There are still scammers on Facebook who want to do more than convince people the Earth is flat—they want your money. Or an iTunes gift card. Or for you wire them at Western Union. These direct cash scams must work occasionally or they would have died out long ago.
But if you ever engage directly with one of these scammers, you'll be shocked that they ever fool anybody. A man named Tom Sheerin demonstrated just how easily led astray a scammer can be by chatting away with somebody who was trying to get £500 from him in exchange for a huge cash reward.
By the end, you may suspect that "Michael Austin" doesn't actually work for Facebook at all...
You can see why this scam has it's appeal; we all feel like Facebook owes us something. Why not take money if they're offering it? The scammer tells Sheerin that he was randomly selected to receive 1.2 million by the Federal Government and that the CEO of Facebook had arranged the whole thing.
They even offered some pics of the actual cash and a signed letter from Facebook. Sheerin did question why this money would be delivered in a dirty cardboard box, but it's all somewhat convincing.
What's actually crazy is that the scammer doesn't blink an eye at any of the weird stuff Sheerin starts to say about his...hobbies. It makes you wonder what real stuff scammers encounter in their line of work.
There is an extensive negotiation about payment; according to the scammer, there's a hefty fee for FedExing 1.2 million dollars and it must be paid by Sheerin. Makes sense. He stands to make a lot back, right?
But the scammer hangs in there, and gives Sheerinan important warning: Under no circumstances can Sheerin tell anyone about this money. Wonder why scammers don't want their marks blabbing?
And when Sheerin says he has told someone, things get ugly. The scammer briefly loses their cool:
But they bounce back and money comes back into the discussion. Sheerin strings the scammer along some more, promising cash and before they know it, they're admiring a horrible drawing of a horse:
There's no conclusion to how this exchange ended, but I'm going to assume the scammer got so confused they ended up accepting the horse drawing in payment.
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