The Big Scam? 18 Things That Are Really Just One Giant Rip-Off

Are you tired of being fooled by companies and their marketing tactics? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of 18 things that are secretly just one big scam. Get ready to uncover the truth about some of the biggest rip-offs out there.

What Thing Is Secretly Just One Giant Scam?

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Someone asked, “What thing is secretly just one giant scam?” and the responses are eye-opening, to say the least!
Here are some of the top responses.

Some answers have been lightly edited for length and clarity. 

Baby Industry

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“The whole baby product industry is based on making parents feel worthless and irresponsible if they don’t shill out for things that will be outgrown or unnecessary in six months,” one person wrote.

Related: How To Get Free Baby Stuff: Free Baby Samples & More 

Ink Cartridges for Your Printer

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Someone answered, “Ink cartridges for your printer are super cheap to manufacture, but the retail price is really high.”

Another added, “This is not even the real scam! The real scam is chipping the cartridges to make it hard to use third-party cartridges!”

Adobe Subscriptions

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Someone said, “Adobe’s subscription-based monopoly.”

Another said, “Anything subscription based these days just irks me. It’s understandable if there are constant updates, but still annoying. I do say that, as an aspiring designer trying to make it, using Adobe’s platform and products will help me be received into the positions that I am pursuing.”

Corporate Owned Apartment Complexes

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One person said, “Corporate-owned apartment complexes tacking on hundreds of extra dollars in monthly fees on top of rent. Mandatory cable TV packages, parking fees (on a flat surface lot, with no assigned parking), valet trash. All a scam and just a way for them to pocket incremental sales on top of rent.”

One person shared, “I was shocked to tour an apartment where you had to buy the $100+/mo cable package. Nobody I know has cable anymore!”


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One person wrote a bit of a rant, “All of the casinos in my state are video poker and video slot machines. There are barely any table games left.

No one is happy, no one is having fun. It’s just a room full of zombies feeding the machines and losing money. Every person I talk to is convinced that they know the secret formula to win. You cannot win.

It might sound trivial but the old slots were just a spinning reel. These new machines are extremely addictive. The way the lights flash and the sounds go off like: “Bing Bing BING. WINNER of 40 cents”. The entire thing is a psychology hack to give people the impression that they’re winning when they’re not.”


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“Anything that says it will detox your body. That’s what your kidneys are for,” someone wrote. “And the liver,” someone added.

Magic Drink

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“Any claim that a ‘magic’ drink will help you burn fat. No, no drink or no food can burn that — that is a pure fabrication,” someone wrote.

Someone replied, “‘Yeah, but I lost weight,’ You were consuming 200 calories a day for two weeks; starvation is, in fact, slimming. The brain fog, persistent nausea, and shaking were not ‘toxins leaving your body'”


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“Recycling plastics,” someone wrote, “Recycling plastics. Less than 10% of plastic waste is actually recycled.”

Another added, “We can blame the plastic lobby for that. They are allowed to put the recyclable symbol on anything. Whether it is recyclable or not. Materials which are not recyclable slows down the process and damages equipment.  Single use plastics are the literal worst. In case people don’t already know how plastic is made..its main ingredient is a derivative of fossil fuels like natural gas.”

Multi-Level Marketing Companies

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“All multi-level marketing companies,” someone answered, “They tell you that all you have to do Is get 5 people to sign up and they each get 5 people to sign up, etc. Except these are not mathematical geniuses running these companies. By the time you get about 12 levels deep, you’ve surpassed the entire population of the Earth. It’s a good lesson in exponents.”

“Moms Losing Money (MLM),” someone quipped.

We Are in This Together

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“Emails and messages from corporates and celebrities that “We are in this together” during the pandemic,” someone wrote.

Another person added, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.” – Damien Barr.”

Essential Oils

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One person wrote, “Essential Oils being marketed as having these major health benefits/as treatment for illnesses. The only exception being clearing your sinuses. Some essential oils actually do pretty good work in that regard (at least for me personally… mileage will vary I’m sure).”


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“In the US, doing my own taxes. The government literally has all my info and can do it for me, but their excuse is that “but Americans like doing their own taxes!”. No. I especially don’t like being forced to pay for a service like TurboTax either,” one person responded.

Bottled Water

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“Bottled water, looking at you, Nestlé,” one person wrote.

Another person shared an interesting and sad fact, “There is less water in the bottle than the water they had to use to produce it.”

The Lottery

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Someone wrote a story, “I work at a place that sells lottery every single day to people. Some people will buy scratch tickets, Powerball, etc. They come back to the counter 5-23 times the same day trading their tickets for more, spending more money because they lost all of the previous winning, or just be in a endless loop of never winning any more and not losing any less. I’ve asked why they do it, and they say because if they don’t hit big it’s not worth the cash. So winning 1-100$ is nothing to them. But they don’t realize even if they do win big they practically are just getting only half back of what they spent trying so hard to get. It’s a lose lose, lottery is indeed a huge *** scam.”

The Wedding Industry

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Someone answered, “The wedding industry.”

One person shared, “My daughter’s reaction was, “This costs as much as a semester at school.” And she was planning it economically. Both school and weddings have gone up since, but I think weddings are ahead.”

Funeral Services

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“Funeral services preying on the grief of loved ones,” someone answered, “I understand that its really for the living to celebrate their lost loved ones, but when I’m done, I just want my family to bury my dead a** in the backyard and throw a bash at the house in my honor. Doubt I’ll mind considering I’m dead.”


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Someone wrote, “Diamonds (but also most jewelry).”

Another wrote, “I have a beautiful moissanite ring that was 1/10th of the cost of an equivalent diamond ring. De Beers can suck it.”

Another added, “Alexandrite changes colour depending on the light it’s exposed too. A great way to propose with an adult mood ring!”

FIFA Games

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One person wrote, “Practically all sports games in general. Fifa is the worse of them, they just copy last year’s game into the new one and slap a different color scheme. You’re basically paying $60 for updated rosters and jerseys.”

Another added a whole layer to the scam, “That’s not even the scam part, the loot box gambling mechanics are worse than casinos. The FIFA scam is they trick you into thinking you are playing a regular old video game but try at every turn to empty your wallet with predatory monetary practices. You’re paying $60 for a ticket into a casino.”

Giant Rip Off

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I hope you enjoyed this list of things that are just a giant rip-off! Before you go, please check out From OK Boomer To Eye Roll: Gen Z and Millennials Are Sick and Tired of These 28 Boomer Comments.

This article was produced and syndicated by 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.