27 Scams in Life That We All Fall For, Even Though We Know Better

In life, we encounter numerous scams that we often fail to recognize or admit. Here are 27 of the biggest scams in life that many people overlook, ignore, or just don’t realize because no one else will admit them.

Someone asked, “What’s the biggest scam in life that no one wants to admit?There were thousands and thousands of responses. Here are some of the top and best replies.

Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length. 

The Price of Labor

Happy Man Farmer Driving Tractor Looking At Camera
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Someone shared an uncomfortable thought, “A lot of us have been convinced that we are selling our labor to companies at the correct price; in reality, we’re selling it too cheaply.”

Someone added, “Yes!!! Worked for a contract house doing aircraft maintenance. I was making about $32hr. I thought that was pretty good until I found out the contractor was earning $185hr minus my paltry wage. If companies paid employees in a “fair” fashion, we’d all be living less check to check and more vacation to vacation.”


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One person answered, “Diamonds.”

Another wrote, ” Moissanite is lab-grown, cost-effective, and is basically indistinguishable from diamonds. In fact, they can look even more brilliant.”

Someone added, “Yeah, Lab diamonds can be actually perfect, and these companies are like “oh, it’s too perfect” and people buy into that?”

Individual Action for Climate Change

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Someone replied, “That climate change is up to each individual to go green. It was a campaign by BP that pushed the solution as each individual going green instead of the dozen massive corporations that account for the lion’s share of greenhouse gases. Going green is good, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to oil companies, industrial farming, and cargo ships.”

Tipping Culture

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via DepositPhotos.com.

“Tipping culture. It’s how businesses scammed the general public into paying additional costs so they could avoid paying their staff a living wage,” someone responded.

Another added, “Ya and the general public can’t even “boycott” it bc if you do, you’re a *****.”

Working for Retirement

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“We work the majority of our lives, during our fittest years of health, for the promise of a golden retirement, when we will probably be too old and ill to enjoy it properly,” someone wrote.

And to that, many retirees won’t even have enough money to fund their retirement at all.

Read More: Retirees Worry Inflation Will Leave Them Hungry 

Paying to Watch Ads

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One person wrote, “Normal television, paying to watch ads!”

Another sarcastically added, “Now we have streaming subscription services where you pay to watch ads! Progress!”

Another added, “With cable, though, you’re paying a premium for the privilege of being peddled too. It’s… insulting.”

Data Caps

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One person answered, “Data caps.”

Someone commented, “The funny/not funny part is that they advertise unlimited data up to..(certain number). And government regulators allow those companies to get away with it.”

Another wrote, “Unlimited data! …until you use too much in which then they slow down your data so much that you can’t even watch a 480p video without slowdown. But hey, unlimited, right?”

The Price of Baby Products

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“The prices of anything baby related. Toys, food, clothes, etc. Was in a store on Saturday to get a cot mattress and cover. I cried,” someone wrote.

Baby stuff is very expensive! You can save money on baby supplies and gear by trying to get baby stuff for free but the price is still crazy.

Online Convenience Fees

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Have you tried to pay for something online?

“My bank has free bill pay and will mail them a check if they don’t have any other option. So now they get a check from me, and the “inconvenience fee” is their own cost to process the thing, get paid slower, etc.” someone wrote.

The Wedding Industry

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“The entire wedding industry,” someone commented.

“To be clear, not marriage but weddings specifically. I’m happily married to my wife, and we were content to do something special just the two of us, maybe spend a couple of grand and treat ourselves a little bit to something amazing. Cue the families getting involved, and before you know it, we’re spending closer to twenty grand on one day and feeding a bunch of people I’ve not heard of before or since the wedding.”

Fashion Trends

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“Fashion trends and the incredible amount of waste it creates,” someone wrote.

“If everyone learned how to mend/alter garments in school, and value was placed on investing in a few quality made items instead of a closet full of disposable fast fashion, there would be wayyyy less clothing in landfills and wayy less demand for chemical-laden garments to be cranked out in sweatshops. our relationship to clothing is so warped.”

They added, “buying second hand is a great way to wiggle out of the grip of the fashion industry if it’s available to you.”

Claw Machines in Arcades

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Has anyone ever won on those machines?

Someone shared how they really work: “Specifically, they’re programmed to pay out after x-number of dollars. Claw games with cheap stuff like stuffed animals will pay out relatively frequently. Things like the stacker game or the keyhole game with “big ticket” things are programmed to pay out at a much, much lower rate.”

Another added, “The one in the arcade I worked at in college didn’t have that – instead, you could tweak the claw strength differently during the “grab” portion versus the “carry” portion, so people would be able to pick up the prize, but then while carrying it to the door, it would drop it. Fuels that “so close” feeling and they’ll give it another go.”

Hard To Cancel Subscriptions

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Someone answered, “The easy-to-join, difficult-to-cancel subscription model.”

Someone shared an example: “The Wall Street Journal makes you telephone them to cancel your online subscription. They have the technology to accept subscriptions online. But not to cancel them online.”

That Companies Care About You

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Someone wrote, “That large global companies actually care about you.”

Spoiler alert: they don’t.


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Ticketmaster has gotten a lot of hate recently, and for good reason.

Someone wrote, “I used them to go see my first comedian. Got two seats priced at $90 each. My total was $313. I’m not good at math, but I knew something was wrong there. Their fee per ticket is just nuts. I ended up getting seats that were about $45 each, and it still cost me almost $200.”

Reddit Awards

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Someone answered, “Reddit awards.” Ironically, this answer received quite a few Reddit awards.

“This person said something real cool. I’m gonna pay this company to give them nothing!” someone commented.

Buying a Star

Woman look at starry sky night astrological concept
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“A waste of your cash and time. The only organisation that can name a star is International Astronomical Union,” someone wrote.

“Besides, you can do it for yourself for free in your backyard. No one’s gonna know if you renamed Betelgeuse Marty, that’s between you two,” someone offered.


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via DepositPhotos.com.

“The subscription based economy,” someone answered.

Another added, “This makes me so angry. Why does everything have to be a subscription now? I mean, I know why, but I still hate it.”

The reason is to make companies more money.

American Healthcare

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One of the biggest scams is the American healthcare system.

“Paying exorbitant amounts of money for health insurance, and still having to pay boatloads of cash for any doctor/hospital visits,” someone wrote.


Bodyguard Standing Against Woman And Private Jet
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“MegaChurches on TV and elsewhere,” someone wrote.

Another added that they don’t think megachurches are very Christian, “Nothing would send Jesus into table-flipping mode faster than seeing a megachurch.”

Hustle Culture

Greedy businessman is swimming in water and catching money
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Making money is a good thing, but hustle culture is pretty toxic and can lead people to make some bad decisions.

“Bought a “gold” membership in a greeting card MLM so I could send unlimited custom cards. My “coach,” thought I was taking it seriously as a money maker (plus he wanted me to recruit more people for his downline). He actually asked, “Are there any friendships you can leverage?” Yeah, that made my skin crawl…” someone shared.

Health Not Covering Eyes and Teeth

Playful Young Woman Holding Toothbrush in Bathroom
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“How the f*** does HEALTH insurance not cover dental and vision? What kind of shenanigans is that?” someone wrote.

Someone added, “And dental insurance basically covers nothing besides my yearly cleaning, it seems. I have an uncommon condition that basically necessitates I get some implants. My dentist has explained that I need this and that I’m in pain and could potentially get an infection that could be really bad for my health. But my insurance says it’s purely cosmetic so they won’t pay for any of it.”

Mom Language

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This one is kind of funny, so I added it in!

“Mom: tell me the truth, and I won’t be mad,” wrote one person.

Another added, “My dad used to say: “I’m going to ask you something. And before you answer, I want you to know I already know the truth.” 50/50 he was lying, and I had to decide if I wanted to risk it all. Either way, he beat me, so it was a real lose/lose.”


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Someone answered, “the cost of education.”

A few people pointed out that this is a specific American thing. “This is clearly not a global thing. Here in Denmark, the government is paying you a stipend to study and allow optional payment as a very cheap loan. They know that they will get a better quality educated workforce, when students don’t have to worry about making ends meet. Even textbooks only comes to about 4-600 bucks a year on average. You Americans are getting royally shafted with every tuition.”

Love Your Job

woman office worker with head in her hands with stuff in box indicating unemployment
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khosrork via DepositPhotos.com.

Someone answered, “‘Do what you love for a living, and you’ll never work a day in your life!’ Pure b****** that will kill any enjoyment that you ever had for it.”

Someone added, “This and thinking you need to turn every hobby into a money hustle. Like can’t you just enjoy woodworking without wanting to be a professional carpenter?”

5-Day and 40-Hour Work Week

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Someone answered, “The five-day/40hr+ work week.”

Another responded with, “Cries in 60-70 hr work weeks… But hey, I’m breaking 130k/ year, so this self exploitation is working for me!! ….. /s I need a new job fam.”

Work for the Rest of Our Lives

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“That we’re supposed to work for the rest of our lives,” someone responded.

Another added, “This is the correct answer. We work more hours on average today than peasants did under feudalism . Not only this, but in the 1930’s one of the fathers of modern economics, John Maynard Keynes, predicted that with projected efficiency gains, by the year 2000 we’d only need to work 15 hours a week to maintain a comfortable and modern standard of living. Not only did we achieve those productivity gains, we actually DOUBLED them.

We could be working 7-hour weeks today and taking 6-day weekends, but instead we’re working the same hours we were when he made his predictions nearly a hundred years ago now. Why? Because the efficiency dividend didn’t go to the workers, the capitalists and the CEO’s pocketed the lot of it – just look at graphs of workers vs CEO salaries over time, and the rise of the über rich. We’re being screwed and cheated, and royally so.”

This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved. 

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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.