"You Really Can’t Trust People": 31 People Who Uncovered Elaborate Lies And Scams From People They Trusted

    "She lied about cancer, pregnancy, domestic violence…and she was cheating on me the whole time."

    Recently, Reddit user DrixzLmao asked, "What is the worst lie you’ve been told your whole life?" and I am aghast at some of the replies. Here are some of the biggest lies and secrets people uncovered.

    Note: There are mentions of abuse, sexual assault, and suicide. 

    1. "My husband grew up knowing that he was sick and had multiple long hospital stays for most of his childhood, but he didn’t know with what. At adolescence he noticed he was smaller in height than his peers and was late to mature especially in the changing room for gym class — hey, other guys have testicles and I don’t, what gives? Also when taking an interest in girls, he didn’t have the raging hormones like a typical teenager. ... When he turned 18, he went for a checkup at the children’s hospital and was asked if he would like to know his health information now that he was of age. He said yes."

    "This is when he learned he had leukemia (ALL) at 3 years old and testicular cancer at 5 years old (so both testicles were removed), and that he couldn’t father children. Because this had been kept a secret from him, he had gone through puberty without the needed monthly testosterone injections, which he then started.

    His entire life felt like a lie. He was shattered. Dating life was a no-go because he felt like a freak — as an adult he had testicular implant surgery, but starting testosterone injections at 18 is a disadvantage versus if he had started them at 12 years old. It really messed him up, and his self esteem took a huge hit. Eventually, I met my husband when we were in our 30s, and I love him so this didn’t matter to me, but every previous girl he confided in rejected him once he told them. We eventually adopted our daughter so he got his dream to be a dad.

    But his parents never apologized or acknowledged his feelings — it was always 'you survived, get over it.' ... I understand back in the '70s this attitude was common — to not tell kids they had cancer to protect the child — but there is a reason why children with cancer today are told. The old attitude is a huge mindf*ck.

    Today in his late 40s, he now has multiple atypical brain tumors caused by the childhood radiation, but when we asked his Mom the location of the radiation — Brain? Spine? Any records she had at home? — she refused, saying again it was 'nothing, he’s fine now.' This is crucial information his oncologist needed to plan his current radiation treatments. So we had to pay $200 for his 1979–1982 hospital records because we had zero cooperation from her. Sigh. She also called and berated him for posting a picture of his bandaged head after a craniotomy on Facebook, like his current condition was a big dirty secret.

    Both of his parents have since passed so he will never get that closure, and it turns out his Mom, keeping with the 'sickness is shame' attitude, knew she had diabetes but left it untreated for years. We only found out after the Medical Examiner’s report."


    2. "When I was 19, I dated this guy who liked me waaaaay more than I liked him. After almost two months of dating, I broke it off with him. I admit, it was not the most gentle breakup, but whatever. About three months later, I get a call from this irate woman claiming to be his mother. She told me that he died by suicide because of me. It was horrible. I felt so guilty and blamed myself. It took me a really long time to accept that it really wasn't my fault, and I was finally able to move on. Cut to three years later. My best friend of 10 years calls me and literally yells in my ear, 'YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHO I JUST SAW AT THE GAS STATION! PATRICK ISN'T DEAD!!!!' She confronted him, and he admitted that he just wanted to hurt me like I 'hurt him.'"


    Three-panel image of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes from the TV show "Sherlock" engaged in an emotional conversation

    3. "In high school, I was dating a girl who was much more popular than me, and I was a shy guy. As time went on and I gained more confidence, I started getting opportunities to go to colleges in different regions. She was also a very ambitious person but suddenly quit all of her activities. She concocted this long, thought-out scheme where she got progressively more and more sick. She edited documents, she changed names on documents for her mother, and she made up a cancer and heart disease diagnosis. She made up a fake email, using the name of a doctor who I could look up. ... There were always reasons/excuses why I could only get some details."

    "She would call me, acting 'high' from the chemo or other treatments. (BTW, my college opportunities were for sports, I’m a pretty dumb guy, so I was an easy target.) Eventually I got a text from her mom's phone, saying 'she died' (she had taken her mom's phone). There was then this long hour where different people texted and emailed me, but then she was 'miraculously saved' on a hospital bed. ... Eventually I had friends step in who told me it was nonsense. A nurse would not send someone updates while a major surgery is being performed. And any reasonable person would tell their boyfriend in advance to be there. 

    On top of this, we were both from immigrant/traditional families so the whole relationship was slightly secret to everyone except her mom. When we finally had sex, she was super weird and nervous about not bleeding the first time. I didn’t even care or notice. She said it was because her doctors had to insert something there…thus breaking the hymen.

    My dumbass finally broke up with her months later and went off to college. She showed up at my dorm room over 300 miles away. She was pregnant now…apparently. I asked if we could go to the doctor together or get a test. No, she had a doctor who can call me AND pregnancy tests don’t work on her due to her 'cancer.' I'd finally had enough and started making phone calls to her mom. The pregnancy and cancer were lies. 

    Months later, cops show up at my house to investigate reports of assault, etc., etc. The following day I went to the police station with a lawyer, and there were PAGES UPON PAGES UPON PAGES OF LIES AND SCAMS. I had emails from her friends who I made aware of this. The cops quickly realized what was going on and dropped it. I had to appear in front of a board at my college because word got out. 

    That girl is now a high school administrator at our former school. She has a kid and a husband. She lied about cancer, pregnancy, domestic violence…and she was cheating on me the whole time and clearly wasn’t a virgin, LOL.

    I figured out later that she was gravely mistaken about my athletic talents and probably thought I was on a path to stardom when in reality I was nothing special. She probably makes more money than me now, LOL. … I’ll never understand the point of the scam. Maybe she just wanted to make a fool out of some dumb jock?"


    4. "My friend was helping her boyfriend when his dad discovered he had cancer. He was distraught and went home often. It put a pretty big strain on their relationship. Finally, his father succumbed and passed away. He broke up with her shortly after. Five days later, she got a call FROM HIS DEAD FATHER asking if everything was okay between the two of them. The father never even had cancer. He made the whole thing up."


    5. Relatedly... "We had a coworker do this, and it was really shitty, too. He spent about a year working on and off from home, at a time when WFH was rare, so he could tend to his dying mother in hospice. When she passed away, he took a month of bereavement, and the entire office was like, 'he's such a devoted son,' and all. We all got a card, and offered to come to the funeral, but he said it was private as per request of the family. But he had a link to send donations to, the American Heart Association, and a funeral home where a memorial took place."

    "On a freak coincidence, we hired someone who worked with him at a former job. When she started, he was away for the bereavement, so she didn't know. But when he returned, she got real weird about him. I went away for a vacation, but when I returned, the guy's cubicle was cleaned out. I asked what happened, and nobody would tell me except 'speak to your boss.' My boss said, 'He had decided to pursue other interests,' and refused to comment except to say not to discuss him with anyone else.

    I later found out that he faked everything. His real mom died when he was younger, and he had been staging her death and everything at nearly every job he had worked at. It was a scam he was pulling. The new coworker confided in my boss when the lying coworker came back, saying apparently he'd been fired from the job they previously both worked at for doing this. And THEY found out he had done it to his previous company as well, so now they had three verified attempts to pull this stunt. He'd start with working for at least 90 days as an exempt employee, and then suddenly it started with, 'my mom was diagnosed with cancer,' and he had a play he'd do. He'd fake phone calls with her, her medical team, and various relatives. He always made sure that people could hear him, and he'd hide in the break room with red eyes afterwards. He faked family drama, diagnoses, and said his mother could no longer drive, so he'd take her to appointments. He'd work 'long after hours' in the office 'to make up his work,' and generally elicited sympathy from everyone, including management. They'd let him work from home and take time off. And he was really a good actor. I mean, I was completely fooled. I even thought, 'there's no way he was faking it.' But yeah, he was. The memorial was for some unrelated woman. The time he was away for bereavement, he was in the Bahamas. In his previous job, the office took up a collection, even, which he never repaid back. Absolute scumbag."


    6. And... "The first guy I was ever with faked a dying, and eventually dead, friend as an excuse for not staying in touch while we were apart over the summer (said friend was completely fictional) and later faked having a deadly illness himself to excuse his shitty behavior. You really can’t trust people."


    "Fuck you."

    7. "When I was a teen, I was checked into a mental hospital for a suicide attempt. I was only there for two weeks before they discharged me on a load of medication and with weekly visits from home therapists for teens as well as a weekly visit from a therapist during school for an hour. After a few months, I was feeling great and better. I had started showering every day and taking care of myself. My stepmom decided it was all bullshit and stopped the visits. My school therapist begged to see me in private (even for free) because as she said, she was seeing so much progress from me. I denied out of fear of retaliation from my stepmom. She stopped buying me my medication, and I spiraled into a bad place again. When I asked why, she told me, 'The therapist at the mental hospital said there is nothing wrong with you and you are just lazy.'”

    "She then proceeded to convince me the home visits were just because I was 'stupid and extreme.'

    Years later we were talking about mental health, as my stepmom was now on medication for anxiety, and my younger brother had to go to therapy for clinical depression. ... It was there where my stepmom finally admitted that I was diagnosed with BPD, clinical depression, and social anxiety as a teenager.

    When I asked why, she...fully lied in front of my dad and sister that I had just stopped wanting help and threw a fit and told everyone to leave me alone. All of those years — all of that progress I could have made toward being better — were lost because of her."


    8. "My mom said she took me to the doctor as a toddler, and that he’d told her I was faking my chronic stomach pain for attention. Turns out the doctor actually told her I had food allergies, and she couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it. She figured the easier option was to just accuse me of lying until I learned to stop complaining about it. She ended up getting a lot of mileage out of that lie."

    "When I started puberty and started having debilitating cramps, she’d say, 'Well, how am I supposed to believe you? That doctor said you exaggerate your pain for attention!' when I actually had endometriosis and ovarian cysts."


    9. "[My family told me] that my Dad was my biological dad, but he wasn't. I was donor-conceived. Since then, I have been in an emotional spiral and have had a bad time with family who had already been treating me weird my whole life."


    10. "[My parents told me] that I had to pay for college myself, which I did by taking out lots of student loans and working. Turns out I could have waltzed into the bank with decent grades and an acceptance letter and EVERYTHING (books, fees, housing, the whole shebang) would have been covered by a trust fund left by my grandparents. Naturally, I only found out years AFTER they managed to empty the account."


    Two women in a dramatic scene with overlaid text of their dialogue

    11. "I was told as a young kid that my older brother (19) died by suicide. ... Forty-five years later, one of my sister-in-laws told me that his estranged wife killed him and told the cops he shot himself."


    12. "When I was in fourth grade (8 or 9 years old), my parents had pulled me out of school for a few weeks. They told me it's because I was too stupid for school and wasn't wanted there anymore. I spent those weeks getting screamed at and doing housework/yardwork/whatever was needed to get out of this 'trouble' I was in. Years later, as an adult, my mother told me the real reason I was pulled out."

    "The school had apparently called because they were worried about the bruising and marks I constantly had. They were from my dad. He had gotten pissed about that and decided to keep me at home until all the marks went away. I was basically punished for weeks for having bruises by the person that caused them."


    13. "My mom told me my sister's dad was my biological dad. Everyone but me seemed to be in on it. I grew up with resentment issues toward my sister's dad's side of the family because after he died when I was a toddler, they wanted nothing to do with me. My older sister and younger brother finally told me when I was 19. It basically messed up my brain going on 21 years now. Just be honest with your kids."


    14. "I wasn’t told my sister had died by suicide. My parents didn’t tell me for three years. I thought she had died in her sleep."


    Two men expressing shock and concern in a dimly lit scene

    15. "My best friend told me she'd had a miscarriage, right after I had one. Imagine my surprise when I figured out she was still pregnant, but just lying to me, so I wouldn't judge her for drinking and shooting up."


    16. "When she had full custody, my mother had my siblings and I convinced that at one point my father had kidnapped my oldest brother and brought him to Arizona, and that she'd had to go chase after him to be able to see our brother, and that’s how we'd ended up moving from Idaho to Arizona."

    "Come to find out years later what actually happened: My mother decided she couldn’t handle my brother’s behavior (he was diagnosed bipolar at the time but that was a misdiagnosis, the most recent diagnosis was BPD, but tbh he and I are probably both autistic) and actually tried to essentially abandon him by sending him to some kind of children’s mental health facility in Texas. When my dad figured that out, obviously he was like, 'wtf no, if you really don’t want him, then just send him to me.' He managed to convince her to send all three of us to visit him in Arizona, with the plan to send the younger two back at the end of the visit.

    Instead of sending us back, he filed some paperwork (iirc it was called a Junction of Safety? Idk something like that) to basically say that we were in immediate danger in her care, and kept us in Arizona. Initially Idaho tried to go after him for kidnapping, but then an investigation was done, and he ended up getting a letter stating that he did, in fact, act in the best interest of the kids. He still has that letter to back up his story, too, that’s how I know for a fact that my mother was full of shit.

    She was full of shit about a lot of things and generally brainwashed us into hating/fearing our dad for a long time, but that particular lie was probably the worst."


    17. "[My mom told me,] 'Your biological father knew I was pregnant and he didn't want you. When he showed up to court to sign away his rights in order for dad to adopt you, he shrugged and said, 'I don't care.' But dad has always been there for you. Yeah, I found out at 30 that an entirely different man was my biological father, mom knew, and he never knew I existed. The man was crushed [when he found out I existed]."

    "We've managed to build a relationship. I've shown him photos of me as a kid growing up, told him stories of my childhood, and we've met a couple of times. We're making the best of our circumstances."


    18. "Not me but my cousins. Their parents told them that their grandfather had passed in the hospital from Emphysema. In fact, he took his own life. His disease got so bad that he couldn't take it anymore. ... My mom told me this, but my cousins still don't know. And we won't tell them."


    19. "[I discovered] that my mother was never buried after donating her body to science in 1976...over 47 years after she died. My dad's response when asked 'what the ell?' was the equivalent of 'my bad.'"


    Two characters, a man and woman, engage in a serious conversation in a TV show scene

    20. "[My husband told me,] 'I didn't sexually assault you. You're a liar and it was my right as a husband anyways.' Spoiler: He committed bigamy and wasn't even my husband. ... Nineteen years of wasting my time, traumatizing me with emotional abuse, and the only thing good things I got out of it were my beautiful, wonderful kids, deep empathy, and far too much understanding about how to survive some shit. Fuck that asshole."


    21. "I noticed my then-fiancé wasn't wearing her engagement ring, and thought she must have forgot to put it on. After all, it was slightly too big and she had said on a couple of occasions she was scared of losing it, as it came off her finger easily. However, after a while I noticed again and again that she wasn't wearing it, so I asked her why. She said it was too big. I asked again a few days later, and she said she'd sent it to be resized. After six months, I noticed she still wasn't wearing it."

    "She said she still hadn't received it back. Then she said she hadn't been to pick it up. This carried on for about three months — every so often I would ask her. I even asked if she had lost it, and to be honest about it, but she swore blind that was not the case, and I was not to worry.

    One day, I said to her straight, 'Look, where is your engagement ring? There's something not right here. I bought it, I want to know where it is. What is going on?'

    She then tried to say the same thing — that she had sent it to be resized and she hadn't had chance to get it back. I told her I didn't buy that, and I wanted the truth. Now.

    She then admitted she had 'mislaid it.' I told her I'd KNOWN she was lying, and why the hell did she keep that from me for so long? It was her ENGAGEMENT RING for Christ's sake — it wasn't cheap, and was supposed to mean something.

    She made light of it and even tried to make out that it was my fault for buying her a ring that was too big. She started to laugh and get flirty, and then said that I should buy her another one to replace it — one we both chose together.

    I fucking lost it. I said that she had lost the ring, lied about it, continued to lie about it, then laughed about losing it and lying about it, and then had the brass neck to suggest I buy her a replacement, when SHE had lost it and lied about it. I told her she was dreaming.

    She then got upset and tried to turn it on me, saying I was being cruel. I told her that if she wanted an engagement ring, she could buy one to replace the one she lost. Apparently I was the bastard for that.

    The relationship ended when she had an affair, and I realized just what a lying narcissist I had been dealing with for several years. ... I am convinced these days she sold it."


    22. "[My mom lied to me about] what swiftly killed my father when I was 7. He was 32. No, Mom, it wasn't illicit drug use. ... At age 45, I finally got his death certificate. It turned out to be something genetic that could have killed me, too. But I don't have that mutation."


    23. "[I believed the lie] that my father was the smartest person I could know. ... When I had ideas or was creative, he ridiculed me so that he could still feel a sense of superiority. He meticulously built a psychological cage into me to maintain that status quo indefinitely. At the age of 52, I finally have come to the conclusion that he is a narcissist and that I am not stupid or annoying, and that my ideas and curiosity are worth something."


    Screenshots from "Gossip Girl"

    24. "My parents told me my cat would 'probably come back any day now. Cats like to wander you know, she’ll be home soon.' They knew she was dead. They had found her body and buried it already. They let me hope she would come home for roughly a month before they finally came clean and told me the truth."

    "I get that they were trying to spare me the pain of seeing her body, but JFC, that backfired so hard. I was crushed, man. Not just because my hope that she would come back had been ripped away, but because she died and I wasn’t there. I couldn’t even bury her. All I could do was put flowers on a grave that had been dug a month earlier. It’s been over a decade by now, and that still fucks me up."


    25. "When I was a kid, I really wanted a dog. During a bad storm/tornado we saw this golden retriever puppy loose outside so we ran and brought it in. It had no collar, we couldn’t find the owner, and this was before chipping was a thing. I thought it was a miracle. We adopted it, and it became my dog. The dog turned out to be pretty energetic, and my parents didn’t know a lot about training one. About a year later, it ran away. I was devastated. I made posters and would walk around the neighborhood calling his name, but I always thought it was weird my parents never helped me with any of that. Turns out they were just sick of the responsibility of having a dog and gave it to a shelter (in a city where most shelter animals were put down)."

    "Rather than explain to a kid why it was too difficult to keep the dog, they decided to just never give me closure and let me hope in vain. I didn’t find out until 20 years later when I randomly remembered and brought it up at Christmas."


    26. "My parents told me our golden retriever had run away. They staged it with an open gate and everything. I was absolutely heartbroken. Years later they let it slip that they'd rehomed her because my mom didn't like dealing with her shedding."


    27. "My mother bought me a house for a wedding present. I ended up divorcing my ex. My mom told me she would never take the house away from me. Three months later, without warning, she sold the house from underneath me because my sister needed money. I was homeless and devastated."


    Two characters from a TV show in a split scene; the top panel shows a woman looking upset, the bottom a man looking down

    28. "[The lie was] that my parents had been happily married for 40+ years. Turns out there had been loads of affairs on the side, and they just tolerated each other as a show for us kids. It all blew up one Christmas which wrecked the marriage and Christmas for us in one go."


    29. "'He wouldn't do that! He's a Sunday school teacher!' He indeed did that, even as a Sunday school teacher. I barely remember the experience of being assaulted, but I can still remember never stepping foot into his classroom again."


    30. "I had a partner who told me our age difference was a non-issue (I am quite a bit older). That they would be happy to stay with me to the end, and be by my side for my last breath. They told me they didn’t care that I was done having kids. When we broke up a few days ago, they told me they always resented the situation."

    "That they hated they had to ‘give up’ the growing old with their partner and having a family of their own. They said they didn’t resent me, but just what they had to deal with to be with me. They resented the life I'd had with my spouse before them, and that they would never have the opportunity to build those same memories (with me or anyone else).

    After two years, I truly thought it didn’t matter, and they were content with things. I feel like a fool for falling so deeply in love with a person who resented a situation they voluntarily entered into and stayed in. It’s not like I was suddenly going to de-age. It’s not as if I would suddenly change my mind about having more kids (my youngest is in their teens). Despite the hurt this revelation caused me, I miss them so desperately it’s hard to breathe some days. I truly thought I’d be marrying them and spending the rest of my life with them."


    31. And finally... "My mother told me other families have the same situation as ours. Ours is toxic with a narcissistic mother and a depressed father. My mother is always angry, spouting nasty words, and belittling and shaming her kids. My jaw dropped when I found out there are loving families out there."


    What's the biggest lie or scam you've been a victim of? Let us know in the comments below or via this anonymous form and you could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post.

    Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.