You are being watched. Private and state-sponsored organizations are monitoring and recording your online activities. The PrivacyTools team is providing resources to protect your privacy against global, mass surveillance. Become a member of the PrivacyTools community to discuss online privacy and security, share information, and stay informed with the latest updates in the privacy world.
Hello visitors and subscribers of scams
! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!
If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.
Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on Blackmail email scam thread: https://www.reddit.com/Scams/comments/jij7zf/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_6/
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not
think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.
Spoofing Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you. Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created. SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.
The most common scams The fake check scam
(Credit to nimble2
for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams
- The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check. Sometimes they'll call it a "cashier's check", a "certified check", or a "verified check".
- You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This makes you think that the check is real and the funds have cleared. However, the money appearing in your account is not the same as the check actually clearing. The bank must make the funds available to you before they have cleared the check because that is the law.
- For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone some of the money, using services like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Walmart-2-Walmart. Sometimes the scammer will ask for you to purchase gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Steam, etc) and give them the codes to redeem the gift cards. Some scammers may also give you instructions on how to buy and send them bitcoins.
- Within a couple of weeks, though it can take as long as a month, your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money from the fake check, that money will be gone and you will owe that money to the bank. Some posters have even had their bank accounts closed and have been blocked from having another account for 5 years using ChexSystems.
If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent. Phone verification code scams
Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it. Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins. Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere. Cartel scam
You will be threatened by scammers who claim to be affiliated with a cartel. They may send you gory pictures and threaten your life and the lives of your family. Usually the victim will have attempted to contact an escort prior to the scam, but sometimes the scammers target people randomly. If you are targeted by a cartel scam all you need to do is ignore the scammers as their threats are clearly empty. Boss/CEO scam
A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse. Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist. Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule. Craigslist Carfax/vehicle history scam
You'll encounter a scammer on Craigslist who wants to buy the vehicle you have listed, but they will ask for a VIN report from a random site that they have created and they will expect you to pay for it. Double dip/recovery scammers
This is a scam aimed at people who have already fallen for a scam previously. Scammers will reach out to the victim and claim to be able to help the victim recover funds they lost in the scam. General fraudulent funds scams
The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter. Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement. The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here
is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods. The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account. The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money. Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam part 5: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5/
PSA: you did not win a giftcard: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/fffmle/psa_you_did_not_win_a_gift_card/ Sugar scams
Sugar scammers operate all over the internet and usually come in two varieties: advance-fee scams where the scammer will ask for a payment from you before sending you lots of money, and fake check style scams where the scammer will either pull a classic fake check scam, or will do a "bill pay" style scam that involves them paying your bills, or them giving you banking information to pay your bills. If you encounter these scammers, report their accounts and move on. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a messaging platform used extensively by all kinds of scammers. If you are talking with someone online and they want you to switch to Hangouts, they are likely a scammer and you should proceed with caution. Publishers Clearing House scams
PCH scams are often advance-fee scams, where you will be promised lots of money after you make an initial payment. You will never need to pay if you win money from the real PCH. Pet scams
You are looking for a specific breed of puppy, bird, or other pet. You come across a nice-looking website that claims to be breeding them and has some available right now - they may even be on sale! The breeders are not local to your area (and may not even list a physical location) but they assure you they can safely ship the pet to you after a deposit or full payment. If you go through with the payment, you will likely be contacted by the "shipper" who will inform you about an unexpected shipping/customs/processing fee required to deliver your new pet. But there was never any pet, both the "breeder" and the "shipper" are scammers, typically operating out of Africa. These sites are rampant and account for a large percentage of online pet seller websites - they typically have a similar layout/template (screenshot - example)
If you are considering buying a pet online, some easy things to check are: (1) The registration date of the domain (if it was created recently it is likely a scam website) (2) Reverse image search the pictures of available pets - you will usually find other scam websites using the same photos. (3) Copy a sentence/section of the text from the "about us" page and put it into google (in quotes) - these scammers often copy large parts of their website's text from other places. (4) Search for the domain name and look for entries on petscams.com or other scam-tracking sites. (5) Strongly consider buying/adopting your pet from a local shelter or breeder where you can see the animal in person before putting any money down.
Thanks to djscsi
for this entry. Fake shipping company scams
These scams usually start when you try to buy something illegal online. You will be scammed for the initial payment, and then you will receive an email from the fake shipping company telling you that you need to pay them some sort of fee or bribe. If you pay this, they will keep trying to scam you with increasingly absurd stories until you stop paying, at which point they will blackmail you. If you are involved in this scam, all you can do is ignore the scammers and move on, and try to dispute your payments if possible. Chinese Upwork scam
Someone will ask you to create an Upwork or other freelancer site account for them and will offer money in return. You will not be paid, and they want to use the accounts to scam people. Quickbooks invoice scam
This is a fake check style scam that takes advantage of Quickbooks. The blackmail email scam
The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here
scam. The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail. Rental scams
Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse. Craigslist vehicle scams
A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on. Advance-fee scam
, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum. Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to. Digit wallet scam
A variation of the fake check scam, the scammer sends you money through a digital wallet (i.e. Venmo, Apple Pay, Zelle, Cash App) along with a message claiming they've sent the money to the wrong person and a request to send the money back. Customer service for these digital wallets may even suggest that you send the money back. However, the money sent is from a stolen credit card and will be removed from your account after a few days. Your transfer is not reversed since it came from your own funds. Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories. Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer. Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card. Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website. Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.
You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls. Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS
, Canadian CRA
, British HMRC
, and Australian Tax Office
to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world. Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards. [Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number. Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program. Tech Support Call
You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam. Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats. Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators. Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information. Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin. Relative in custody
Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same
. Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help. General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money. One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.
Online shopping scams THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer. Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products. Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer. Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time. Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off. Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam. Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month. Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items. Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online. Computer scams Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.
Assorted scams Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush
. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings. Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.
Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
TLDR: I made this website. I think it's pretty innovative and helpful. https://churchofearth.org/
About the need for this post.
A lot of this text was originally to be posted to changemyview
because I'm looking to be challenged on my assumptions here, and my approach
. I checked with the mods there and I can't find a way not to post it as promotion (which would violate the subreddit rules). The I considered posting it in philosophy
and it was a similar answer. To be clear: I support their decisions to not allow this post.
There's a lot of reasons to be concerned about someone running up and saying "Hey! Do you wanna hear about my religion?" and I have total respect for anyone who says "No."
I reached out to casualiama
a few hours ago and haven't heard back. If they decide to lock or remove this I support their decision and will try another subreddit.
I welcome lots and lots of questions about this project, I believe this project will be helpful, but I am open to having my view about the viability of this project changed. This is a big weird thing and I've been focusing on it alone for long time. This work has probably had a big impact on my objectivity.
This didn't used to exist and maybe it doesn't need to. Or maybe it has some irredeemable flaw that I've failed to consider. I don't want to see this get launched if that's the case. The main cost of this project has been my time, and I've learned enough while doing it to justify the time spent on it even if I'm convinced this project isn't viable.
I can't make any more progress alone and I need new people to get involved. This can change and it can evolve as it grows because I've tried to build it to be guided by new people. I hope that I've done a good job of building it that way.
The fastest way to learn about this in order to ask me questions is by visiting the website. https://churchofearth.org/
(I sure hope that this post does well and I've set up the site well enough to accommodate the traffic.)
(This text will contain many links to the website)
(I'm really nervous about this)
Why have I done this?
I would describe this effort as coming out of the part of my brain that would be firing if I were an active survivalist/doomsday prepper. In 2019 I became very concerned about the state of the world, especially as I thought about what it will look like for the remainder of my life. It seemed logical to amass skills and resources in order to protect myself and the people around me. I had never focused on my own survival because I've lived a life of privilege, and then I realized that there were scenarios where my privilege would not protect me.
During that research phase I came to the conclusion that I couldn't just turn inward. As people turn inward our shared challenges
become harder to address. I started looking more into the good work people were doing all over the world. I looked outward for inspiration.
There's lots of folks doing lots of amazing work trying to solve our shared challenges. At every level of society, in every region, in big ways and small ways. This is often a very helpful world.
I started researching things and became less pessimistic about the future of our world. This doesn't mean there aren't a pile of challenges for us to solve, it means that I'm better able to see the people trying to solve our shared challenges
. When I couldn't see them (and wasn't looking for them) the future of our world seemed much worse. I still see the darkness, and it's scary and overwhelming and huge, but now I see more light.
This project represents what I was able to build with the skills and experience I had. This project started out as just a social media platform intended to connect people who wanted to help. While I was building that I discovered a faith within myself about the future. The new religious movement is the structure I've built to help grow this faith. It's based on religious humanism, which has been a thing for several hundred years.
I stopped working heavily on this project in late 2019, and formally stopped on February 1st of 2020. I started it up again in April of 2020. There's a short post about it here.
The new religious movement
The Church of Earth is a non-theistic, religious humanist movement
focused on building a more helpful world and the worship of current and future generations
. Worshiping future generations can allow us to focus deliberately on trying to build a world where everyone thrives.
In order to thrive we all need access to water, food, information, energy, support and freedom.
We all need different level of these things to thrive and we all want to thrive
. The Church of Earth is founded on the view that we are different and equal. The core values of the Church of Earth are intended to help you and the world around you.
- Help others and you'll live in a more helpful world.
- Improve yourself and you'll improve the world.
- Consume less and you'll value what you have more.
People who feel the faith of the Church of Earth are called Helpers
. There are no rituals to join this faith, although anyone can make rituals. Anyone can identify themselves as a Helper. Don't judge them by who they say they are, judge them by what they do. In their acts of faith they should be trying to help you, and only if you consent to their help.
This faith is optional. No one can be forced to adopt this faith. You can't force a more helpful world on people, you can only help them build it.
The social media platform
The social media platform is built to help people grow this religion
. It allows them to focus on activities that relate to the core beliefs of the Church of Earth. People do not need to share this faith to use this platform or use its features. The platform is anonymous. There are no user profiles. Every type of module can inspire almost any other type of module. The modules all have different functionality. This platform is complex software.
Social Media Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are designed to be simple and addictive. Those are deliberate design choices intended to serve the goals of the organizations that built them. These goals relate to revenue generation through the use of user data. This organization has different goals, and one of those goals involves promoting hard work. There will be a learning curve with this platform.
I'm the only one who has used it so far and I've probably failed to consider a lot of things. This platform will change over time as more skills and knowledge improve its construction. This platform can be considered one of our great works. I can tell you right now people will find a number of bugs on the platform. I am expecting something unexpected, critical, and stressful to happen once people start visiting this site. Please be kind and patient with this platform, and with me. I'm very tired. Upvotes/Downvites/Likes/Dislikes:
The purpose of this platform is to help grow a more helpful world. The upvote/downvote button labels are: This is Helpful
and This is Not Helpful
. Everything added to this platform should be helpful, every post includes fields where you can describe who you're trying to help, and why. There are a limited number of votes that can be given every day. Creating content increases your votes for the day. The platform has the following modules:
The Gospel of the Church of Earth
- Scriptures - journaling functionality intended to allow you to explore a subject. This could be a journal entry about your personal development, or a short story, or some introspection, or anything helpful you can possible think of that would be a lot of text. - Infographic
- Sermons - Brief text snippets or links to external resources intended to inspire other users. This module is how we link to other sites, share other content, or say short messages.
- Goals - Things you want to get done. You can add to the organizations goals, and the goals for the website. We can all work together. - Infographic
- Prayers - Requests for help. If you need something you can ask the platform and hopefully someone will see it and help you. You can list the type of help you need. It's up to you to be realistic about what can be done on this platform. If your prayers aren't getting answered there are other tools to help you solve some problems. - Infographic
- Rituals - Things you do alone or in groups to help you accomplish tasks or focus yourselves. Our species uses rituals to greet and communicate with each other. We have rituals that are events, or meals. We have rituals that involve many people singing or performing an action. The Church of Earth has not created any official rituals.
- Missions - Events intended to bring people together to offer help in their communities. These can have rituals attached to them so that people know what social structure is expected when they meet.
All of the content we create can be connected in a big, anonymous web of helpfulness. Any content type can inspire any other content type, except for prayers. Prayers can only be answered (publicly or privately depending on the type of prayer.)
Blog posts by the Church of Earth can inspire content from users. The goals of the Church of Earth appear in the same module as the goals of individual users of this platform. Intentions
When you post something you have to say who you think you're helping, and why. You also need to select a subcategory like "I am being thoughtful" or "I am being creative" or "I am being inspirational" or "I am being critical". This will help other users understand how to react to you in a way that contributes to meaningful interactions. It's just me right now, so that's pretty funny and awkward
The platform is live. Anyone can create content. Accounts can only create one piece of content until their first contribution receives a vote by another user saying "This is Helpful". There are currently no users on the platform. I've created content but there's no one to say if it's helpful so I'm still a pending user
On September 24th, 1 year after I first posted the 3 core beliefs to the site, 5% of all pending users will be selected at random and added to the site. Those people will then be able to use the site, but their profiles will not indicate they were among the First Five
. My account isn't any more likely to be added than anyone else.
This is an act of faith. It doesn't take a lot of people to make big things happen and we're all capable of amazing things.
That is the message this platform has been designed to share. Note: That doesn't mean there won't be an effort to understand the impact of spam comments, or content that violates the terms of service for this site. They'll be transparent though. It's unreasonable to think that people won't do silly things with a site like this on the internet. Silly things are fun. One of the "intentions" of the site is "the be creative".
The religious organization
This organization will have a different look depending on how successful it is. I've built it in the hope it will see a meaningful amount of adoption, but all of that can be scaled down and still be helpful. Even if it's just me feeling this way for the rest of my life I consider it a meaningful improvement to my worldview and personality. I'm fairly confident some unknown quantity of other people will also see the value in this and that we can build something together.
The Church of Earth organization is the least planned out because it needs to be developed by people with greater specialization than me. The main points are this:
Here's an infographic about this.
- Governance will be handled democratically, through the Church of Earth platform, and it will include a random selection of top candidates. (This functionality hasn't been built yet)
- There will be term limits for everyone. Especially me.
- Governance of the organization will include people who do not identify as Helpers.
- Compensation of employees will be nonstandard as well. Employees will be given baseline salaries for the region they live in, regardless of their role, and everyone will qualify for bonuses that will be given out by other employees.
The organization will be structured like a nonprofit and will prioritize pursuing goals that align with the 3 core beliefs of the Church of Earth faith. It will require donations, but the hope is that it will eventually develop revenue to be self sufficient.
I have some ideas for revenue generation. They're not super innovative, they're just taking relevant things and doing them in a way that promotes the faith of the Church of Earth as it operates as a nonprofit entity in a capitalist economy. This business model is well developed in North America by other religious institutions. These are the best ideas I've come up with, but none of them can proceed until I find people more qualified than me to do this. It's very likely that I've failed to consider elements of these proposals.
- Education: It should be possible to teach many subjects from a religiously helpful perspective. Helping people is a secular act, but the help at the core of the faith of the Church of Earth is not. On top of teaching specific programs from a helpful perspective, there could also be a seminary school where Preachers are trained.
- Property Management: The Church of Earth can own property similarly to other non-profits or religious organizations. They can be governed in transparent and helpful ways. This can be as simple as free wifi, or as complex as community gardens and shared maintenance duties in order to build and maintain a small regional community.
- The website can be modified to enable a lot of this stuff, including a transparent overview of building finances, public space scheduling and communications. Once we build a template for a type of property and its amenities, we can look for other properties to offer a similar experiences.
- The physical structure that represents the Church of Earth in a region is called a Community Guild. These can have rental spaces similar to other community centers or churches, they'll also be hubs for community activity facilitated through the website.
- Cryptocurrency: Because the amount of activity that can be accomplished on the platform per day is limited, we can create and assign a cryptocurrency token like Bitcoin whenever someone says "This is Helpful" and maintain a digital economy. Users of the platform can be paid to be helpful, and possibly engage in their faith if that applies to them.
- This is by no means developed. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome before this can happen. I am very aware of the fact that what I'm proposing here is that a religious organization can create its own internal economy.
What should you know about me?
I wish I could be like Satoshi Nakamoto. That's the pseudonym of the person who created Bitcoin. We don't know for sure who actually created the code. They just worked on it, put it out there, and it went on to become something amazing and complex.
I spent a long time trying to figure out how to do that with the Church of Earth. I absolutely love everything about this project but I want to minimize my involvement in it. I also think there will be negative impacts on me, and this organization, if people focus on me instead of the faith. The Church of Earth is about what everyone can do, together. I'm no more special than anyone else. I'm terribly imperfect.
I'm also a 39 year old white Canadian guy. While I've faced many struggles I've lived a life of privilege. I don't speak for everyone, or to everyone. No one can. People face problems I couldn't even consider.
My ability to help those people directly is limited, but I have the skillset required to build something that would allow others to help them. The world is hard, and harsh, and frustrating, and scary. It's also wonderful and amazing and beautiful.
I think that if we all work together we can spend the rest of our lives deliberately building a better world for everyone, in big ways and small ways.
Knowing that's happening makes me happy and it motivates me to work harder. I wasn't a religious person until I discovered this faith within myself. This faith has allowed me to focus myself towards something that I believe is helpful to my community.
I think it can do the same for others.
What do you think? Thanks for reading. Ask me anything, please.
UI8.net is an example site that is about design templates assets for web and graphic designers. As an affiliate, I can select to be paid in Bitcoin through their affiliate program. submitted by
I am also a 'brave browser creator' and receive a few tips a month with this on one of my sites.
Any other affiliate programs that you know of that I can choose to get paid in crypto but are NOT in the crypto niche?
To join the hype and provide the skills and talent you have, you should not miss Bitcoin free cryptocurrency website template. Instead, start downloading the template and begin the building process right away. Sooner rather than later, you can have a fully functional website setup and ready to hit the coin market strong. Some of the features of Bitcoin template are responsiveness, flexibility ... Bitcoin cryptocurrency website template will allow you to create a beautiful cryptocurrency website and it comes with a responsive design means your site will look great on all types of devices such as iPad, iPhone and Android devices. With easy to use drag and drop creator, you can easily create amazing layouts for your site without touching a line of code. You can easily setup the galleries ... They will do their thing, helping you win the game. To your luck, you do not need to start from the ground up anymore. Instead, use a ready-to-use page skin and make it yours. Keep in mind, every free Bitcoin website template is tidy and easy to use for your convenience. Start your tech project now and make an immediate difference. Let the ... The template is suitable for cryptocurrency and digital currency websites, bitcoin calculator websites as well as bitcoin mining websites. It integrates with a visual page builder to help you easily customize the website as per your need. It has 100+ pre-built HTML pages in dark and light themes. The download also include PSD design for the website along with PHP code for contact form ... This template is ideal if you intend to produce your own exchange. It has a supplementary bunch of informative sections like Homepages, inventive sliders, Team section, Features, services section, bitcoin currency calculator, Contact kind with superb animation effects. Just replace the content and your WebApp pictures and you’re able to go. Simply opt for the layout that suits your desires ...
Bitcoin Logo Reveal After Effects Templates - Duration: 0:36. Motion Array 1,316 views. 0:36. ... Logo Opener - After Effects Template FREE DOWNLOAD - Duration: 0:11. Siniša Stjepanović ... G'day crypto clan its Aussie here showing all the new commers just how easy it is to created and immitate something that looks, smells and tastes like the re... In this video I will be reviewing one of the most unique WordPress themes I have ever used - Crypto. This is a theme designed specifically for websites or blogs based on the hot topic of Bitcoin ... Assalam U Alaikum Dosto ! Today This Video I Will Show 3 best Bitcoin Mining Website For Free Of Cost Must Join With Full Details Watch These Video. THANKS F... Bcoin Bitcoin Website Template envato market DEMO THEME - Duration: 3:31. DEMO TUTOR 36 views. 3:31. Is SpaceX's Raptor engine the king of rocket engines? - Duration: 49:02. ...