Heads Up: 21 Everyday Scams Even You Might Have Fallen For

Scammers are continuously improving their methods, becoming more sophisticated, and making it increasingly effortless for anyone to become a victim of their schemes. A recent survey asked: “What are some of the biggest scams in history?” Here are the top 23 answers.

Bottled Water

Bottled Water
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“Research suggests that for most Americans, the stuff in a bottle is not better for you than the stuff in your tap. In fact, a recent report found that almost half of all bottled water is derived from the tap, but may be further processed or tested for safety.”

“Nestle pays $2100 per year to bottle public water in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Their permit is valid even during severe drought periods. They’re bottling up the public’s water and selling it to them. I’ll only buy bottled water if the local water is undrinkable or I am extremely desperate. Bottled water is one of the biggest scams in human history.”

Dental Industry

Dental Industry
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“They charge astronomical rates for something everyone needs but pretend it’s merely cosmetic. And try getting one of them to drop their rates. They’ll act like you punched their mother.”

“Find a new dentist – mine would never do that.”

Student Loans

Student Loans
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“Government involvement is 100% the reason college is so insanely expensive. But people get mad when you say that and demand the government (who caused the problem) absolve student loan debt. Even if they did, it doesn’t fix the underlying issue.”

“If the government didn’t back and guarantee the loans, they’d have to deal with default rates like any other industry. Look it up, the second the government started backing loans, the price skyrocketed.”

Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme

Bernie Madoff_s Ponzi Scheme
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“He had over ten percent of Wall Street’s money. It’s insane how badly the SEC failed the world during his reign.”

The American stock market is currently way larger than Madoff alone. Every bit of it is a scam. It’s insane.”

Bank Bailouts

Bank Bailouts
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“All of us little guys get to bail out millionaires. The uniparty ensures the rich stay that way.”

“We tried not bailing out banks to prevent further damage once. It was called The Great Depression and was not fun for anyone involved, including the working class.”

Big Pharma

Big Pharma
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“It was refreshing to hear about Mark Cuban creating a company to offer generic drugs like insulin near cost.”

“Vioxx is a great example. They (Merck) knew there were adverse effects related to cardiac events but went ahead anyway. After five years on the market and 40,000-60,000 associated deaths, it was finally removed. The fine was $4.85 billion, and they still profited.”

The Price of Printer Ink

The Price of Printer Ink
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This is a thing the EU ought to regulate better. They have introduced USB-C for standardization. Now please force printer companies to make new models that all adhere to one standard ink cartridge that must be able to accept any 3rd party made ones.”

“It’s cheaper by $10-30 to buy a new cheap printer every time you run out of ink than to buy more ink. It really is such a scam.”

Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster
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“My hate for Ticketmaster is beyond anything in the world. And they’ve got significantly worse in the post-COVID era.”

“Ticketmaster has destroyed live music.”

College Textbooks

College Textbooks
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“Buying “new” editions every semester when they rearranged a couple of chapters around.”

“Online college textbooks or “e-texts” are an even bigger scam nowadays. And they seem to become increasingly popular each year.”

American Hospital Billing

American Hospital Billing
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“The minute you ask for an itemized receipt and breakdown, they start removing charges left and right, and the bill gets reduced by ~30%.”

“The last time I got a hospital bill, I sent it to my debt consolidation lawyers, and they were all like, “Don’t worry about it.” And they made the debt completely vanish.”

Tulips in the Netherlands in the 16th Century

Tulips in the Netherlands in the 16th Century
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“There was a point at which one tulip bud cost as much as a good house.”

“Except that it was all made up by 19th-century financial “chroniclers.” We know today that Tulipmania was not the explosive bubble burst it was made to be centuries later.”

The Trojan Horse

The Trojan Horse
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“The one time they should have looked that gift horse in the mouth.”

“Double scam. The Iliad is a fiction work written by Homer centuries after Troy was destroyed. The Trojan horse most likely never existed.”

Insulin Prices in America

Insulin Prices in America
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“I think you mean fancy insulin. Regular insulin has remained cheap and affordable.”

“My father was diagnosed in his 60’s, and thank goodness his wife has great insurance. I reviewed his billing for the insulin and companion medications for related issues. It would have been a nightmare scenario if not for good coverage.”

The US Government Once Gave Time Warner Hundreds of Millions of Dollars To Provide Internet to Rural Areas

The US Government Once Gave Time Warner Hundreds of Millions of Dollars To Provide Internet to Rural Areas
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“Time Warner fizzled away without ever providing much of anything.”

“This applies to every ISPISP in the USUS, and they still take the money and do nothing.”

“Not just Time Warner. Verizon and other telecom companies got regulatory approval for additional fees, ostensibly for expansion of residential fiber-optic Internet service (“fiber to the home” or FTTHFTTH) … and then didn’t build it out.”

Gregor MacGregor Tricked a Bunch of People Into Moving to a Fake Country in Central America

Gregor MacGregor Tricked a Bunch of People Into Moving to a Fake Country in Central America
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“Dude made up his own world-building project, as elaborate as that of any tabletop RPG or fantasy novel series; used it to lure hundreds of people to their doom; and died peacefully in Venezuela with full military honors.”

“Even his name sounds like a scam!”

Diamonds

Diamonds
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“Materials are often only worth the arbitrary value people put on them. When New Zealand had a gold rush, the Māori had no problem pointing out where to find gold, but they had little interest in it. Gold is soft and not very useful. They preferred jade.”

“Funny enough, there’s also been decades of very aggressive “diamonds are forever” marketing, which (combined with the insane markups) is why diamonds have no resale value whatsoever.”

Planned Obsolescence

Planned Obsolescence
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“I pulled out an old iPad when my main computer had a hard drive failure and apparently couldn’t figure out what the internet was anymore. Now it’s basically an Angry Birds notepad that can’t keep a charge.

“Other than concrete examples, it mostly is the cost-to-performance optimization of the suppliers. The product designers specify that all components have to be rated for a certain amount of typical usage time, let’s say 5 years, and that they should cost as little as possible. This incentivizes the suppliers to design components which last those 5 years but barely anymore.”

The War Against Drugs

The War Against Drugs
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“How DAREDARE you!!”

“Why don’t we all agree that the drugs won the war and move on.”

Kony 2012

Kony 2012
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“It blew up like wildfire, literally overnight. Everyone and their mother was talking about it. There’s some interesting video that analyzes the whole thing. The creator had an odd history leading up to making the Kony video, to say the least.”

“The people who made the video got millions in donations, and nothing happened. The whole idea was for the world to work together to stop Kony, but nobody cared about it after a week. It was wild.”

The Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana Purchase
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“That’s a ton of fertile land for next to nothing and literally doubled the nation’s size.”

“It was a bad deal for the French First Republic, but more so a huge grab of Native American land making up the bulk that neither party truly controlled. So I suppose you could say the United States bought the right to continue to scam the Natives out of their land. Same old story.”

Insurance

Insurance
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“In practice, it’s a giant, legalized scam. You pay money for a promise, and the people making the promise do their best to deny you if and when you need to collect. The fact that insurance companies are for-profit institutions is a dead giveaway.”

“One of the really frustrating things about the industry is that the people ultimately responsible for making it a nightmare are people that will never have to actually talk to a customer.”

Source: Reddit