People Reveal The Biggest Everyday Scams That Suckers Fall For
Are you being scammed? Between the internet, criminals, and credit cards, there are all sorts of ways for you to lose your hard-earned money every day.
Watch out for large corporations—they try to take every extra penny from your pockets, and in ways you may not even realize. Advertisements often encourage people to spend way more money than they have to, and that itself is the scam. Don’t be a sucker! Read the following advice to keep your money in your pockets where it belongs and not in the hands of companies that are trying to trick you!
#45 Ticket Terror
Ticketmaster and their resale policies. We arrest, fine and ticket people who scalp outside of venues but it’s perfectly legal to resell the tickets on Ticketmaster because the website gets a kickback. That’s just messed up to me.
Also, those processing fees and convenience fees they apply (when no other option to purchase exists) are such a scam.
#44 What The Cell?
Cellphone data. They sell it like it’s a finite resource; as if they’ll run out if they give you too much. And, if you don’t use it all in a given month, none of it rolls over to the next.
In Canada, we also pay a ridiculous amount of money for 2 GB, while people other countries get 100 GB for much less.
The Susan G. Komen foundation. People love this for some reason, but it’s actually the biggest scam out there. You’re better off donating to an actual breast cancer society or organization.
#42 Not So Speedy
Home internet packages. It’s easy (and cheap) to provide basic internet speeds these days with the foundation we’ve already laid, so when ISP’s charge insane amounts for a mediocre package, that’s very much an abuse of their regional monopoly powers.
#41 Router Madness
Renting your Wi-Fi router from the cable company.
You’d pay for one in less than a year if you just buy it at the start.
#40 All The Numbers
Why can’t we live in a world where we don’t have to assume that any call from a number not in our contacts is a scam?
I am getting 5-10 spoofed number spam calls a DAY now. I know phone scams are punishable by law, but something more should be done about them.
To make matters worse, I have a small business and advertise my cell number, so I have to answer every call because it might be a new client.
#39 Paying To Pay?
Paying a giant cable bill to watch commercials. There’s literally Netflix, Hulu and Crave now… Who needs cable anymore? If you need news coverage, just stream it online. There are so many other options now that cable could very well be on its way to becoming obsolete.
#38 I Guess Insurance Is Important?
Outrageous title insurance fees every time you buy or refinance a house. Also, sometimes they charge a $50 Fedex fee… Even when you emailed all of the documents they asked you for. Scam or what?
#37 All The Messages
Having to give your email address out to basically any company you buy something from so that they can spam your inbox. Yes, I’m aware you can unsubscribe, but it’s still a pain in the butt. I’ve got a life to live and it doesn’t involve meticulously curating my email inbox on a regular basis.
#36 Just Say It
This isn’t a business scam but more of a life scam. You’ll often hear a lot of people tell you, “If you tell the truth I won’t get mad.” DON’T believe them. Most often than not, people who say this are just trying to get the information they want out of you. As soon as they get it, they’ll break that promise.
#35 What Are You Documenting?
“Documentation fees” when buying a car from a dealer. When I bought my car in August, I hammered out all the details they needed before closing on Tuesday, leaving with a written price and a promise to come back the next day with the check from my credit union. On Wednesday morning, I come in with everything ready, only to have the person looking at the final paperwork quickly gloss over the $150 documentation fee.
I stopped them there and said I’d brought a check for the written price they gave me the day before. They insisted it was necessary and non-negotiable, so I insisted I’d take my business elsewhere. They hemmed and hawed about it, but eventually, they got permission to lower the price of the car by $150 so that my check would be enough.
I tend to let people walk all over me, so I was really proud of myself for standing up this time.
#34 So Many Fees!
I got into an argument with a staff member at a gym when I was signing up. They advertised “no start-up fees” online, but when I showed up in person, I was told I still had to pay a “card fee” for the membership. When I argued that they were just calling the start-up fee by a different name, they didn’t agree…
I ended up leaving. It was literally a charge for the card needed to gain entry to the gym, not a credit card fee. And it was required to start the membership, effectively making it a start-up fee.
It was a matter of principle, not financials. The gym was close to my work and would have been convenient. I ended up going to the Planet Fitness near my house.
#33 What The… What?
The scam that kills me is the $50 fee they charge to file your taxes electronically.
Did you know that if you do your taxes yourself on paper, you’re going to have to pay someone to put it into a computer?
This one is actually lobbied for by H&R Block. Their lobbyists pay good money to keep the tax code as complex and wordy as possible. They also make it seem like all the options for doing your taxes yourself are expensive or downright illegal.
#32 Is It Really Convenient?
Convenience fees for paying online.
I get that the company making the software needs to get paid, but I just don’t like companies offloading that responsibility onto the customer, especially when they’re probably making more from the convenience fee than it costs them.
On top of that (and I’m sure I’m not alone here), the ability to pay a fee online is a major factor in deciding which company to go with. Hence, a company adding the option for online payment will also bring in new customers; which, in a lot of cases, could well be enough profit for the company to pay for the software company without even having to charge the customer extra for it.
#31 So Unhealthy!
Apple, orange and lemonade drinks. They basically contain 0% juice. It’s just all sugar and additives. You’ll see this especially with exotic drink flavors like mango and lychee. You’re just drinking flavored water.
#30 She Did What?
Jilly Juice — The woman who advocates for it got destroyed on Dr. Phil for her pseudoscience and yet she’s still making a killing.
#29 And What Are You Paying For?
Being charged service fees when paying for something online. It’s a lose-lose situation for the customer. The only way to avoid being charged that fee is if you go to the store in person, which totally defeats the purpose of online shopping. Also, some products may only be sold online, so it’s either you pay the service fee or forget about it.
#28 Let The Doctor Tell You!
Direct to consumer prescription drug marketing is such a scam. People shouldn’t go to the doctor and ask for a drug they saw on a commercial by name.
#27 So. Many. Fees.
Payday loans. I haven’t had any experience with them, but the companies that offer them obviously prey on poor people who have made poor decisions.
These people are looking at hundreds, if not thousands, of percent interest. It just puts them into a deeper hole than they’re already in. People get into this routine and can’t get out because they are drowning in fees.
Predatory lending is just awful.
#26 Tech Is Taking Over
Technology, in general, is a scam. We have no control over our technology.
I can’t turn off Cortana. I have to edit like, 30 things to mess with my core files.
Tech is getting less and less friendly to people who actually want to mess with it.
At least Linux is a thing.
#25 When Does It Stop Being A Sale?
50% SALE in every single shop at the mall! Then, you go up to the signage to read the finer print, and it says “on select items only.” That basically refers to like, two or three things in the entire store.
It’s a sneaky way to get the customer to go inside.
#24 So… What Do You Make?
“Don’t discuss your pay with fellow employees.” This is a common policy in most corporate settings.
Part of me understands that it’s kind of tacky to do so, but I read that it’s the company’s way of not paying people what they deserve.
#23 What’s A Girl’s Best Friend?
The artificial scarcity of diamonds. Technically speaking, it’s a combination of actual and artificial scarcity. Diamonds are actually pretty rare, and the conditions needed to form them need to be fairly exact. But diamond companies capitalize on this by enforcing an artificial rarity on top of that.
#22 The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?
Black Friday sales. The whole concept is messed up. When I worked at a furniture store, we were selling these small storage ottomans for Black Friday. Regular price: $39.99, sale price: $19.99. You know how much we paid for them? A dollar. I’m breaking my NDA by telling you all this.
Last year, I was at a store looking at coats in late September. I happened to notice one I liked and bought for $30. I went again in early November to look at something else and the same coat was now around $50. I went in on Black Friday and the coat was “on sale” for $35.
#21 What Is It Going To Teach You?
Textbooks. At least, at American universities.
Depending on the subject, they can cost anywhere from $100 to $400 per book. New editions are released annually to ensure that the content remains up to date, and their prices remain high.
I had a graduate level economics course that required a $300 textbook ($150 when rented for the semester). There was actually an “international version” available online that was the exact same book, but it cost $60 instead. The only thing was that the book was listed as being “not for distribution in the US.”
My school has a required class for business majors that uses a $400 LOOSE LEAF textbook. They don’t even bother to bind the book. The best part? The professor wrote it.
#20 And They’re Already Too Expensive
The new and used car market in the United States. I don’t think there is an industry shadier and more harmful to the consumer than that.
#19 The Parking Spot Isn’t Included
Paying for parking at a hotel you’re staying at already! I get that some establishments need that money to keep up the maintenance of their parking lots, but still… After paying hundreds of dollars to stay at the hotel, who wants to spend another $30 t0 $50 for a parking spot?
#18 Not Sharp
Razor blade prices. I know a lot of guys who opted not to shave just because razor blades were becoming too expensive. I think some news outlets have reported a 99% price increase on razor blades in just the past three years.
#17 Sleeping Employees?
Mattress Firm must be a hoax.
They are always having a blowout sale and there is never an employee to be seen.
#16 It’s Just Going To Die!
Consumers spend good money to buy products that are designed to fail or become obsolete in order to stimulate further sales.
Not only that, but replacement parts become unavailable or too expensive to buy that consumers end up replacing the item completely, even though it should have had a much more useful life.
Take my washer and dryer, for example. I bought one of those ugly white “Commercial” mechanical ones 10 years ago, while most people started to buy Samsung, LG and Frigidaire ones that look sleek and are front-facing.
I paid the same price that I would have had to pay for a fancy one, but I knew it mine was mechanical and not electric like the others.
Anyway, I’ve had to fix the machines twice so far, $30 repairs for both times. They’re still going strong 10 years later. My parents, on the other hand, had to change their six-year-old fancy Samsung last month because it “cost more to fix than buy a new one.”
#15 Why The Fees?
Fees to check a bag. Fees to carry-on a bag. Fees to get a seat assignment. Fees to get a seat assignment on the second leg of your flight.
Your “cheap” $300 ticket just turned into a $500 flight.
#14 How Do You Get Ahead?
Applying for jobs be like: 1) Take this personality test. 2) Upload resume. 3) Now fill out everything you just told us in this horrible format. 4) Sorry, you didn’t get the job but wasted an hour trying to get an entry-level job, despite all your qualifications.
#13 Is It Normal?
The US still has carrier-locked cellphones as standard. I imagine the only reason nobody’s mentioned it yet is that most Americans don’t know that this isn’t normal.
#12 Do You Really Need To Print?
Ink prices. Doesn’t even cost them a quarter to manufacture the ink, yet they’re selling it $60 and up.
They do it on purpose so you spend more money. They actually add blue ink into the black so that you can’t just print in black when you’re out of blue.
Also, there’s a chip in the ink cartridges that tells the printer not to work when you’re low on one color. Often times, that low ink reading is a lie. The manufacturers make sure that the low ink reading happens way before you’re actually out of ink, forcing you to buy a refill before you actually need to.
Oh, and they now have tamper-proof hardware on them to stop you from refilling them yourself since that used to be the way to get around the scam.
Everything about ink cartridges is a scam.
#11 Has It Always Been There?
That extra nine-tenths of a cent that every gas station charges.
Not exactly a scam, but nobody realizes it’s even there, despite the fact that it’s displayed in big, neon font on their signs.
#10 Do You Know It Doesn’t Work?
Healing crystals and other quackery like it. People pay top dollars to get a stone which does nothing other than look pretty on a shelf.
#9 Oh, The Internet…
All those “Click here to claim your free iPad” ads. I know most people are smart enough to avoid clicking on those, but some people actually do, and it’s a real shame.
#8 What A Magical World
Literally everything in Disney World.
A bottle of water is $4. A disposable, plastic raincoat is $10. What the heck.
#7 What Are We Even Eating?
Food labels are a scam. “Good Source of Whole Grains” on sweetened cereal… “All-Natural” on orange and apple juice containers.. .”No High-Fructose Corn Syrup” on bread that has bleached white flour and some other form of sugar.
The best is “Low-Fat.” People don’t realize that “fat” was never the issue!!! It was always the sugar and carbs that caused diseases. The food industry is the biggest scam in the world!!!
Because the cereal industry has extensive lobbying power and the FDA is just incredibly lazy, cereal is considered a healthy food option, while avocados are considered very unhealthy. This is because the metric they use is solely based on fat content. They totally ignored sugar content back in the ’90s. And, if you didn’t already guess, cereal has zero fat while avocados have a lot (even though the fats in avocados are very good for you).
The FDA is using a system designed 20 years ago, ignoring volumes of data proving that it is flawed.
#6 Do You Need Water?
Local utilities are a monopoly. Comcast sucks, but nothing compares to my city which charges me $50 a month for water and $70 a month for sewage. They raised the sewage price to pay for some renovations but never lowered it. And here I am thinking that maintaining the system should be part of their regular operating budget and not something we all have to pay extra for…
The worst part is that many jurisdictions are selling their once-public utilities, like water. The price gets raised so that a private group can profit off of essential infrastructure. My state recently got rid of tollbooths for a camera system with EZPass. They then raised the rates, even though they eliminated dozens (if not into the hundreds) of jobs.
#5 Work From Home!
Why the heck do I have to come to the office every day if most of my job can be done remotely? If I just worked from home, I wouldn’t need to burn gas, waste my time, and get aggravated every day shuttling back and forth. I would much rather come in two to three times a week.
Skip the traffic. Make for more productive and happier employees.
Let us work from home on a regular basis.
This guy I took a math class with in college told me about how he set up a fake tech help hotline in the ’90s and charged the most per minute possible. He would then go downtown dressed in a suit, visit a random office pretending he had an interview, act surprised and declare he was in the wrong place, then beg to use their phone to figure out where he needed to go.
Of course, he was actually using their phone to call his hotline and pretend to have a conversation for just over a minute.
#3 Read Everything
Extended warranties on second-hand vehicles. Sometimes, a warranty is void before you’ve even driven your car off the lot. Sale people like to push them because they get a commission on it, but most of them have clauses that are essentially money-making loopholes.
For example, some warranties require the car to have a full service history, yet they sell them on cars without a full service history.
Insurance companies are a scam, too. They will ALWAYS find a reason why they don’t have to pay claims. They often brush off defects as damage from wear and tear and, as a result, they don’t need to pay your claim.
#2 What Makes It Super?
They are all products of marketing and fads.
Spinach is better and cheaper than kale, or strawberries and blueberries are just as good as acai.
Not all true.
#1 It’s Everywhere!
Listing prices as with a 99-cent tag to make them seem cheaper.
It’s a psychology trick. It works. We see $199.99 and think, “Wow, that’s less than 200.” But really, it’s all just an exploitation of human security vulnerabilities.
We could have all these beautiful, round numbers. But instead, we end up with a bunch of nines everywhere. Zeroes are more orderly than nines and deserve more respect.