The internet has urged a woman not to give money to her parents, who lost theirs to scams.
Posted on On Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole forum, a woman with the anonymous username u/snd19i shared her story to get feedback from the “AITA” community. The popular post has over 12,000 upvotes and 1,000 comments.
“My parents are terrible with money,” the original poster (OP) began. She explained how her father bet $100,000 in savings in “risky” penny stocks that were wiped out in 2008, forcing them to move into a one-bedroom apartment. Then his mother fell for a multi-level marketing (MLM) scam. This cost them $28,000 and a down payment on a home they were saving for. The OP continually “begged” them not to fall for the scams and showed them proof, but they didn’t listen to it.
She wrote: “Then recently they fell for a college enrollment scam and lost $32,000. They weren’t enrolling in college, they just needed a loan and tried to go through a “private broker” who promised to get them a school loan which they would use on whatever they wanted.
“I went with them to the broker and told them it was a scam and they ignored me. So basically they were trying to rip off the government and got ripped off instead. desperate as he wrote down his banking information and social security number and he yelled at me, I embarrassed him and did it anyway,” she continued.
Due to their bad credit, the OP’s parents can barely afford an apartment and have to live in their car and try to lean on it to give them money. They also want to move in with the PO. However, she and her roommate have a rule that family and friends can only stay with them for a week. The OP fears that if she let them stay with her, they would never leave.
Newsweek contacted u/snd19i for comment.
Types of scams and how to spot them
There are many types of scams. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, common types of scams include charity scams, debt collection, settlement and relief scams, wire or money transfer fraud, business closing scams, mortgages or loans, lottery or prize scams, mail fraud and foreclosure relief scams.
Other scams to watch out for are multi-level marketing (MLM) and pyramid schemes. Multilevel marketing, also known as network marketing or direct marketing businesses, are businesses that sell products directly to people and want those people to sell their product to family and friends, so they can earn a commission on what the people under them sell. However, it is difficult for many people to find new recruits – and if they find any, those recruits will have an even harder time finding others.
Pyramid schemes are similar to MLMs. However, in a pyramid scheme, the operator will use new recruits’ money to pay back the “investment” of those who participated in the scam earlier. Pyramid schemes can last for a while, but as with MLMs, the operator will eventually run out of new recruits.
How to stay safe and detect a scam before it’s too late? According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, these are typical scam tactics:
- They contacted you first
- They swing bait, usually money
- They ask for your personal information
- You are doomed to pay them first
- You need to transfer money or send gift cards with money loaded on them
“[Not the a**hole]. DON’T, DON’T give them money,” u/Antstst wrote, receiving the top comment of over 21,000 upvotes, “Don’t give them a dime. Don’t let them walk through your door. Don’t do laundry for them. Do not bring them food. I have seen so many situations where kids who worked hard to overcome their education got sucked in and ended up stressed out and without money. You can probably tell it raises my blood pressure just by reading your post.”
“I’m sorry, but your instinct is just for money. Your parents need help, but not the kind of help they expect from you. For now, you are relatively safe thanks to the rule you have with your roommate, but when you get your own house, I would consider not giving them your address to avoid harassment. They ruined their life, don’t let them do the same to yours. [Not the a**hole]“, suggested u/MicciMichi.
U/Embarrassed-Sweet905 said: “[Not the a**holes] You have already tried to help several times. You would be foolish to give them money or let them stay with you. They would be the financial equivalent of cement shoes.”
“[Not the a**hole] it was not a bad decision but a series of them. You’ve already tried to help them by preventing them from getting scammed or making horrible financial decisions. Put your foot down (if you haven’t already) and tell them they can’t move in and you won’t sacrifice your future because of their bad decisions,” u/Leimana73 commented.