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  • Nicholas J Johnson

5 Ingenious Small Scale Swindles I Wish I’d Come Up With

The website Reddit is a treasure trove of little confessions, bite-sized trivia and minor misogyny (Ok, major misogyny, but that’s a topic for another day). It’s also a wonderful source of small scale scams that everyday folks have managed to pull off in their day to day lives. There’s no Victor Lustigs or Frank Demaras here. Just ordinary people with extraordinary scams.

1. 99c Preztels

This redditor shows why you should always put an expiry date on any special offers. I remember, when I was 16, making free Big Mac vouchers for my local McDonalds and leaving hundreds of them around school and the local mall. I wasn’t trying to profit. I was just a jerk.

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2. Memory stick switch

I have a counterfeit iPod in my collection from China. I told my friend to check the memory before he bought it. He switched it on and saw it had 1 gig free space. When he got it home he discovered it only had enough memory to flash up the words 1 gig free space.

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3. Making Peanuts

The psychology of tipping confuses me. Why does putting a smiley face on the bill get waitresses more money? Why does a waiter who squats to take orders do better than those who don’t? If he wasn’t paying or the meal, why didn’t Mr Pink just pitch in anyway?

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4. Second Hand Books

Really, this is no different from selling on consignment. One business sells stock owned by another business which they pay for only if the sale goes through. But to insert yourself as a middle man in a transaction where neither party knows your jacking up the price? Genius.

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5. Steak and Cheese

This is an essay of a post but stay with it. The redditor’s unbridled joy at scoring free meal after free meal almost makes you forget he’s a no got cheating rat.

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Nicholas J. Johnson is a Melbourne magician, author and scamologist.


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