20 of the Biggest Scams That Had Us Hook, Line, and Sinker

Scammers use a lot of tricks to suck extra bucks out of your pockets. There are some scams that are so normal that we all just accept them. We all turn a collective blind eye toward these seemingly accepted scams.

Biggest Scam We All Tolerate Collectively

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A Redditor asked, “What is the biggest scam that we all tolerate collectively?”

The thread received a lot of comments, and we have listed down some of the most intriguing 20 ones, that’ll surely keep you hooked.  Let’s take a look at some!

Online Booking Fee

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A Redditor mentioned: “Booking fees when booking online.”

In response, another person shared their experience and stated: “To pay my rent I have to pay a $40 convenience fee for paying with card online. They do not accept any other methods of payment.”

Someone else replied: “I booked a concert online. They charged something like €5 to send printed tickets or €1 for “print at home”. F*** that. €1 to generate a PDF? It’s b******!”

Another person added: “Ha, try having to pay a $20 “web fee” on a $35 ticket. Oh, you bought two tickets? That’ll be 2 separate “web fees”! Fees to buy online, fees to print, fees to dl a pdf…and there’s no way around it. Ticket companies are evil.”


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A Redditor simply said: “Any MLM.”

To which another person questioned out of sheer disappointment: “How … do we allow them to continue?!”

Someone else added: “Because the organizations that run them make sure they don’t break the law. People lose money in MLM because they don’t realize how hard and expensive it is to market and sell products and services. All the big name companies spends billions marketing their products for a reason.”

Do you think MLMs actually financially empower people, or is it simply another one of the big fat lies?

ATM Charges

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Another user added an interesting point of view and mentioned, “Banks charging you fees to have an account or to use an ATM machine.”

Someone else shared their experience and stated: “I get charged online servicing fees sometimes which is like uhmm what do you mean?! basically my interest goes to online servicing fees.”

Someone said in sarcasm, “Bank buildings need to pay rent.”

Many ATM machines have started charging a fee now only if you ask for a paper receipt. Do you think it’s another way to contribute to a sustainable environment or that it screams of being charged for no reason?

Snacks at the Theatre

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One Redditor said, “20 bucks for a litre of coke, some popcorn and a bag of skittles? I could run to the dollar store and buy that for like 3 dollars.”

Another person added, somewhat in disbelief and disappointment, “$4.50 for a bottle of water. A bottle of water.”

Someone else rather shared a fun hack and stated: “The benefits of a purse, I sneak in taco bell on occasion.”

Another agreed to say, “It seems harder and harder to justify the costs when movies are out there making 2 Billion dollars.”

What do you think of the overpriced snacks at the movie theatre?  With the rising prices, is it really worth going to cinemas or do you prefer Netflix and chill at home?

College Textbooks

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One Reddit user raised an important point and highlighted the unreasonably high prices of college textbooks. “As a college professor I’m sickened by how expensive books are. I try my {hardest} to find OER for my classes, but a lot of them suck in my field. So I’ve taken to finding the cheapest and using older editions. Cause Lordy are they a scam. And the authors make such a small amount from them as well. It’s the publishing houses that are making the most money.”

Someone else agreed and stated: “Most of my professors would say something like “school policy prevents me from telling you the older edition is nearly identical and you can find the textbook online for free.” They hated the textbook industry, too.”

Another person commented: “A new textbook for one of my classes ran about 0. A professor decided to use the old version to spare the students. The previous version 2 years out of date: $2.99 on eBay.”

Another user shared a hack and mentioned: “don’t forget you can also scan 10% of a book without infringing copyright (or something like that) works brilliantly for scanning a chapter or something, and most uni libraries will at least keep one for ‘reference’ purposes.”

Do you think it’s justified for college textbooks to be so overpriced? With pdf files available online, it hardly makes sense to purchase expensive physical books.


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One Reddit user commented, “Glasses,” which led to another user sharing their opinion and saying, “They’re a lot cheaper to produce than most people know.”

Another agreed to say, “I hate that they’re doing this bc they know they can get away with it since sight is an absolute necessity…”

A Redditor added a pun and stated: “I can’t even see the price tag until it’s too late!”

Someone else stated: “And what’s even sadder is that many people who need glasses can’t afford them. It’s part of why low-income kids tend to get lower grades (PART).”

Do you think that some industries have been exploiting people to an extent and making the most out of people’s weaknesses?


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Someone commented: “Bras and underwear are like 40$ a piece”

Another added, “The real scam here I suppose is that they are made in the same place making stuff for $3 a piece.’’

Someone left a comment sharing a personal experience and stated:‘’I have a weird bra size so to get one that actually fits I have to spend like at least $70.”

C’mon, these are basic necessities for women. The industries can’t price them so highly and subtly pass on the pink tax.

Valentine’s Day

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A Redditor wrote, “I don’t get Valentine’s day you can literally just do anything romantic like buy flowers or something on any given day, and I bet your signficant other will appreciate it more because you weren’t pressured to get or do anything.”

One comment read, “Whenever my wife says that we should go out for Valentine’s day, I tell her, “how about we go out to the same place the day after instead, and it will be exactly the same except it won’t be crowded as heck and we won’t be there for 3 hours despite the fact that we had a reservation?

Someone else added, “you can still do the flowers and chocolates thing on the day after, and they’ll be on sale because Valentines is over.”

Do you find the lovey-dovey setup cute, or do you think it’s another trap of the consumerism culture?

Endless Working Hours

Stressed Fast Food Employee Feeling Desperate
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via DepositPhotos.com.

Another Redditor drew attention to another important issue and mentioned the “40-hour work week is typical?? Why do we have to do work all the darn time??”

Someone else shared: “Dude people in my country still yearn to have a job that has Saturday off!”

Man, truly feels so robotic working around the clock, and hardly getting leisure time.


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A user came in with a hot take and mentioned “Lottery.”

Another person added, “People spend billions in that {stuff} and people rarely win anything over $100.”

Someone else added, “I don’t buy lottery ever. I understand combinations and permutations. The logic here just isn’t sound. “You won’t win without a ticket” is technically correct. Buying a ticket just gives me 0.00000007 better odds of that happening. My $6-$7 is better spent on something with a guaranteed return (beer, chips, etc.).”

Someone else added a philosophical explanation and said, “Most people don’t play thinking they will win. You don’t buy the ticket thinking you will win, you buy it for the dream of a better life. You buy a short fantasy which expires every time the numbers are drawn.”

Hmm, interesting!

Internet/Cable Providers

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A Reddit user wrote, “Internet/Cable Providers. A ton of places have only one provider in a given area. With no competition, they can basically do whatever the {expletive} they want.”

Someone else added,“I live in Las Vegas and my first apartment complex only had one option. Hello random fees!!”

Another user shared their experience, saying, “First year…$100/month for cable and internet. Second year…$250/month for cable and internet. Good luck finding an alternative option.”

Tipping Culture

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via DepositPhotos.com.

A Redditor said, “Tipping at a restaurant.”

Another one responded with a critical point, “Restaurant owners have pulled off the biggest scam of making us pay for their employees’ (lack of) wages, and whenever there’s a debate about it, the blame goes to either the people eating or the servers.”

Do you think it’s a good gesture to tip the waiters, or is it like an added expectation, which kinda makes you look bad if you don’t give a tip?


couple standing in front of new house
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Someone wrote, “Home/Auto insurance.”

Someone else added, “Pay us money so that if/when your stuff breaks, we will pay (a percentage) to fix it for you. But then we are going to increase your cost so that we recoup what we spent fixing your stuff and more.”

What’s your take on this? Does insurance really provide some peace of mind, or does it hardly makes a difference?

Airlines Luggage

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A user commented, “I still don’t understand how the consumers allowed airlines to charge for baggage!”

Someone else added, “We’ll fly you 3000 miles away round trip for a week, but if you want to bring clothes to change into, or pay us 50 more bucks…. each way.” For something you have never had to pay for in the history of the industry.”

Another user agreed to say, “makes sense. Cheaper tickets, but you pay for extras. It makes sense to charge people for what they use, instead of bundling all the costs into the ticket. What if people only have carry on for example?”

Someone else wrote, “Clothes are not “frills.” If you didn’t use the service of baggage, so be it. The price already included it. Prices did not go down. Airlines profits went up.”


Beauty Fashion Glamour Girl Portrait over Black
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Many users mentioned diamonds; one stated, “Ever wonder why they’re so {very} expensive to buy, but you can’t sell at the same or a higher price? Pretty sure a company had a stronghold on most of the market with diamonds and gets away with the ridiculous prices because there’s a lack of competition. I think. I’ll have to fact check. But I know that it’s {a scam}.”

Someone else couldn’t help but agree and said, “They don’t even sell you enough for a shovel, let alone a sword or a pickaxe.”

Another Redditor said, “they’re minerals, Marie.”

Someone else dropped some truth bombs and said, “they’re one of the most common on earth.”


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Someone wrote, “Wedding {stuff}. Everything is so marked up, and it’s insanity.”

To this, a Redditor left the following reply: “Like we just say oh ok, we need to pay for an inside envelope for a wedding invite. But why? WHY AM I PAYING FOR THREE ENVELOPES? Because weddings, that’s why.”

Another user said “My aunt got some things waaaay cheaper by not telling them it was for a wedding Like the cake and flowers, she saved soooo much.”

Someone else shared a personal experience and said, “We ordered custom cupcakes instead of a cake. Small wedding, the pricing actually worked in our favor. Delivery was included but there was a $75 “setup fee.” I thought that was kind of crazy. When the salesperson was off doing something else, I sneaked a peek at her price sheet. The setup fee was only for weddings. It was literally a fee “because wedding”

Another added in agreement,  “We asked a place about food for our guests. They said it would be $16 per head but asked what kind of event it would be. “A wedding,” we foolishly said. “Oh,” they said, “in that case, it’ll be $45 per head.”

Health Insurance

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A Redditor mentioned insurance schemes and said, “You pay x amount per month for them to deny reasonable claims for unreasonable reasons. This is mostly directed at health and dental insurance. Yes, I’m in the US.”

Another user added, “I had a situation where I was in a medically induced coma for 5 days. EVERY {single} SPECIALIST IN THE HOSPITAL took that opportunity to come to see me and bill me for it.”

Someone else wrote, “That’s complete b******, do insurance companies actually have any medical knowledge at all? If your kid’s body is literally denaturing muscle tissue then that’s a serious problem and absolutely worth an ER visit.”

Another Redditor added, “Insurance companies specifically hire people to find ways to deny claims. They can get 9 people who say “yes this is necessary.” But will default to the 10th guy who says “well, not necessarily.”


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One user shared,  “printer ink with ungodly prices.”

Someone else added, “It’s literally cheaper to throw out your printer and get a new one that comes with ink than to buy new cartridges of ink.” “Second fun fact: printer ink is more expensive than human blood.”

Another Redditor left a comment saying, “My brother needed to print something off for school but we were out of ink. He literally just bought a new printer because it was half the price.”

A user shared the following money-saving hack: “The new printers come with a very small amount of ink, so you’ll run out faster. Buy a laser printer and never worry again!”

Standardized Tests

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A person commented saying “Standardized testing for sure. ETS is such a scam. Hundreds of dollars to take one test. Take the ACTs, SATs, GRE for grad school, Praxis if you want to be a teacher. And we’re at the point where a lot of the writing is being judged by a computer so it scores the most formulaic essays the highest. It sucks. And then kids get to university and can’t form a dang thought of their own or think critically.”

Someone else added “I have a masters in creative writing. Got a four on the writing section on the GRE. Nowhere I applied cared. That should tell you something.”

Another Redditor added in frustration, “I just took the GMAT, f*** standrized tests. They mean nothing and being timed on top of the stress should not be a measure if you can think. I like to think that the 3.9 GPA I ended college with is a better indicator of my capacity to learn, accomplish things and juggle a social life at the same time. My goal at that point was just to get the minimum score that I could be admitted with. Now if you will excuse me I’m gonna burn all my GMAT study material.”

Someone else added, “second year med student here. I paid 60 bucks for a PRACTICE test on Saturday. I am doing it again this weekend. I already paid over 600 to register for the actual exam. Good thing I’ll be a rich doctor one day.”

Standardized tests really don’t reflect on a student’s potential, it’s high time they put an end to that!

Video Games

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A person commented saying, “Video games. Why do people buy the new madden every year? They add a couple of tiny new features that barely (if at all) change the gameplay and add the new players that just got drafted and then of course charge you the full $60 for it every year. Also EA is the only company on the planet that’s allowed to make an NFL game too. Which forces you to either buy their {terrible} games or live with the fact that you’ll never be able to play an NFL simulation video game ever again. (because the NFL with almost certainly re-up with EA when their current deal is over).”

Someone else added, “See, I think sports games are prime for a decent use of DLC. Charge $5 to $10 for the roster update for a few years after buying 1 game, then after a few years has passed and there’s actually a REASON to update the graphics or mechanics, new game.”

Another Redditor wrote, “And then they go to trade in last year to buy this year and {complain} the person who works there out because its value is literally between .50 and $5 in cash or credit.”

Scams We Collectively Tolerate

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We hope you found this list helpful, and next time, you’ll stay vigilant and cautious. It’s time we collectively hold the businesses and companies accountable to protect ourselves and our hard-earned money.

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.