amazon and Tesla, but other companies no. 3)Bitcoin needs a DEMOCRACY to become worthless, meaning that for bitcoin to become worthless 100% of its participants have to agree on this AT THE SAME TIME. All miners have to shut down, all nodes have to shut down, many bitcoin businesses need to close doors, etc. Bitcoin is the first time in human history that we have DIGITAL SCARCITY. That alone will make bitcoin always worth it to everyone. So do not become fazed by this. Just use this opportunity to buy more.
Eth 2.0 vs Polkadot and other musings by a fundamental investor
Spent about two hours on this post and I decided it would help the community if I made it more visible. Comment was made as a response to this
I’m trying to avoid falling into a maximalist mindset over time. This isn’t a 100% ETH question, but I’m trying to stay educated about emerging tech. Can someone help me see the downsides of diversifying into DOTs? I know Polkadot is more centralized, VC backed, and generally against our ethos here. On chain governance might introduce some unknown risks. What else am I missing? I see a bunch of posts about how Ethereum and Polkadot can thrive together, but are they not both L1 competitors?
What else am I missing?
The upsides. Most of the guys responding to you here are full Eth maxis who drank the Parity is bad koolaid. They are married to their investment and basically emotional / tribal in an area where you should have a cool head. Sure, you might get more upvotes on Reddit if you do and say what the crowd wants, but do you want upvotes and fleeting validation or do you want returns on your investment? Do you want to be these guys or do you want to be the shareholder making bank off of those guys? Disclaimer: I'm both an Eth whale and a Dot whale, and have been in crypto for close to a decade now. I originally bought ether sub $10 after researching it for at least a thousand hours. Rode to $1500 and down to $60. Iron hands - my intent has always been to reconsider my Eth position after proof of stake is out. I invested in the 2017 Dot public sale with the plan of flipping profits back to Eth but keeping Dots looks like the right short and long term play now. I am not a trader, I just take a deep tech dive every couple of years and invest in fundamentals. Now as for your concerns:
I know Polkadot is more centralized
The sad truth is that the market doesn't really care about this. At all. There is no real statistic to show at what point a coin is "decentralized" or "too centralized". For example, bitcoin has been completely taken over by Chinese mining farms for about five years now. Last I checked, they control above 85% of the hashing power, they just spread it among different mining pools to make it look decentralized. They have had the ability to fake or block transactions for all this time but it has never been in their best interest to do so: messing with bitcoin in that way would crash its price, therefore their bitcoin holdings, their mining equipment, and their company stock (some of them worth billions) would evaporate. So they won't do it due to economics, but not because they can't. That is the major point I want to get across; originally Bitcoin couldn't be messed with because it was decentralized, but now Bitcoin is centralized but it's still not messed with due to economics. It is basically ChinaCoin at this point, but the market doesn't care, and it still enjoys over 50% of the total crypto market cap. So how does this relate to Polkadot? Well fortunately most chains - Ethereum included - are working towards proof of stake. This is obviously better for the environment, but it also has a massive benefit for token holders. If a hostile party wanted to take over a proof of stake chain they'd have to buy up a massive share of the network. The moment they force through a malicious transaction a proof of stake blockchain has the option to fork them off. It would be messy for a few days, but by the end of the week the hostile party would have a large amount of now worthless tokens, and the proof of stake community would have moved on to a version of the blockchain where the hostile party's tokens have been slashed to zero. So not only does the market not care about centralization (Bitcoin example), but proof of stake makes token holders even safer. That being said, Polkadot's "centralization" is not that far off to Ethereum. The Web3 foundation kept 30% of the Dots while the Ethereum Foundation kept 17%. There are whales in Polkadot but Ethereum has them too - 40% of all genesis Ether went to 100 wallets, and many suspect that the original Ethereum ICO was sybiled to make it look more popular and decentralized than it really was. But you don't really care about that do you? Neither do I. Whales are a fact of life.
VCs are part of the crypto game now. There is no way to get rid of them, and there is no real reason why you should want to get rid of them. They put their capital at risk (same as you and me) and seek returns on their investment (same as you and me). They are both in Polkadot and Ethereum, and have been for years now. I have no issue with them as long as they don't play around with insider information, but that is another topic. To be honest, I would be worried if VCs did not endorse chains I'm researching, but maybe that's because my investing style isn't chasing hype and buying SUSHI style tokens from anonymous (at the time) developers. That's just playing hot potato. But hey, some people are good at that. As to the amount of wallets that participated in the Polkadot ICO: a little known fact is that more individual wallets participated in Polkadot's ICO than Ethereum's, even though Polkadot never marketed their ICO rounds due to regulatory reasons.
generally against our ethos here
Kool aid. Some guy that works(ed?) at Parity (who employs what, 200+ people?) correctly said that Ethereum is losing its tech lead and that offended the Ethereum hivemind. Oh no. So controversial. I'm so personally hurt by that. Some guy that has been working for free on Ethereum basically forever correctly said that Polkadot is taking the blockchain tech crown. Do we A) Reflect on why he said that? or B) Rally the mob to chase him off?
Also Parity locked their funds (and about 500+ other wallets not owned by them) and proposed a solution to recover them. When the community voted no they backed off and did not fork the chain, even if they had the influence to do so. For some reason this subreddit hates them for that, even if Parity did the 100% moral thing to do. Remember, 500+ other teams or people had their funds locked, so Parity was morally bound to try its best to recover them. Its just lame drama to be honest. Nothing to do with ethos, everything to do with emotional tribalism. Now for the missing upsides (I'll also respond to random fragments scattered in the thread):
This isn’t a 100% ETH question, but I’m trying to stay educated about emerging tech.
A good quick intro to Eth's tech vs Polkadot's tech can be found on this thread, especially this reply. That thread is basically mandatory reading if you care about your investment. Eth 2.0's features will not really kick in for end users until about 2023. That means every dapp (except DeFI, where the fees make sense due to returns and is leading the fee market) who built on Eth's layer 1 are dead for three years. Remember the trading card games... Gods Unchained? How many players do you think are going to buy and sell cards when the transaction fee is worth more than the cards? All that development is now practically worthless until it can migrate to its own shard. This story repeats for hundreds of other dapp teams who's projects are now priced out for three years. So now they either have to migrate to a one of the many unpopulated L2 options (which have their own list of problems and risks, but that's another topic) or they look for another platform, preferably one interoperable with Ethereum. Hence Polkadot's massive growth in developer activity. If you check out https://polkaproject.com/ you'll see 205 projects listed at the time of this post. About a week ago they had 202 listed. That means about one team migrated from another tech stack to build on Polkadot every two days, and trust me, many more will come in when parachains are finally activated, and it will be a complete no brainer when Polkadot 2.0 is released. Another huge upside for Polkadot is the Initial Parachain Offerings. Polkadot's version of ICOs. The biggest difference is that you can vote for parachains using your Dots to bind them to the relay chain, and you get some of the parachain's tokens in exchange. After a certain amount of time you get your Dots back. The tokenomics here are impressive: Dots are locked (reduced supply) instead of sold (sell pressure) and you still earn your staking rewards. There's no risk of scammers running away with your Ether and the governance mechanism allows for the community to defund incompetent devs who did not deliver what was promised.
Wouldn’t an ETH shard on Polkadot gain a bunch of scaling benefits that we won’t see natively for a couple years?
Yes. That is correct. Both Edgeware and Moonbeam are EVM compatible. And if the original dapp teams don't migrate their projects someone else will fork them, exactly like SUSHI did to Uniswap, and how Acala is doing to MakerDao.
Although realistically Ethereum has a 5 yr headstart and devs haven't slowed down at all
Just because it's "EVM Compatible" doesn't mean you can just plug Ethereum into Polkadot or vica versa, it just means they both understand Ethereum bytecode and you can potentially copy/paste contracts from Ethereum to Polkadot, but you'd still need to add a "bridge" between the 2 chains, so it adds additional complexity and extra steps compared to using any of the existing L2 scaling solutions
That only applies of you are thinking from an Eth maximalist perspective. But if you think from Polkadot's side, why would you need to use the bridge back to Ethereum at all? Everything will be seamless, cheaper, and quicker once the ecosystem starts to flourish.
I see a bunch of posts about how Ethereum and Polkadot can thrive together, but are they not both L1 competitors?
They are competitors. Both have their strategies, and both have their strengths (tech vs time on the market) but they are clearly competing in my eyes. Which is a good thing, Apple and Samsung competing in the cell phone market just leads to more innovation for consumers. You can still invest in both if you like. Edit - link to post and the rest of the conversation: https://www.reddit.com/ethfinance/comments/iooew6/daily_general_discussion_september_8_2020/g4h5yyq/ Edit 2 - one day later PolkaProject count is 210. Devs are getting the hint :)
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It is still in Beta (actually even LN itself is considered "beta"), so even though we worked hard to make it highly reliable, for the time being forgive us for any issue and don't hesitate to provide feedback! If everything goes well, we will soon increase the maximum amount you can pay via LN invoices. If you want to develop with our LN feature or XMR.to in general, our API doc is here as always: https://xmrto-api.readthedocs.io Also remember a stagenet-Monero → testnet-Bitcoin version of XMR.to is available at https://test.xmr.to for all your privacy-minded joyful worthless playing around.
What will undoubtedly happen from a macroeconomic (big picture) perspective... idiots
OKAY. So demand has been reduced dramatically around the world, our $21 trillion GDP has basically been paused for 2 months, so to keep it afloat (rough math), the government had to add $3.5 trillion to keep the economy running somewhat smoothly. That's a lot of printing, you idiots probably expect inflation. Wrong, step away from the US and look at what other countries are doing, the ECB (European Central Bank) and BOJ (Bank of Japan) are having to print trillions of dollars worth of EURO and YEN to keep their economies going, along with every other country getting pounded. Not only that, but since the US dollar makes up 70% of global transactions, in liquidity terms, trillions worth of euro and yen is MUCH MUCH more than any amount Jpow feels like printing, there's no way our printing could offset what the rest of the world is doing, so inflation isn't coming. If you want proof, just look at the euro/usd (going lower) and literally ANY emerging market currency is getting absolutely clapped vs the dollar. Furthermore, not only is US corporate debt at an all time high, but emerging markets, the eurozone, and asia has borrowed more dollars than ever before at any point in history, basically everyone around the world's debt is denominated in US DOLLARS. So what's about to happen? It's already happening, demand for US dollars is going up because everyone around the world wants to borrow more to offset cash flow concerns and pay off existing debts, which will cause the dollar to increase in value. What happens when the whole world has debt in dollars and the dollar goes up in value? DEBT BECOMES MORE EXPENSIVE. This is DEFLATION, and in particular and even more terrifying DEBT DEFLATION, a phrase that would make Jpow absolutely shit himself (and he knows its coming). This has already started before the whole beervirus nonsense, look at Venezuela and Zimbabwe, they had too much dollar debt, no one wanted to lend to them anymore and whoops, their currency is worthless now. It's going to be like a game of musical chairs for people trying to get access to dollars, starting with emerging markets and eventually moving into the more developed economies. The result: massive corporate bankruptcies, countries defaulting on debt (devaluing their currencies) and eventually a deleveraging of massive proportions. This WILL occur and no amount of printing can stop it, it's already too far gone. It doesn't matter what the stock market does, other markets around the world will be fucked, honestly it might cause the market to go up because of all the money fleeing other countries trying to find a safe place to live. Here are the plays assholes. TLT will go up because no matter what Jpow says, he doesn't control the fed funds rate, the market does, and US treasury bond yields have already priced in bonds going negative. CPI shows that we may see up to -3% inflation (3% deflation), meaning at .25% fed funds rate, the REAL rate is 3.25%, that is the worst thing possible during a deleveraging because it makes it harder to stimulate the economy, the fed has no choice, rates MUST go lower. Rates go lower, bond prices go up, TLT 12/18 $205c. Remember how I said scared foreign money will want to find a nice safe place to go when we go into the biggest debt crisis the world has seen in over 300 years? GLD 12/18 $240c. Finally, the dollar will rise in value as well so UUP 12/18 $28c. As far the actual market, we hit a high of SPY 339.08 in February, fell to a low of 218.26 by mid March, and have since then retraced EXACTLY to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at 290, and started to bounce lower from there. I'm no technical analyst, but I do know history. During the greatest crashes in stock market history, 1929, 2001, 2008, the Nikkei in 1989 (Japan) this exact same thing happened, market got scared and fell to lows, then smoked that good hopium for a few weeks or month to retrace between 50% and 61.8% back to previews highs, then absolutely fell off a cliff. If you don't believe me, go look at the charts. Now, I'm personally not going to be betting on the US market falling because of the fact that its just straight up not reflecting reality and there are much better ways to trade on what's occurring (see trades above), but I PROMISE, that we will not be seeing new highs at any point any time soon. TLDR; The world is going to shit due to the dollars over-dominance of the world market, we will soon see the worst deleveraging in human history, and may very well have to come up with a new fiat money system (probably not bitcoin, but it wouldn't hurt to have some). TLT 12/18 $205c, GLD 12/18 $240c, and UUP 12/18 $28c. If you wanna be an autist and buy weeklys, I can't help you, but I basically just gave you the next big short, so you're welcome. DISCLAIMER: I didn't say what price to buy at for a reason, timing is extremely important for trades like this, so don't FOMO in and overpay, you will get clapped.
Cryptocurrencies, today’s biggest investment fad is dominating the headlines. Take Bitcoin, the most famous (and perhaps the most notorious) cryptocurrency has exploded in popularity over the last calendar year, despite the fact that it has been around for nearly a decade. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of bitcoin, however, most do not know about the details behind the enigmatic cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that was created by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008. However, the name Nakamoto is really an alias for an unidentified person, or group of people, who developed Bitcoin. Although there are numerous cryptocurrencies accessible now, Bitcoin has become the most popular one for investors. Bitcoin was developed is such a way to evade tight government control on currencies while making online transactions simpler. The primary technology behind Bitcoin is a blockchain, a digital ledger in which public transactions made in cryptocurrencies are documented in a universal network of computers.
An ICO not an IPO
An ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is an unregulated fundraising mechanism that is used for a new cryptocurrency undertaking. Here’s how it works: Say a company is trying to streamline a car service payment system so that it can be digital and encrypted. Sounds like a good idea. Let’s name it CarCoin. The company will then produce a document basically specifying exactly how the process will work (generally called a white paper). Additionally, they will create an eye-catching website and describe why CarCoin is a great idea that could be very beneficial. Then, the company will ask for people to send them money (typically Bitcoin or Ether, but they’ll also take fiat). In return, the company will send them back some CarCoin. The “investors” hope that CarCoin will be used a lot and be high in circulation, which could potentially raise the value of the currency. This is sort of like an initial public offering (IPO), where investors buy shares of a company. However, unlike an IPO investing in an ICO doesn’t award you an ownership stake in the company or startup you’re giving money to. You are hoping that in this instance, CarCoin currently a worthless currency, will ultimately increase in value down the line and make you money.
Oh, what a scam!
Unfortunately, whenever there is money to be made the swindlers are never far behind. This is especially true at the ICO stage. Anyone can launch an ICO as there is very little regulation in most countries such as the United States. This means that as long as you got the tech aspect set up you can get yourself funded. This obviously can result in one of two things: potential profit for an investor or massive scams. The cryptocurrency market is perfect for scammers because it’s relatively new, backed by tons of hype, and comprises of complex technology. It’s easier to sucker someone into investing in your ICO in 2018 than your bogus real estate business—and unfortunately, plenty of people have.
Fake bitcoin brokers
Unfortunately, whenever a new investment opportunity pops up there are plenty of fake brokers to go along with it and cryptocurrency is no different. Take Bitcoinopts for example. This “broker” does not allow you to buy and sell bitcoins or let you “watch your profit grow as we trade daily”. Rather they profit off of your deposit and never allow you to withdraw. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Many of these cryptocurrency brokers are the same fraudulent binary options brokers operating under a different brand. It has become so rampant that Facebook has instituted a blanket ban for all ads pertaining to Bitcoin, ICO’s and other cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin, often described as a cryptocurrency, a virtual currency or a digital currency - is a type of money that is completely virtual. It's like an online version of cash. You can use it to buy products and services, but not many shops accept Bitcoin yet and some countries have banned it altogether. The physical Bitcoins you see in photos are a novelty. They would be worthless without the private codes printed inside them. https://preview.redd.it/sul1wp5r3nr51.jpg?width=320&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0ecbcf1b70fd807168a831c3cbee98a4347172c7 How does Bitcoin work? Each Bitcoin is basically a computer file which is stored in a 'digital wallet' app on a smartphone or computer. People can send Bitcoins (or part of one) to your digital wallet, and you can send Bitcoins to other people. Every single transaction is recorded in a public list called the blockchain. I just love talking about bitcoins and this is the very reason I will write my essay on bitcoins and related currencies. This makes it possible to trace the history of Bitcoins to stop people from spending coins they do not own, making copies or undo-ing transactions. How do people get Bitcoins? There are three main ways people get Bitcoins.g
You can buy Bitcoins using 'real' money.
You can sell things and let people pay you with Bitcoins.
Or they can be created using a computer.
How are new Bitcoins created? In order for the Bitcoin system to work, people can make their computer process transactions for everybody. The computers are made to work out incredibly difficult sums. Occasionally they are rewarded with a Bitcoin for the owner to keep. People set up powerful computers just to try and get Bitcoins. This is called mining. But the sums are becoming more and more difficult to stop too many Bitcoins being generated. If you started mining now it could be years before you got a single Bitcoin. You could end up spending more money on electricity for your computer than the Bitcoin would be worth. Why are Bitcoins valuable? There are lots of things other than money which we consider valuable like gold and diamonds. The Aztecs used cocoa beans as money! Bitcoins are valuable because people are willing to exchange them for real goods and services, and even cash. Why do people want Bitcoins? Some people like the fact that Bitcoin is not controlled by the government or banks. People can also spend their Bitcoins fairly anonymously. Although all transactions are recorded, nobody would know which 'account number' was yours unless you told them.
Without Bitcoin. A token is just a claim slip. A coupon. Something that can be redeemed for a service or good.It has no monetary value in and of itself. It's utility is the good or service it can be redeemed for. Legal tokens like coupons that already exist today, have to specify on them that you can't exchange them for monetary value. This requirement, that you can't legally sell them to someone else for money, and the fact they have expiry dates, limits any potential use as a monetary unit of account. Casino chips are tokens also. That people use to gamble with at casinos. They are only accepted at the casino, they have virtually no utility outside their walls. Nobody will buy them from you, other than the casino itself. Or accept them in direct settlement of a transaction Bitcoin is cash. Cash is the ultimate unit of account, because it can be used to purchase any other token. Bitcoin can also be used to issue new tokens. And store data. And so much more. Tokens will never be more valuable than Bitcoin itself.Their utility is derived from that of Bitcoin. Without it, they would be useless. And worthless.
Good news, your request has been approved! One of the Salespeople is willing have you as a customer! Alas, due to union rules, only one of the Salespeople can work with each customer, so you’ll have to choose one. Once you’ve chosen, you can contact them anytime- just ask and they’ll step from the air wherever you are. The Salespeople will haggle, but they’re pretty good at it- you’re unlikely to get more then a small decrease in cost, and will probably be haggled up. They won't be your friend, they won’t help you in any way other then making a sale, and will avoid answering any questions about what they are or where they came from (except the Knowledge Broker, but you’ll have to pay through the nose for that one). They are also much more powerful then they seem, and have access to abilities far beyond those obviously visible- any attempt to attack, rob, scam or coerce them will fail at best. Anyway! Here they are! Choose one to work with!
The Death Merchant: She’s young and thin. 20 at most, with the nervous, overly friendly look of someone trying to make their first sale. In a bright suit and bright smile, she explains. She makes people die. She’s not a hitman, you understand. She just makes people die. Give her a name and description and they’ll die the next day. Default is a stroke but if you want to pay a bit more you can choose a preferred method of death. Can’t be traced back to you, can’t be protected against, can't be survived. No she’s not heard of “Death Note”, she’s never really been much of a reader. What does she want in exchange? Time. Specifically, yours. Kill off some randomer with a stroke, you’ll only age a few months. But the more “important” someone is (that is, the bigger knock-on effects their death will have) and the more elaborate the cause of death, the more time is lost. Killing a world leader is about a decade. She notices you don’t have a lot of years, so she’ll inform you that her branch is looking for freelancers. That is, if you personally kill someone, she can give you some time for it! Same rules. Kill some nobody on the street and gain three months, kill a world leader and you’ll become a decade younger. She grins that bright smile as you notice the grass she stood on has withered away. Kill anyone you want and live forever! What a bargain, huh? Shake her hand and let’s get started!
The Body Crafter: He’s in his 50s. Dressed casually, blunt and straightforward. He’s not going to give you his sales pitch. He’s just going to tell you what he makes. Bodies. He looks over yours and sighs. You got one of those evolution-designed ones, didn’t you? They seem cheap but they’ll give out on you. Here, he’ll fix it. He can make you a new body. All the way up from simply cosmetically different to superhuman. He’s very good at your job and honestly, given the junker you’re in now, he’ll only bill you raw materials. Compassionate reasons, you see. All you have to do bring him some flesh. A minor change- skin or eye or hair color, a bit smaller or taller? That’ll be maybe a small animal. A dog or pig for something like healing a chronic disease or a true sex change. Something like a cow or horse for making you younger, or improving your strength or speed or intelligence or something a reasonable amount. If you want peak human abilities, or an ability an animal has? That’ll be a person. Maybe 2, if it’s a really rare trait. You want something superhuman? That’ll be a lot of people. Depends on how powerful you want to be. Try and get some kind of kryptonian bullshit and you’ll need to depopulate a large city. He won’t lie to you: these animals and people are gonna die. Horribly. He’ll want them restrained when you’re giving them to him- he’s already doing you a favor, he’s not going to beat them into submission for you. Just give him the design of your new body and he’ll tell you what he needs.
The Knowledge Broker: Sometimes, she’s so old she’s barely breathing. Sometimes, she’s so young she needs help talking. Sometimes she’s a teen, sometimes a young woman, sometimes middle aged. But always she has that faint smile and piercing gaze. She leads with the point. She knows everything. Any secret, any knowledge, any fact. She knows it. But she won’t give it for free. You see, there’s only one thing she doesn’t know. And that’s experiences. She can look at two lovers and tell you every opinion they have on the relationship, tell you what neurons are firing and what hormones are being released. But she doesn’t know what it’s like to be in love. So she wants your memories. She’ll just pluck them out of your head. The harder to obtain your knowledge is, the more important the memory has to be. Trivia you could get away with your trip to the supermarket. Classified information you might need to give up the memory of your first kiss. Grand secrets of the universe might need an entire childhood. She’ll take traumatic experiences- after experiencing nothing, even pain is better- but she prefers pleasant memories. Incredibly happy memories are worth much more, while miserable ones are worth less. A truly horrific experience will be near worthless, I’m afraid. She looks at you. Well? She’s an old woman (for now). She’s waiting. Are you in or not?
The Money Giver: You'd barely notice this person. You can’t tell their sex, their race, their age. They’re average height, average weight, neither ugly or attractive. They talk in a voice utterly lacking emotion or accent, and explain that they have realized what humans really value. “Money”. They will give you “money”. They will give you a lot of money, if you ask. Direct to your bank account, by default, but it you want it in cash or cheque or gold or bitcoin or something they’ll provide. They almost show a hint of smugness when they confirm the taxmen of your world have no hope of exposing them. It’ll be fully laundered. What they want is control. They’ll take control of your body for a bit. They promise not to kill anyone directly or harm your body. For a few hundred, it may only be for an hour. A thousand might get them a day. A million will get them six months. A billion will get them a decade. Of course, richer you are, the better your odds of dealing with the aftermath once you get your body back. You have traded control of your life for money before. Do so again. Sign the contract.
The Dream Author: he’s rail thin, heavily scarred, scribbling in a book as you speak. It takes him clear effort to stop and look up at you to begin his pitch. How would you like to visit one of his stories? It’ll be perfectly realistic, and it can feel like up to a decade. And he can write you however you want. He doesn’t judge, he’s written stories for all kinds of people. You wanna be a brutal god-king, crushing all opposition? You wanna be a hero who saves millions? You wanna just fuck? He prides himself on being a multi-genre writer. Whatever you provide, he can work with. It’s not real, of course. After the decade, you’ll wake where you were, only a few seconds having passed, as if it never happened. You’ll remember it all, don’t worry. All it costs is something you significantly emotionally value. Maybe an precious photo or something. Artists can’t be choosers. How long does it take to go onto pets or people? Well, depends on how often you enter a story, and how long it takes you to run out. If you're scared of spiraling, he’ll offer you a deal. Pay up front- destroy every object, kill every person, burn everything you care about- and he’ll put you in a story permanently. For as long as you subjectively like, in whatever world you like. If the cost really upsets you, he’ll make you imaginary versions of the people you love. You can do that, in his stories. You can do anything in his stories.
The Luck Trader. They’re androgynous and beautiful, dressed delicately. They’re always grinning, and never still. They talk musically and never touch iron. They have a sack, and inside are tokens. Tokens of luck. Lucky in love? Lucky in money? Lucky in health? Whatever area you want, they can give it to you. Just have the token on you, and watch the luck flow towards you. It’s not perfect- this isn’t “winning lottery ticket rains down from the sky” luck- but things will go your way far more often then would otherwise be the case. It’s a boost, but it’s a hefty boost. If you take advantage, you could go very far in life. Of course, the tokens need activating. Just choose someone to activate it. It has to be someone you know personally- not necessarily someone you like, or know well, but you need to have had at least one genuine conversation with them. And the Trader will take them away. They’ll just be gone. No-one will ever find them. And you will get your token. Buy as many tokens as you like! You just need to keep offering up people, and you’ll get as many lucky breaks as you want. Their eyes glitter with hunger as they speak. Just give them people and watch the doors of the world open before you. It's a bargain.
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.
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:
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.
General fraudulent funds scams 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. 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. 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 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 are some news articles about this 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. 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.
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.
Door to door scams
As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first. Selling Magazines Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies. Energy sales Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on. Security system scams Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary. They ask to enter your home While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas. They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.
Begging With a Purpose "I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase." Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam. Drop and Break You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase. CD Sales You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware. White Van Speaker Scam You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless. iPhone Street Sale You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down. Buddhist Monk Pendant A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly. Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items. Dent repair scams Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden. Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again. Distraction theft One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.
Hey nerds, Duncan here. You might remember me from last week's DD, in which I argued that a company whose entire business model consists of exploiting the poor is worthy of your totally un-earned NEET bux. In today's not financial advice we are going to talk about the currency without a state, the oldest medium of trade, Scrooge McDuck's drug of choice...I'm talking about gold. Now, there is a reason that commercial advertisements for gold target demographics that we will generously call "unsophisticated". Gold is perfect for short term thinkers/investors because doesn't actually grow in the long term the way equities or bonds do. But to understand the powerful short term play I'm talking about, we need to understand the role gold actually plays in the international monetary system. After WW2, the Allied powers got together and realized that they needed a way to avoid the hyperinflation of 1930's Germany which had led to the war. In order to ensure currency stability the entire world agreed to peg their currencies to USD. And USD would be backed by gold. If one of the currencies was too much in demand, threatening the carefully managed exchange rates, than the IMF would step in and pump or dump the currency until it returned to the right exchange rate. That system worked great until around 1971, when Nixon lost tons of the government's tendies napalming rice paddies. The US government paid for the war with debt, and by 1971, Nixon was afraid of actually getting margin called. So he, with no notice to anyone, announced that the US dollar was no longer backed by gold. Suddenly it was a free for all. The US economy was hit with both high unemployment and high inflation, other currencies floated all over the place. Basically, it was the chaos we have today. So Duncan, you might ask, does anyone buy gold today? Well, almost every central bank in the world continues to hold gold, and lots of it. The reason they do so is the same reason almost all historic currencies were based on gold: that because gold can't easily be printed, it can't be easily be manipulated, and it can't easily be degraded or destroyed. In fact, it's perks strongly parallel those of Bitcoin. In the event of a crisis, a country can liquidate its gold reserves for more currency. This is especially helpful when a reserve currency, or the native currency is in trouble. For example, we see Venezuela, whose own currency is totally worthless, USD reserves are useless due to sactions, and therefore it has turned to its gold reserves to pay for imports of food and medicine. Gold's reputation as a systemic-risk hedge is so great, that in times of market instability or crisis, it actually assumes a negative beta. That is, it moves opposite equities. However because it is an almost fixed quantity asset, it also changes value against other currencies. So, when we have our friend Jerome running his printer like crazy, increasing the money supply at an unprecedented rate, he should be increasing the price of gold, or rather, making the USD/Gold exchange rate higher. In fact, we see that around late 2018 the trump tax cut began to pump more liquidity into an already hot economy, starting a USD/Gold price increase. Likewise, as the world economies look more and more risky, and the world's reserve currency's M2 expands faster than Boogie2988 after a breakup; we should see central banks continue to purchase gold as a hedge against continued economic instability. The Fed has made it clear, that it will do everything possible to avoid deflation. However, after 10 years of historically low interest rates and at times QE, consumers simply have not seen wages or prices increase significantly. So where has that steadily increasing money supply gone? Well, the answer appears to be that some assets are experiencing inflation: Financial instruments, urban housing, medical care, and college tuition--anything that can be funded through cheap debt--have taken the brunt of inflation. Meanwhile the average American consumer can't even find 4 hundred dollar bills to rub together in an emergency. So we can be almost certain that the Fed will keep printing, in the misguided belief that its freshly minted money will eventually trickle down to the American consumer, but in the process the Fed will raise the price of stocks, bonds, houses, colleges, medicine, and most importantly gold. As we have discussed, gold is good for two things: hedging inflation, and reducing systematic risk. And right now, both of those traits are looking very, very valuable. Edit: Since every post I get accused of pump and dump, I will disclose my current related positions: UGLD, and about 1-1.5 oz of physical gold. I include an option recommendation for the algos, but honestly, if you don't know how to gain exposure to gold, this post probably won't help you. 8/1 180c GLD
If you're on reddit you're probably a millennial or gen z and you're likely gen 1 or gen 2. Most hmong parents arnt the most financially savvy people out there so I thought I'd post this in hopes that it helps some of yall out. The current situation should be reality check that highlights 1 thing for our generation: Have enough cash and investments to support yourself If you're a millennial this is probably the 2nd major recession in your working career, all within the span of less than 15 years. If you're just entering the job market then prepare for losses, wage cuts, uncertainty and wage stagnation for perhaps years to come. Recovery will happen, but unlike the stock market the economy usually lags.
Save enough cash to support yourself - 3 months minimum
Savings: At a minimum you should have enough cash to cover 3 months of costs in case of job loss. However, this is really the minimum you should strive for before thinking about investments. I'm personally more comfortable with 5-6 months of expenses and even more if you own a house.
401k, HSA There are probably more plans out there but these are the two most common. You should be maximizing your contributions up to whatever the company match is. If you're young and healthy, you may want to think about actively managing both and changing the funds to support higher growth.
401k: Contribute up to the company match. 401k is funded by pretax money and the company match is all free money. If you dont think you can or have the time to beat the match, then leverage 401ks to the maximum. Don't have enough to contribute? Each raise you earn increase your 401k contribution to whatever your raise is. Should you contribute the yearly maximum? It depends on the match and if it's worthwhile. 401ks are a money jail so it's not worth-while to simply invest more if it does not earn you additional match money. There are better ways to invest your money. Which fund should you choose? Again if you're on the younger side, you should probably be in 90% or more in stocks. HSA: If you're young and/or healthy then you will want to maximize you're HSA contributions. This money is yours forever and often comes with a company match. After meeting the minimum account balance you can invest any additional contributions, just like your 401k. You'll always have both accounts and the government has made it clear that they will waive penalties for withdrawals in cases of crisis like covid.
Roth IRA and Brokage accounts
Fully vested in 401k and HSA? Roth IRA and brokage accounts may be what you're looking for. Both Roth IRA and brokage accounts allows you to invest in individual stocks. What's the difference? Roth IRA gains are tax free but you arnt allowed to withdraw gains without paying a penalty and taxes until you reach retirement age. You can still pull out what you contribute at any time. A brokage account allows you to pull your gains and contributions out at any time, but any gain on any sale is subject to tax, regardless if you withdraw from your account or not. The general advice is if you're investing for retirement, go with a roth ira and contribute the maximum you can each year, then fund your brokage account with any extra. If you're investing to gamble or to try and earn extra cash, a brokage account gives you more flexibility on managing your earnings. I use my Roth IRA as a second savings accounts and invest when I see good entry points. Roth gives me liquidity while also being able to invest, compared to a 401k. The market will only grow, maybe not in the short term with the whole covid recession, but better believe it will in the long term.
FIRE: Financial Independence, Retire Early.
You may have heard of FIRE, but the essence is to become Financially independent and retire early. I'm not a big fan of the following it exactly but I am a fan of being Financially independent enough to not worry about what I choose for work. But if you live FIRE, more power to you. The single biggest costs for most people are their homes. If you can pay off your home early then a large financial burden has been taken care and while you may not be financial independent you will have an extremely large amount of flexibility. If you want to work at Costco, you can! That's what being financially flexible affords you.
Real estate and Land
Yes, some people make bank flipping and renting. But profiting from a flip is estimated to be harder and harder with home prices where they are today. I dont have any expertise here beside just beginning to dive into the indusrty but from what I hear from my builder, realtor and flipping people is that we are expecting a down turn in home prices in the 2nd half of the year if covid continues to decimate the economy. Low interest rates however may offset some of this in the short term. Right now it's still a sellers market but high end houses are sitting.
Points, points, points..seriously there's no other way to buy than with a credit card, not even mentioning security benefits. Cash, debit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, all worthless when compared to credit cards. Use credit cards to pay for everything you can. If you're not disciplined enough, don't open cards to every department store either, you're get a credit hit if your credit is accessed too often and it becomes difficult to manage after too many cards. Look at cards that provide the most points for your dollar. Cards that allow you to transfer points to partners often yield even more savings, especiallyon things like travel. Chase cards are great and Freedom is a great first card to have. The key to credit cards is not to spend what you dont have and to pay off the STATEMENT BALANCE every month. To avoid interests, you need only pay off the STATEMENT BALANCE and not the full balance every month. Never take credit card loans or get into credit card debt, it's going to be a bad time.
Pay off debt
There's always a fine line between investing and paying off debt. The debt we're talking about here is debt with relatively low interest rates like student loans, car loans and homes. Anything debt with high rates, like credit card debt, should be paid off immediately. The general rule of thumb is if you can make more investing than the interest rates of the loans, invest, else pay off debt. But, investing involves risk while paying off debt is a sure thing. There's also the emotional factor. Some people don't care about debt because they want to be working their entire lives and are willing to pay it off over the long term, and that's perfectly fine. In that case, invest invest invest. Personally i think there is a balance, I rather be debt free and financially flexible than be straddled with debt. To pay off debt, one of the most popular methods is the snow ball method. The essence of the theory is to pay off the highest interest debt off first. Once paid off, while keeping the payments the same, tackle the next highest interest debt and so on so forth. Eventually you are paying off more and more with the same payments, hence the snow ball effect. Google it for more precise definitions.
Travel, hobbies and enjoying life
Seriously, enjoy your youth, health and life while it's good. Nobody wants to work and save until 65 before you start traveling and enjoying life. Traveling is one of the best things you can do. Having hobbies makes work worthwhile. Good health is worth more than all the cash in the world.
Gambling and options
I dont recommend either, but if you're a gambling man, play options over penny stocks and always double down on 9 or 11...maybe. Just don't bet what you're not willing to lose, and for the love of all that is holy, dont gamble on margin. Disable that shit. You already know all this stuff? Awesome! Help out and contribute. Questions? Post. Wrong Facts? Always looking to learn. Tldr: Save, invest and pay off debt. Also enjoy life, health and youth while you have them.
Keep in mind that you guys are in an echo chamber as you read what my thoughts are on bitcoin. I honestly dont see the currency being accepted as a global currency in the near or distant future. if theres only 21 million bitcoin that can possibly exist and that amount is reached in 2140, the amount of bitcoin that will be bricked due to lost passcodes and people dying whilst in ownership of such currency in the next 10 generations will cause circulative supply to drop to such a low that the majority of bitcoin in circulation will be owned by less and less people and thus create a stagnant ecosystem. Its price will be determined by fewer and fewer individuals that have the majority of bitcoin. This goes against the spirit of community and human values that value a certain level of governing control through a majority consensus. If it is to be accepted by the billions of people on earth then it has to have a stable price and value that can be controlled by the communities that use it or it will warp a large % of peoples minds into valuing it as an appreciating commodity and not a currency. The effort to get people to learn fractions and technology that involve phones and usb-like devices is also a major hurdle to accessibility for most people. Our current global infrastructure does not support widespread use of crypto. But when does, which wont be in the near future, Fiat currency will remain the leader in value because through law it can be bound to a physical asset such as gold. So to me, if I bought bitcoin, I personally see that as a move only motivated by distrust in government. People dont realise that they are their government and they have a say in it by either becoming a representative of the people or electing someone as such. When Andrew Yang (the only technologically literate candidate to ever run for office) eventually becomes president and America is systematically reformatted to a modern up to date country, Intelligent use of fiat currency will bounce back and will be a very strong norm. Governing bodies can fund programs that value community and human centered values. Universal basic income and a booming population will require fiat currency as its stable medium of trade. Bitcoin cannot offer a properly run governing body any benefits because it literally represents the human ego in a trade able commodity that is only ever viable in a land of fear and uncertainty with donald trump. (i dont see him being reelected but he did his job throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of a broken system). Lets talk about what the future will look like if crypto currency is actually used as a currency instead of a commodity that is only purchased for the sole reason that it will be sold for more than it was purchased for: Think about hundreds of millions of people using the cryptocurrency trading the 10,000 bitcoins between one another in fractions in the distant future(not literally the exact amount but as an example). Then imagine a legacy owner of the currency dumping their 100,000 bitcoins into the market on a whim because they want to crash its value. Theres no governance that can step in to stop this from happening. Bitcoin isnt backed by any physical asset such as gold and its value cannot be inforced by a governing body. The one action of one individual can negatively affect the majority of other people with no safeguards. That should be more terrifying to people than a fiat currency being printed by a central banking system and then distributing funds in a less disruptive manner that allows for programs such as universal basic income to be viable that will be an inevitability in the future or community run organisations that benefit the spirit of community. Sure, Bitcoin is stable on paper, but its value is all speculation and subject to mass psychology. This bitcoin narrative all over twitter and youtube actually require you to believe them to keep bitcoin viable. without your belief in it, its worthless. of course you can say the same thing about fiat currency, but there are benefits fiat provide that bitcoin cannot. With Bitcoin you have tax avoidance? reduced funding for community run organisations? failure of funding for public services that many use? Bitcoin does nothing for community as a whole. Fiat curreny and a competent government fills this very important role. The fact that the way bitcoin was designed doesnt factor in the fact that the population of the human race will only keep growing; makes it an inferior means of trade on a large scale and merely a commodity to add to the list next to gold. By inferior i mean it isnt widely accepted. most stores wont accept gold nor will they accept bitcoin. If there is any takeaway from this it is or added notes: -Bitcoin represents the ego of the human race as a trade able currency -Bitcoin does nothing to propagate community values by its very nature which is why it will not succeed in the future. -As difficult as it is to mine bitcoin, most people that use money in general dont really care what you did to earn it. People value stability in a currency. not rampant volatility. -Youtube videos on bitcoin value is all speculation no matter how much you want to justify its value. People dismissing the billionaires that publicly state their gut beliefs against crypto by creating conspiracy theories are actually the real insecure people of the crypto community. -Bitcoin is a COMMODITY dont be fooled into thinking that is a currency. It will never be a fully accepted global currency unless it can be controlled by a(competent) centralised governing body. And because it does not possess that capacity, it will never succeed in the distant long term.
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Bitcoin is worthless, bubble about to burst, warns global insurer
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