People Reveal The Sneaky Loopholes They’ve Taken Advantage Of
Some people cannot help but follow the rules to the exact letter. In most cases, rules serve as a guideline for the proper way of doing things, and rarely anyone questions their fairness or validity.
However, in the age of the internet and technology, we are constantly being exposed to shortcuts and “life hacks” that could make our lives a whole lot easier. There are moments in life when opportunities to take advantage of certain situations arise and are just too good to pass up, despite the moral implications. Even a person with a strong moral compass is prone to giving into a loophole; perhaps just as much as a person who actively seeks them.
The following stories speak of times when real people stumbled upon opportunities to “beat the system.” It may feel sinful to indulge in such loopholes, but it’s certainly interesting to learn all of the different ways people have discovered to exploit the mistakes of a company.
Are these sneaky or strategic? You decide.
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 I Scam For Ice-Cream
The grocery store messed up and marked all the Tonight Dough Ben and Jerry pints to $1. They didn’t notice for a couple weeks. I ate so much ice cream!
#2 Advantage In The Arcade
The arcade near where I used to live as a kid had an air hockey table in the back room. Somebody figured out that if you jimmied the coin slot a certain way, you could get an extra three or four games with a single quarter. None of us had much money, so this was a lifesaver. The employees didn’t really care because whatever money we did have was typically spent at the snack bar, so they made money off of us anyway.
I kind of miss that place. They always had free watermelon for kids who had absolutely no money. Nobody felt left out.
#3 Free BigMacs On Demand
Back when the McDonald’s app first came out it didn’t require a login and when you first downloaded it and you got a free signature sandwich. I would just delete the app and re-download it every time I was hungry.
#4 Turning Salads Into Sandwiches
My college campus had a cafe with a deli and salad bar, and the deli sandwiches were way over priced. A standard turkey sandwich was like, $8. The salads, on the other hand, were very reasonable—most of them only cost $1.50 each.
I discovered that the salads had all the same ingredients as the sandwiches. The only difference was that the meat in the salads was shredded. The deli would sell slices of bread for 25 cents each, so I would just buy the bread, load it up with a salad and grab some free mayo and mustard packets. Everything would cost just under $2. I used that trick for my two years of college.
#5 Half Year Of Free Pizza
Got like 25 left over coupon books from one of our football team fundraisers. At the time, I was a teacher/coach at a high school. Each book had a coupon for free medium pizza no purchase necessary. So I ate 25 free medium pizzas the next six months.
#6 Prizes For The Psychic
A local radio station had a contest where you would win a prize if you called in after they had played songs by the same artist back to back. I went to their website and saw that they had a “now playing” feature and an “up next” feature.
My girlfriend at the time would start calling in before the second song even came on. She won tons of prizes, ranging from concert tickets to a laptop.
#7 Paying Off Credit Cards With Casino Gift Cards
My roommate used to go to the casino and buy $10,000 in gift cards with his credit card. He would then cash out the gift cards and pay his credit card bill with the money. His cash back was pretty insane until the casino made him stop.
#8 The Winning Cap
Back in the ’90s, Dr. Pepper ran a promotion where you could win stuff from the bottle caps, including a free Dr. Pepper. I learned that you could look up into the bottle and kind of make out what was written on the inside of the cap. I bought one Dr. Pepper and continued to “win” many more Dr. Peppers. As a teen, having an unlimited supply of soda was amazing.
#9 An Education In On-Campus Eating
My college had a dining hall with continuous hours from 7:30 AM – 9:00 PM. The meal plan I could afford only gave 1.5 meals/day with a decent bit of flex money for the various campus vendors. I discovered fairly early on in the school year that if I entered during the latter half of a particular meal’s service and parked myself around the midpoint of the seating area with my laptop and a textbook while staying quiet, I could typically work one single meal ticket for two full meals plus plenty of beverages. Pretty sure a few of the cafeteria ladies knew what I was up to, but because I kept my space clean and wouldn’t cause any fuss, they never told me to leave despite it being against the rules. They probably assumed I was studying, which was accurate maybe half the time.
#10 Hawaiian Hallways
At my high school, we had to wear a button-down shirt and tie to class every day. One of the kids realized that they never specified what kind of button-down shirt it had to be, so he chose to wear Hawaiian shirts every day to class. Technically, it met the dress code so it stuck.
Pretty soon, most of the school started wearing Hawaiian shirts with ties to class. We looked like a bunch of ridiculous Jimmy-Buffet-goes-Mormon types, but it was worth it to spite the system. They changed the rule to ban Hawaiian shirts a week later.
#11 Banking Off The System
I had a buddy that worked for AmericanExpress when the new dollar coins came out. He was able to secure a $40,000 line of credit given he worked there. He would buy $40,000 in coins for the points, open them all, take them to the bank and tell them he was a coin dealer looking for misprints and they would deposit $40,000 into his account. Rinse and repeat. He ended up with 4 million airline miles off his card. He once took a trip overseas, instead of finding a hotel he would fly somewhere first class that was an eight-hour or longer flight so he could sleep. He was also able to buy tickets for people at $0.03 a mile.
#12 Shuttling To Save
I still use the loophole of taking a shuttle bus out of LAX to a nearby parking garage or hotel, then calling an Uber/Lyft from there to avoid the airport prices. Brings the ride home down to $10 from $40.
#13 The Price Of Printing
My university printer system. Send two documents to the printer. First one is a single page, the second one is the long document you actually want to print. When you go to the printer, you select the first document and delete it. The second document moves up and gets selected, but the price doesn’t get updated. Print out as many pages as you want for the price of a single page.
It was their own fault really. Getting us to print out 20-page state diagrams when we could have just as easily handed it in by sending them a file.
This was a long time ago, and the bug was fixed, but only shortly before I graduated.
#14 Gift Card To Down Under
A few years back, an online store had a promotion where whoever spent the most money over a month would get free round-trip airplane tickets to anywhere in the world. My friend found out that you could buy gift certificates on the site. So, he bought a $25 gift certificate and would use it to buy another $25 gift certificate. He repeated this spending pattern and in the end, he ended up spending only $25 for round-trip tickets to Australia.
#15 The Very Lucky Vending Machine
I found a vending machine at work that didn’t differentiate between quarters and golden dollar coins when dispensing change; when it was supposed to give you quarters about half of them were golden dollars. I put in as many $5 bills as possible and bought the cheapest item available and got ~$8 of change back each time. My total profit off that machine was over $50 before it ran out of golden dollars.
#16 Outsmarting The Teacher
In third grade, our teacher had to leave the room for some kind of emergency and left one of the students in charge. The teacher told us that we were not allowed to talk while she was gone. If we did, we would have to write the line “I will not talk in class when instructed not to” 100 times on sheet paper.
Well, my friend and I were bored, so we started writing out the punishment. When we were finished, we proceeded to talk to each other until the teacher returned. The student left in charge wasn’t sure what to do. It was hilarious.
#17 Refunded For Rough Streaming Quality
Not exactly a giant loophole, but I used to live in a very rural area with really slow internet. Anyway, I’d rent movies on Amazon and stream them and the definition would get pretty rough sometimes and it’d have to buffer a bit, but overall not enough to ruin a movie for me. Well, Amazon will refund you if rented a movie and it gets a notice that the streaming wasn’t great. I rented a whole bunch of movies I normally would never pay to rent and got refunded for all of them. Yes, I was sacrificing quality, but I basically had a “free” streaming service until I moved and got better internet.
#18 Sole Scholarship Applicant
Back in the ’60s, the school district in my hometown was broken up and absorbed into the surrounding district. Fast forward to 2003, when I was applying to colleges. I discovered that there was a scholarship fund for people who used to live in that district. The district was long gone by then, but the scholarship still existed! I applied and got the scholarship. I don’t think there were any other applicants.
#19 Thank You For Holding
Old call center I worked at made it very clear that calls less than two minutes, and greater than 15, would never get listened to by QA (which to their credit, was accurate the entire time I worked there ).
All that meant was those of us who had a mean person we didn’t want to deal with, could just put a caller on hold for 5-10 minutes for no reason as we “looked into that” for them, and then hang up the call with no possible repercussions.
Never saw how stupid of an idea that was, at least up until the time I left.
#20 Same Course, Different Credit
I took a course in college that ended up being offered the following year under a different course number. The course descriptions and lesson plans were basically identical, but because the course number was different, it counted as a new credit.
I signed up, never attended a class, took the final and got another credit.
#21 Once You Pop…
A local movie theater offered a $15 unlimited refill popcorn bucket at the beginning of the year, have saved hundreds of dollars in popcorn because of this bucket (even will stop by just for the popcorn if I’m in the area).
#22 Pushing Punishment ‘Til After Prom
My high school had a stupid rule that banned attendees of Saturday detention from prom. I got in trouble and was banned from prom, but my girlfriend really wanted to go.
They had no rule barring individuals from prom for an out-of-school suspension, so I took a day off and took my girl to prom.
#23 Expensing Expired Items
Not sure if it’s a loophole exactly, but a grocery store chain used to have a policy that if you found an item on the sales floor that was expired, they would give you an equivalent item for free. So in college, me, my roommate, and my girlfriend would go to the grocery at midnight and go through the meat, dairy, and bread sections looking for things that had just expired due to the change in date. I had discovered that they didn’t go around pulling newly expired items until around 5:00 AM. We would consistently roll up to the register with a cart full of chicken, steak, bread and cheeses, all for free. They hated us, but it was their rule.
#24 Cashin’ In On Trash
I was working maintenance at McDonald’s during the time that they had a Best Buy bucks promotion. Large sodas and large fries had scratch-offs worth at least $1 at Best Buy.
I would go through the trash daily and pull out all the discarded scratch-offs that were never scratched.
I was able to buy myself a free computer that year using only the scratch-offs that I collected. I felt bad for the cashier at Best Buy, though. She had to manually scan each scratch-off and verify the dollar amount.
#25 Sliding By WiIth Sonic Receipts
Sonic had a “Free Route 44 with the completion of a survey” promo about 10-12 years ago or so. By complete accident, I found out that the survey codes for the free drink weren’t just printed on the receipts given with meals – ohhhh, no no no – they were printed on every receipt.
For at least a month, I’d go to Sonic before work and redeem my free Route 44 coupon and then ask for a receipt of the transaction. New survey code every single time. Got probably 20 free Route 44s before someone higher up caught on and killed the promotion. I’m sure they lost a ton of money on that loophole.
#26 Buy One, Get Both Free
My favorite online clothing store used to have a BOGO promotion where if you returned the item you paid for, you could keep the free item. It was crazy.
They must have caught on though because they haven’t run that promotion for a while.
#27 The McNugget Mastermind
One day, long ago, when time was new and things were different, I was waiting in line to order at McDonald’s drunk off my keister. The guy ahead of me ordered a six-piece nugget.
I thought to myself, don’t get a six-piece nugget, get two four-piece nuggets. He turned around and said, what did you just say to me? And I said, “Oh god that was out loud, wasn’t it?”
I explained that, at the time, six nuggets were $2.16. Four pieces were on the dollar menu. He could have been getting two more nuggets for sixteen cents less.
He turned back to the counter and said, “Yeah. Do what that guy said.”
#28 Pass To The Underground
At my university, a parking pass was $200 a month. You needed to use the parking pass to gain access to the underground lot, which was heated. Long story short, we figured out the parking passes had a magnetic strip on the back that was useless because the machines would read the barcodes at the top.
Six of my friends bought parking passes, photocopied them and glued the barcodes over the tops of older membership cards. It ended up costing us just $30 a month. It was the best year of my life. We live in Canada, so underground heated parking in the winter was the dream.
#29 Gaming Target’s Checkout Process
Target had a deal on their website where if you put an Xbox One in your cart then added things like a controller or other accessories you would get percentages off your total. Thing is, if you removed the extra accessories from the cart as you were checking out, it wouldn’t remove the discount off. Got a $400 1 terabyte Xbox One about four years ago for like $150 bucks, gave it my dad as basically a Netflix machine.
#30 Slow And Steady
When I was a kid, my town had a “slow bike race” tournament. The objective was to cross the finish line in the last place and to keep your balance during the entire race. The rules stated that each time your foot hit the ground, five seconds would be subtracted from your time. However, they didn’t say anything about keeping your foot planted on the ground.
Once the race started, I just stood and waited until everyone else was close to finishing, then just rode across the finish line.
#31 Running Away With New Apparel Wear
I have some health issues but I’m also a runner. I run a few races every year.
My neurologist knows this and thinks it’s fantastic. So he will write me orders for all kinds of stuff; compression wear, different support braces, shoes, etc. because I can get them from the med supply place with a script and my insurance will buy them. I wasn’t even aware that I could do this. I see him every three months and every time he calls in new stuff for me. My insurance doesn’t put a cap on how often I can get new ones. I get these insane custom casted shoes that knock anything I could buy out of the water.
#32 A Ticket Trick
When my buddies and I would go out to see a movie, we’d only buy two tickets and two of us would go in. One of us would then take both ticket stubs and come back in with another buddy. We’d do this until all of us got in.
#33 Riding The Train For Free
I have an app for train tickets. So you buy a ticket then it’s in your “wallet” but waits for you to activate it for use. So I just don’t activate it unless I see one of those ticket checker people.
#34 Being Book Smart
In my high school, we had a rule where if you lost your book, you would be provided a new one. If you didn’t return the book before the end of the school year, you would have to pay for it.
In the first few weeks, I “lost” my books. Over time, I built up a stack of books at home and in my locker.
I never had to drag around a heavy backpack.
#35 Calculating The Costs
I just took a calculus course over the summer and the online textbook was required for homework. But they give a two-week free trial for leniency I guess. I noticed there wasn’t a date for the trials ending period so I just never bought the book as the class was pretty easy for me. Saved myself $350 as I didn’t need the physical book or the online homework access code.
#36 Skipping For Saturday School
My high school required students to attend a certain minimal number of classes a year in order to graduate. If you missed too many days, they made you go to “Saturday School” to make up for the missed days. But Saturday school was great—they were just half-days and you could sit around quietly reading a book.
I realized that they didn’t keep track of when you were absent and when you did Saturday school. So I just attended every Saturday school to build up credit so I could skip days later in the year whenever I wanted.
#37 Getting Your Dollar’s Worth
I once went to a vending machine. Put a dollar in, bought some chips, it gave me my money back. I tried it again, gave me four quarters back again. With one dollar I bought the whole row. Had like 40 bags of chips and a bunch of gobstoppers and crackers. When I went down the next row it kept my money, and thus the glitch ended. Ended up filling my bookbag though, probably wouldn’t have been able to carry more.
#38 A Promotion Worth Milking
At my college, they offer a promotion with a certain brand of milk bottles. You can buy one for $4 and return the empty bottle for $2.
Well, I recently found out that the Safeway by my girlfriend’s dorm sells the exact same brand of milk for $2 a bottle.
#39 An Emergency Situation
At one of the hospitals I work at, the WiFi is so locked down with firewalls as to almost be useless (you can’t even log onto ESPN much less any gaming sites or even the Apple App Store). When I’m working in the middle of the night and it gets slow, I like to play games. I learned that I can use my phone as a hotspot until I get logged in, then I could switch my computer over to the hospital WiFi, and I somehow could get through their firewall. This also worked with downloading large files and updates from Steam.
#40 A Super Bowl Win
Back in 2013, Papa John’s had a promotion for the Super Bowl where if you called a coin toss correctly, you would get a voucher for a free, one-topping pizza. However, you could only enter the contest one time, per email address.
I created more than 60 emails, half of them calling heads and the other half calling tails. I ate free for six weeks.
#41 Moving A Reservation
I travel a lot and lose tons of money canceling hotel reservations last second. Instead of accepting the penalty for canceling last second, I “move” my reservation to three days later… then I call back in a few minutes to fully cancel my reservation at no charge.
#42 Paying Yourself
Paypal lets me transfer a couple hundred dollars over to my alternate Paypal account, despite me not having enough funds in my bank account to back the transfer up.
This has come in handy in emergencies, like when my car was towed and I needed $300 to get it out. I’ve always paid it back, so it’s just kind of like a payday loan without any fees!
#43 Calling Out Sick
I once worked at a call center that would let you call out two days in a row as long as it was for the same reason and only counted it as one absence. Their thinking was most people could use two days when they call out sick but are afraid to take it and that makes more people sick. What most people did was realize they could call out between their split days off and give themselves a four day weekend. They asked a girl once why she always took two days off and she was like “you give me the option and you’re surprised when I take it?”
#44 Letting The Punishment Sink In
This one time in elementary school, I took some kid’s crayons or something and had to write “I will never steal anything ever again” 100 times. I used a permanent marker and stacked three pieces of paper together to let the marker seep through. The teacher probably knew what I did, but she didn’t say anything.
#45 Overloading On Degrees
While I was at university, I figured out I could weasel an extra degree by overloading more than once a semester.
Typically, you took five credits each semester, and if you were in good standing, you could take an extra one. Making a total of six classes, or 12 credits per year.
I figured, by trial and error that if one dean overloaded. For example, the Dean of Science gave me permission to overload. I could go to the Dean of Socials to overload again. The computers never picked it up.
So for three years, I overloaded, collecting up to 9 credits each semester. By the time I finished my fourth year I had a stand-alone BA. On top of another HBA and BSc.
The uni tried to demand I pay, but nothing in the course calendar or rules said what I had done was wrong.
They changed the rules the following year.
#46 The Super Senior
Ask for a new college ID card the day before graduation and you’ll get a college ID card that won’t expire for the next four years. That means building access isn’t revoked and you’ll have access to the brand new bathrooms of the Ross Business School to use on football game days. They’re clean and warm. It’s worth it, trust me.
#47 Bringing Bereavement Hours To The Bank
At the company where my mother works, in the human resources department, her assistant found a loophole that the overtime reports didn’t flag bereavement hours, no matter the hours. She stole half a million dollars over three years as a part-time employee making $18 an hour. She finally got caught, by my mom, because of a random comment she made that raised an eyebrow.
#48 Limitless Tastes Of The Rainbow
If you buy Skittles from one of those quarter candy machines, you can mold one of the Skittles so that it’s the exact same proportions as a quarter. You can then put it in the machine to get more Skittles.
Voila, infinite skittles. I didn’t believe it until I saw it.
#49 Getting Dollars From Dropped Calls
Many moons ago, Sprint used to have a 1-800 number that you would call for drop call credit (.50) and it could be called up to 20 times a month.
You could also buy referrals for Sprint from eBay for dollars and you would get a nice referral credit.
For two years, my cell phone bill was less than $5 every month. Man, those days were nice.
#50 Haggling With Hulu
A friend of mine has had free Hulu for over a year and a half now.
He got one free month, then went online to cancel it. However, every time he clicked to cancel, the system would offer him another free month to stay.
Last I talked to him, it was still working.
#51 All You Can Eat, All Winter
Back when I was homeless, I found this newly opened place that was a 24-hour all you can eat buffet.
Yeah, I guess they didn’t think that through.
Went there, paid the $9.95 and just spent the entire winter in a warm restaurant, on a soft sofa bench, eating and drinking very slowly and occasionally going to the bathroom for a poop or sponge bath.
Totally beats sleeping outside in the snow.
#52 A Merry Memory
The merry-go-round at the mall food court said: “Kids $2, adults ride free.” I figured it meant adults ride free if they’re with a kid, but when my friend and I approached, the lady let us on free. Maybe she thought my friend was my kid… She is short with a baby face, after all.
#53 Letting It Run Its Course
IT major at a community college. We use Cengage’s Mindtap for pretty much all of our coursework. And the way one professor who teaches the majority of the classes, you don’t have to do any work.
The labs are just instructions on how to do something followed by questions. You can just show the answers to the questions and not lose anything from it. The lab simulations are having to do a series of tasks in a virtual machine that they run. He just checks to see if you marked them as done, so you can start it, leave it running (he can see how long you spend on stuff) mark it as done, get full credit.
I try not to do it too often since this is my major, but sometimes you just don’t have time to deal with it, especially with how poorly the VMs run. Plus he has assignments that you actually have to do, plus tests, so I don’t feel too guilty about it.
#54 Periodic Period Change
Gmail ignores periods in email addresses, so one email address can have multiple iterations. This works in your favor when applying to contests that only let you enter with one email. You don’t need to create a bunch of new accounts! Just re-use one email address and shift the period around.
I’ve used this to get coupons and other similar deals.
#55 Vending Machines Or Virtual Transactions
My bank refunds ATM surcharges. It thinks the vending machines at work are ATMs.
#56 Couponing For Coffee
The best loophole I found was a couple years ago when the Dunkin Donuts app first came out. After you amassed 200 points (which is about $40 worth), you received a coupon on the app for a free coffee. What they didn’t account for was that you could screenshot the coupon and use it over and over again. I used it for at least four months before they fixed the system. I must’ve gotten hundreds of free coffees.
#57 A Badge Of Not-So-Much-Honor
I got Girl Scouts to pay for one of my college courses. One of the badges required you to take an art class or workshop. I was under 18 so I could still get the badge. It paid for Drawing I.
#58 Coin Collector
I once put some dimes into a vending machine. The dimes came out at the bottom, so I reinserted them. They came out again, but this time I saw that the machine had added 20 cents of credit. I did a double take. Then I realized what was happening. I started putting the dimes through over and over again and bought the whole vending machine.
#59 Now Free To Continue Browsing
There was this airline that I flew once that had in-flight WiFi, but you had to pay a ton to use it, but if you chose to use their entertainment system, you wouldn’t have to pay.
The thing is, you had to download their app to use their entertainment system, but to download their app you have to go to the App Store, so they let you use WiFi to download the app and redirect you to their page in the App Store.
I just left the App Store and continued to browse whatever I wanted with the connection they provided me to download the app, but instead, I did whatever I wanted.
Free full speed in-flight internet was so great.
The last time I flew with them though this didn’t work, I guess they corrected this bug. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.
#60 A Sticky Situation
When I was six, my mom told me that if I could get one side of a Rubik’s cube all the same color, she would buy me a new Star Wars figurine. I just peeled the stickers off as fast as I could and replaced them to get every side correct.
I picked out an OBI-WAN-KENOBI figurine, complete with lightsaber and cape. It was so awesome. I heard her calling everyone telling them how smart I was, but when my dad got home, he immediately saw that the stickers weren’t perfectly lined up…
#61 Utilizing Uber Promo Credits
I earned hundreds of dollars in Uber credits. When Uber launched in my country, I changed my personal referral code to “Uber[country].” My hope was that people without a code would guess at a promo code and go with the obvious. I had dozens of people use the code to get the “$10 off your first ride” promo without my ever sharing the code. They got $10, and so did I.
#62 Dirty Work For Clean Clothes
I had a landlord a few years back who was a bit of a slumlord. He had a coin-operated washer and dryer and one time, after he fixed the dryer, he forgot to put the screws back in place, leaving the main circuit board easily accessible.
After a quick Google search, I learned you could change the amount that the dryer charged by simply unplugging the circuit board and plugging it back in. I never told any other tenants but took advantage of this for the last few months that I lived there. I always worried he would notice that he was suddenly not making as much from the dryer as the washer but he never did. I think he was too lazy to bother noticing those sort of things.
#63 Hacking Higher Education
When I transferred to another university, I had to go to each department and explain my credits. The advisor would then assign the appropriate courses for those credits. They never checked my previous course descriptions, so basically if I knew the course descriptions at the new university, I could convert my old credits to whatever I wanted.
I managed to swap some courses around and inflate a grade or two into something better.
#64 Lot Of Movies And Too Many Bags
There was a deal where if you buy two boxes of Ziplocs, you get a free movie ticket. The cost of the two boxes was $3 less than a ticket and the coupons movie didn’t expire for a year. Anyway, I bought something like $250 worth and had free movies every week for a couple of months… literally bought all the boxes off the shelf in two stores. Took over a year to use all the bags.
#65 The Sweet Spot Screen Shot
My local burger joint will give you a free dessert of your choice if you do the receipt survey during your visit. All they ask you to show them is the completed page on your phone. They don’t need the code. I did the survey once, screenshotted the end page, and used the same photo to get free desserts.
#66 Puzzling Pizza Man On Purpose
A pizza place near my dorm had a ’15 minutes or its free’ if you order through the app.
I and half of the floor would coordinate our orders so that all the orders would come at once when we were having parties, and would have tons of free pizza.
#67 A Labor-Intensive Loophole
When I was 10 years old, I used to live about five miles away from a local mall that had an arcade. After receiving a steel blank from the token machine one time, I theorized that if you took a nickel and smashed it with a sledgehammer for 20 minutes, you’d end up with something that was roughly the diameter of a quarter, and the machines would accept it as a valid token. I spent about three hours hammering out 10 nickels on the sidewalk. I got five minutes of playtime on X-Men vs. Street Fighter and saved $2 in the process. Walked out feeling like Lex Luthor.
#68 Bank Rolling Off An ATM Glitch
About 12 or so years ago a certain popular bank chain started rolling out ATMs in some locations which dispensed $10 bills and not just $20s.
For about three days, there was one ATM in my town which only dispensed $20s but had the new firmware and gave the option to dispense in denominations of $10. So if you ask for $100 in tens, the machine would spit out ten bills— only those bills were $20s. So you get $200. I did this three days in a row but didn’t take out much each time since I was broke.
The scam lasted only three days. I noticed the glitch on Friday and it was fixed by Monday.
#69 Forging Into The Fight
When I was in college, there was an amateur fight night being held at the gym. One of my friends was in the event, but I was strapped for cash at the time and did not want to pay the $25 to get in.
A couple of my friends actually bought tickets, and upon closer look, the tickets were only white paper wristbands with FIGHT NIGHT printed in black in a very generic font. I went into Microsoft Word and matched the font and size of the text. Then, I printed out pages of these puppies for my friends and I. After cutting them into strips and taping them around our wrists, they appeared as the originals. It worked like and charm and my buddy knocked the guy out in the 2nd round.
#70 Starbucks Hacker
A few years ago, Starbucks had a program where if you bought a pound of ground coffee and brought back the bag, they would give you a free small coffee. The program ended two years ago, but up until a month ago, the staff would just do it for me because I still kept asking about it. I didn’t know that they had stopped that program until they got some new staff. I had a good run there.
#71 Circumventing The Curfew
When I was in high school, I had a curfew of 2 a.m. I took this literally. I would get home at 2 a.m., go to my room and immediately go back out the window and into the car with my friends. After a couple of years, I finally pushed my luck too far and when I came home at 6 a.m. my mom and stepdad were already awake and waiting for me. They were angry.
I told them I was required to be home at 2 a.m. They didn’t say anything about staying.
I still got in trouble.
#72 Thank you, Amex
Amex once held a promo where you would get $25 for beating Halo 4 and if your Amex was linked to your Xbox Live profile. I rented Halo 4 for $1.80 from Redbox, beat it on co-op, and got the $25.
Even better, I would do the same thing using my friends’ accounts to rack up even more earnings. Boom.
#73 Easy A
In fifth grade, I was late turning a paper in. A week later, I saw the graded papers on the teacher’s desk. I quickly slid mine into the pile, and when she handed them out, she thought she forgot to grade mine. She graded it quickly and handed it back. Got an A.
#74 Neopoints Galore
A million years ago when I was still all up on the Neopets train, I discovered that if you opened a bunch of tabs using an old computer, it would make the flash games run really slowly.
Not a benefit for most games, except… Hasee Bounce. With that game slowed and buggy, more doughnut fruit would be on the screen at once, which meant more combo multipliers and higher points.
I was rolling in the Neopoints because of that hack.
#75 Call Waiting
I used to work at a call center which employed a dialing program. I figured out that if you hit a series of functions on the dialer in the correct order, it would freeze up the program and you’d have to restart your computer, which took about a half hour.
I did it a couple of times to get some free time at work, but others caught on and the company eventually fixed the program with an update.
#76 Parking Meter Pro
In Seattle, I have to pay for street parking every day. There are two ways you can pay for it: 1) pay at a meter and put the ticket in your car, or 2) use a phone app.
The street I park on only allows for four hours at a time, so when I get there in the morning, I’ll pay at the meter and then use the phone app four hours later while I’m at my desk.
Seattle friends, you can thank me later.
#77 Picking Up Discounted Groceries
Even though I hate shopping at a certain big box store (rhymes with call dart), they have this grocery pickup where you order your groceries online, drive to the store at your appointment time, and they put the groceries in your car for you. The loophole is that for new customers if you use a coupon code, you get $10 off. Every single time I use this service, I create a new email address so that I can use that coupon code.
#78 Discount Through Deception
When I go shopping at a department store, I always take a few seconds to pretend to dig through my purse looking for something before handing over payment at the checkout. After the cashier takes notice, I’ll say something along the lines of: “I received a coupon in the mail and could have sworn I brought it with me, but I can’t find it.”
Every time I’ve done this, the cashier hits a few buttons on the cash register and I end up getting like 15 to 20% off my purchase. Apparently, you don’t need to actually present the coupon to receive the discount.
#79 Driving Free
I failed my driver’s test but still got my license in the mail. It’s been 12 years and the validity of it has never been questioned. Never got an explanation either. The DMV person must’ve clicked a wrong button or something.
#80 McDonald’s Wizard
Remember those coffee reward cards at McDonald’s that they stickered every time you bought a coffee? Well, my father would buy coffees until the card was filled out with stickers, go through the drive-thru, tell them that he had the card for the free coffee, order something else, then talk to them a little bit. He would pay for the food he ordered, then the drive-thru person would say bye, and he’d drive away. They would almost always forget to ask for the card.
And if they did, he’d give it to them, simple as that. He’d take the sticker from his free drink and put it on another card. I remember he had a stash of about a dozen of those cards, completely filled out. He did this every morning. He eventually met everyone that worked there and made casual conversations with them to distract them even further.
It really just goes to show how far you can get with a little distraction. I don’t think this works now as they switched from stickers to stamps.
#81 Con Artists At A Concert
There’s a local bar that puts on concerts from time to time, sometimes with fairly big artists. They always give away a couple tickets if you know who to ask, but we always like to go in big groups, so simply asking doesn’t work often.
I was able to find the paper they used to print their tickets at OfficeMax. I went down to a Kinkos and used four tickets to make a full page. From there, we were able to print as many as we wanted since the tickets didn’t have a barcode that needed to be scanned.
Now that I’ve typed this out I realize this is less of a loophole and more of fraud.
#82 Religious What?
I remember back when I was in college, there was a statement on all the syllabi that said no student would be required to complete any assignment that violated their beliefs.
No professor elaborated on that policy, and I never saw any student pull that card, but now that I’ve long graduated I will finally admit that I used the statement to get out of writing my final essay in my religious studies course.
#83 Fishing For Funds
When I was a kid, my dad used to volunteer at the “Farm” section of the California State Fair every year. Right across from the Farm were the Beer Gardens, which had kind of a tropical vibe going on—palm trees, a big fountain, a koi pond, etc.
In any case, I would usually go with my dad since I was out of school for the summer and loved exploring the place. We would often go in the morning, hours before the fair opened to the public. I quickly discovered that the tipsy people at the Beer Garden across from the Farm were throwing vast quantities of change into the fountain. After several more days, I noticed that nobody seemed to be tasked with fishing out all the coins, which leeched toxins and caused all sorts of issues for the koi in the pond below. So, being the charitable, good Samaritan that I was at the young age of nine, I took it upon myself to help out these poor fish by cleaning out the loose change every couple of days.
I. Made. Hundreds. I would buy computer games daily and pay with huge amounts of change. I would eat carnival food, buy candy and go on rides. I would invite friends to the fair, so they too could feel what it was like to live what I called “The Champagne Lifestyle.” Ultimately, I ended up taking much of the money to the bank and starting a savings account.
#84 Optus Maximus
Optus (an Australian phone service provider) used to have a prepaid, unlimited credit cap for $3 a day. So, I signed up for the cap, put the sim card in a spare phone and used it as a Wi-Fi hotspot, making occasional phone calls and texts to my regular mobile just to make it look like I was using it for a phone.
I was essentially getting unlimited data for $90 a month. At my peak, I was downloading 20 GB a day. I kept it for 3 years before Optus clued into what I was doing.
#85 Bargaining With Best Buy
If you’re interested in an expensive item at Best Buy, ask to see if they have it “open box.” This just means someone has used it and returned it. It’ll work just as well (they make sure it’s good to go) and it costs way less. Then hum and haw over this new, cheaper price like you can’t afford it. They’ll offer you their service warranty in exchange for further reducing the cost of the item. With these big things, the service warranty is the only thing Best Buy makes money on so that makes sense. Go pay.
Then, come back a few days later. Tell the returns clerk that you changed your mind on the warranty. The open box price reduction and the warranty bribe price reduction don’t show up on the receipt, and the warranty is listed separately so it’ll go through.
I got a $500 camera for $300 by doing this.
#86 Around-The-Clock Pass
The buses in my area used tickets that had a timestamp but no date on them. The tickets were valid for an hour after purchase. I saved the tickets and eventually had all hours covered. I could then ride for free whenever I wanted! No bus driver ever questioned the validity of my tickets.
#87 Swimming In Starbucks
A couple of years ago, Starbucks had a promotion where if you registered for an account, they would email you $5 gift card. Well, they didn’t do an IP check so any new email got you $5 gift card. I did this until I had about $1,500 worth in gift cards and combined them all into one.