Scammers Confess The Biggest Loophole They’ve Ever Taken Advantage Of
There are moments in life when an opportunity to take advantage of a situation arises and is 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.
It’s hard to say no to the more convenient option. Whether it’s using coupons to zero your bill, outsmarting the machines at the arcade or using the fine print to get a better deal, it’s certainly interesting to learn all of the different ways people have discovered to exploit the mistakes of a company. Just take it from these internet users who recently confessed their stories of the biggest loopholes they’re guilty of taking advantage of.
#45 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.
#44 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.
#43 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.
#42 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.
#41 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.
#40 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.
#39 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.
#38 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.
#37 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.
#36 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.
#35 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.
#34 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.
#33 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.
#32 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.
#31 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.
#30 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.
#29 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.
#28 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.
#27 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.
#26 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.
#25 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!
#24 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.
#23 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.
#22 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.
#21 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.
#20 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.
#19 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.
#18 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.
#17 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.
#16 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…
#15 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.
#14 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.
#13 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.
#12 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.
#11 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.
#10 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.
#9 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.
#8 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.
#7 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.
#6 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.
#5 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.
#4 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.
#3 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.
#2 Around-The-Clock Pass
The buses in my area used tickets that had a time stamp 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.
#1 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.