Sometimes, whilst in a bit of a financial bind, one might feel that they would do just about anything for some extra cash. Well, such a proclamation comes with a moral. Said moral would be, "Be careful what ya wish for."
On Reddit, there lies a of collection stories from people who went to unbelievable extremes to claim a prize they believed they deserved. Before we commence, we wish make it known to the innocent public that there is always a better way. Nevertheless, we present the following dark tales of suspense and success.
Content has been edited for clarity.
"Back in the day, I had this friend. He was about 17 or 18 at the time. This friend was big into those 'Free iPod' and 'Free Xbox' style sites from the early 2000s in which you had to get people to sign up for free trial offers (using a credit card), and if you got enough friends, you would get a free iPod, or Xbox, or tv, or computer.
He was skeptical that it would work so he tested by finding five real adults he knew to give it a try and what do you know? He actually got his free iPod. But these sites were wise and you often couldn't sign up for the same free trials repeatedly using the same person (even with different credit cards), and only a few offers were genuinely free or risk free. So this friend needed to find another group of people willing to complete free trial offers.
About this same time, Yahoo chat rooms were still a thing, as were Yahoo chat custom rooms. Obviously, that led to some pretty vile stuff ('Daddies 4 daughters' and similar) with people looking for underage girls or boys to cyber with, trade pics with, or even meet. This friend realized that most of these pervs were older (meaning they had credit cards), dumb, and randy. It wouldn't take much in the way of promising anything to get them to sign up for free trials. So, this friend made a screen name (something like LilCabrerasGurl) and posed as a 12-14-year-old girl in these chats.
When dozens of men would immediately message my friend, he - in his best impersonation of a tween girl - would chat and weed out the ones who didn't seem serious, and focus on the ones who were persistent. He would chat with them for a bit - five, ten minutes - and then ask them to do him a favor. That favor, of course, was signing up for a free trial because 'i rly need a new ipod hehe.'
It worked. This friend ended up with a free iPod, free Xbox, free desktop PC, and free PC monitor. He then sold most of them for cash.
Side note: one of the guys he talked with was so persistent about meeting his fake 13-year-old persona, he reported that guy (who provided his name/address/phone/pics) to the FBI, who came and took a statement from my friend because the person was a known offender."
"I once was bored in my mid 20’s (around 3 am) and I saw a 'gig' on Craigslist. It turned out a lady of the night needed a safe driver to get her to gigs. Not thinking too much about it, I contacted her. I pulled up to her apartment. I got out of my truck (which was new at the time). I’m 6’, clean cut. I said 'Hello' and opened the car door for her. Guess that’s all she needed. I spent the rest of the morning driving her around.
At one appointment, she came downstairs and came to my truck, handed me $20 and told me she needed more rubbers. I was taken back, but decided, What the heck? So, I went to the local pharmacy (it was then almost 6 a.m.) and bought two boxes for her. I went back, handed them off, and then proceeded to wait for two more hours.
I do remember she looked quite pretty going in to her last appointment, but after a few hours.... she came out completely a mess. Hair completely messed up, makeup all smudged. It was pretty crazy seeing the before / after.
I drove her back home, where she paid me $150. I felt sooo wrong taking the money, knowing she was getting railed for her money and then had to pay me. I took the money anyway and she was pleased I was a pleasant young man and driver.
One of the weirdest, odd occurrences for me by far."
"I was flat broke, walking through the grocery store, trying to figure out how to feed my wife and myself for another week until payday using the $7 in my pocket. I turned down an aisle to look at the canned beans and saw a $20 bill on the ground. Nobody was around, so I snatched it up and stuck it in my pocket. A flood of relief washed over me, and I stood there for a minute trying to decide how to spend it.
Then, a father and his son turned down the aisle, looking worried, heads sweeping back and forth as they searched the floor.
'I'm sure it's around here somewhere, we'll find it,' the father told his kid. As they passed, he asked me, 'I'm sorry, you didn't happen to see some money on the ground, did you?'
Without even a second's hesitation, I replied, 'No, sorry. Didn't see anything.'
They kept moving. I got my groceries and went home. I've done a lot of crappy things in my life, but this one sticks with me."
"When I was back in school at the ripe old age of 12, I had a good friend who was getting bullied quite badly. He was scared to stand up to the guy bullying him as he was quite small. He paid me a Mars bar to hit his bully round the back of the head with a fire extinguisher. Cue an unconscious 12-year-old and me getting a rather long suspension from school and interviewed by the police. I was such a jerk back then.
To clarify, we were all in the same year at school. I was just a bit of a loose cannon back then. The sound the fire extinguisher made when it hit the guy's head wasn't the high pitched ding sound you'd expect, it was more a dull thud. Happily, there were no lasting injuries or brain damage occurred. The guy I hit was a real nasty piece of work, but I took it too far and felt genuinely guilty after.
The Mars bar was pretty freaking epic."
"I used to know a couple who ran an adult baby 'nursery,' I (a female) was paid £25 an hour to dress up in cute, frilly outfits and spend time with adult men who wanted to be treated like babies. I don't really know what my role was other than to be eye candy during their fantasy and provide company. I became good friends with them so it was fairly regular. I'd say it lasted about half a year until we called it off due to various circumstances. Since then, they've moved off across the UK due to backlash from the local community about their business.
At one point, I spent an hour watching Thunderbirds episodes with a client. That was what all he wanted to do. I personally don't consider it 'messed up' (I was a student who got extra cash to burn and I'm kink-friendly anyway so it didn't faze me), but I'm sure some people reading this won't know how to feel about it."
"I signed a nondisclosure agreement. It's over now, so I can talk.
I was hired to investigate donation sources for several political campaigns including President Obama's. At first, I thought it was a non-partisan watchdog organization since I saw names from both parties and was getting good intel on them. My work got Obama's campaign a 6-figure fine, one of the largest ever. But, when I saw the national news coverage, I began to notice that only the democrat side of the equation was being reported.
So I started doing a little bit of research and figured out the 'watchdog' agency was Tea Party funded and those republicans were just people they wanted leverage over in the future.
I needed a shower after that. If anyone is interested, democrats abuse campaign finance by taking foreign investment and republicans do super shady dealing with corporations. Neither generally gets anything but a fine."
"A co-worker told someone at work that he would eat anything for money. He said he once ate cat feces for $100. People called him a liar and he said he would eat anything gross that we found for the right price. So, we were in the shop one day and someone found this giant dead moth, wingspan of roughly 6". Someone asked him how much. He says $15, and we paid him. He did it, no problem. Gross, but not too bad.
Then, overtime, we continued to push the limits. Flattened frog - $20. A moldy piece of lemon found outside in a cup of sweet tea - $30. Raccoon crap - $33 and some change.
So we continued on, trying to find something he wouldn't eat.
We have a pond near the shop I used to work out of. My company was going to fill it and put a new building on it. So they had to pump it out. There was fish, frogs, and turtles in the pond. So, we had to go pick out trash around the pond one day and we found a dead catfish. Now, this was a pretty good sized one, roughly about a 15-pound fish.
For $42.50, another co-worker cut out the dead fish's tongue, and my gross coworker ate the freaking thing. This on its own is disgusting. What made it worse was the smell, and the fact the mouth was swarmed with maggots. This was a hot summer day, and the smell was so foul. I was watching him do it, then I saw the maggots. I gagged almost every time he ate something, but this one almost knocked me out. He chewed it up, and continued on his day, acting proud of this. All I know is I feel bad for his poor wife who has to kiss him when he got home from work.
He used to video all of his stuff and put it on YouTube. He had to take it down because our plant managers found out about it and were peeved."
"When I was a kid, I filmed my neighbors fooling around to sell copies of the tapes to other kids at school.
They had a big bay window and if I sat on my roof, I could see right in. They thought they had privacy on that side of the house since we were the only nearby neighbors and there was a large cedar hedge between the houses, up on an embankment. But, sitting up on the roof, I could see right in, no problem.
When I told kids at school about it, one kid stole his parent's video camera and some tapes and then we split the profits from selling the tapes. It was pretty good money for the time - about $10 per copy.
But yeah... pretty messed up when I think about it. They didn't have kids, but that would have been... awkward."
"When I was homeless, I hung around with some other homeless people. It's really interesting, actually - lots of different cliches, some worse than others. It was kind of like school, but all adults, young and old.
I quickly realized who to avoid (junkies and heavy drinkers) and found out where the junkies hid their stash at night, since we all lived out of a homeless shelter. I waited until everyone was in for the night, middle of winter, -10ºC. I stayed out. All night. Nearly froze to death, but managed to score 10-plus Hypodermic needles and the H to go with them. Not sure if I got undercut, but I gave them to a friend better connected than me in the underground side of my city, so if he took a sellers fee, I really can't blame him.
Not my proudest moment, but it got me $300 and, apparently, the person who it belonged to cleaned up shortly after, so I don't feel too bad about it."
"I wasn't in a very good place at the time. Exams were coming up. I was behind on schoolwork. I was pretty depressed and anxious at the time. I was also working in my off-hours but hadn't gotten paid yet. I barely made rent and hadn't eaten in three days. It was a rough post-breakup year for me.
I found an ad on Craigslist for some guy who was willing to pay someone to lock him in a cage and pee on him. Fifty bucks later, I had enough cheap noodles and Sriracha to not go hungry for a while.
He had the keys to it inside with him and, after an awkward couple minutes, he said I could go if I wanted to. He seemed fine, so I got out of there. I felt pretty gross afterwards, not gonna lie, and I had five showers when I got home.
Some people just cant help what they like. That said, I hope I never have to pee on someone ever again. I'm doing much better now. This was probably eight-ish years ago. Since then, I've finished school, got my dream job, got married to my dream girl, and have two wonderful daughters."
"One of my best friends in college saw an advertisement on Craigslist offering $500 a pop for used panties. He'd sit at the Starbucks in Union Square in New York City. She had to wear a skirt and 'accidentally' show her panties quickly on the way to the bathroom so he could see her wearing them and on her way out the door, they'd exchange. Never any talking.
This in and of itself, to me, is not that messed up. New York rent is insane and she was going to NYU, which is crazy expensive. I wouldn't have been able to turn down $500 bucks for a 30 minute endeavor with commute.
The messed up part is that she told him she was 15 because he wanted underage and that she risked in-person meetings with a person like that."
"I ate two ghost peppers for $100. My great uncle was saying that if anyone was able to eat it and not freak out or cry, he would pay them $100 so my mom called me thinking it would be funny. I walked over to their house, ate them both, and got paid.
Honestly, it was the hardest I've ever had to hold myself together. I had a blank red face and little a couple tears streaming down, but I didn't complain once or freak out. I took the money, then proceeded to down a bunch of milk. It really doesn't help, but while it's still in your mouth, it stops for a second. Also, I had the worst stomach pains after that.
I made a note of it at the time to not go anywhere near my eyes, I didn't even touch the frame of my glasses as the moisture in the air around whatever touches a ghost pepper can burn. It was easily the most hardcore thing I've ever done that I won't ever do again."
"My girlfriend broke my heart, so I hit the gym super hard. I am a bartender at restaurant that is near a massive office park, so there are bunch of big hotels in the immediate area.
After a few months of going to the gym five to six days a week, I started getting propositioned by a lot of female bar customers constantly. Most of them were traveling business professionals staying at the hotels that neighbor my restaurant. I was being slipped the hotel room key almost every night. One night, I had a woman kind of shamelessly begging me to come up to her room after my shift and I half jokingly/half not asked her how much it would be worth to her. When she paid her tab, she left me a $150 tip on a $35-40 tab and told me that she was expecting me when I got off.
That's how it started and I just worked that angle every time. I had a woman ask me to go back to her room. The women were between moderately attractive and very attractive, mostly in their mid to late 40's. I had a few that were younger and a couple that were as old as 65. I was getting repeat customers. Heck, I had regulars. Most of the women I would have slept with for free. There were times that I left one hotel room and went to another.
I think a lot of them got a rise out of paying for it and kind of felt like they were objectifying me and I was there only for their entertainment and enjoyment for the time I was in their room. I didn't have a set rate and I was partying a lot. Sometimes it was three to four times a week. Sometimes I went a week or two and only made one call. Tough to track.
I can't say there was anything too crazy. Mostly me going to rooms and smashing. Occasionally, I would get a request to wear something weird or get spanked and I would oblige. I got pegged a few times. I ended up stopping because the hotels started catching on to me. I was worried I was going to get reported. I had a blast doing it, so performing was easy. I would totally do it over again. I'd keep it going longer if I could do it again.
Now, I am married and out of shape and I never get propositioned."
"I am at this very moment sitting in a hospital bed undergoing clinical trials for a new type of untested antibiotic. The trial I’m on is for 11 days and that pays $3,670 at the end of the period. The longest trial is for 25 days (spaced out over two months) and pays over $7,500. The things you do in desperate times.
They’ve told us very little about the antibiotic itself. We don’t even have an official name for it. The only hint I could really get from my documents is this little bit: 'Your participation in this study may help develop important scientific knowledge that could contribute to the development of a new medication and better treatment for patients with infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae.'
They’ve gone very far into detail about how the study will be performed, how the doses will be administered, possible side effects and rules while we’re staying here, but not much else. The medicine itself isn’t too bad, apart from some slight nausea and vomiting at times but, by George, if they aren’t half starving us.
The portions are a lot smaller than what I’m used to and I eat a lot less than most men I know my age (28). I’m from Australia, so our portions are probably slightly above average. Some examples of a daily meal: one piece of toast and a small serving of cereal for breakfast at 8:20 am; a pastry, a yogurt, and a plum for lunch at 4:20 pm; a small serving of bolognese or some kind of curry with a bread roll and a fruit cup for dinner at 12:20 am. Each meal is separated by exactly eight hours, to the minute. Just in case it wasn’t obvious, this is two days worth of food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner over two days.
Not only are the tiny meal portion's large gaps making me obscenely hungry, the late dinner means I’m not getting to sleep until nearly 1:30-2 am, only to be woken six hours later for a child-sized breakfast. I’m not the only one who has reported feeling dizzy or light-headed, but they seem to attribute it to the side effect of the medicine, not the fact that we seem to be on a sub-2,000 calorie diet. I’ve also gotten into the gym a lot lately, so I’ve been eating excess calories for a while now. That probably has something to do with it.
For our most recent meal, they have just served each of us a huge serving of meatballs and couscous, along with a dinner roll and ginger cookies. Nearly half of us (including myself) are unable to finish the meal, and one of us has just vomited from trying to do so. Take from that what you will.
There was a disclaimer that covered pretty much everything, up to and including death. It didn’t mention anything about nutritional torture in there, so I might have a case against them. Thing is, if I leave early, I won’t get paid enough to cover my rent for the time I’ve been in here once I’ve paid my debts that I was originally doing this for. I feel a bit better knowing I’m still getting a decent amount, but it doesn’t help to take the hunger pains away. We’re able to get around and move about the wing, play pool, watch TV and play games, but we’re mostly either sitting or supine most of the day.
I have been hungry, all the time since I got here. We all are. It’s all most people are talking about. The last two days, I’ve felt like an absolute zombie because, literally, all I can think about is food. I’d do awful things for a cheeseburger right now."
"This is not necessarily messed up, but messed up that it took money for me to do it.
My brother lives about 10-12 hours away from me. For work, he has to travel to a town about two hours from me once a month. He bought a new car at this town and already turned his old car (lease) in at the town where he lived. My dad was out of town and asked if I would go pick him up. I didn't even have to go the full distance, his wife was bringing him halfway.
Despite not having seen him for about five years, I was 'too busy.' By too busy, I was planning on getting wasted with my mates as I had a rare day off of work and was on Spring break. I didn't agree to do it until my dad offered me gas money and $100.
It took my dad paying me to help out my brother whom I had not seen in five years. I still feel horrible about that."