16 Legal Ways To Make Money That Are So Unethical They Should Be Illegal

Everyone is trying to make money the best way they know how. However, there are some professions that, albeit legal, many people frown upon.

While these are not necessarily illegal ways to make money, they are unethical ways to make money and so while the law might not stop you, people may hold you in contempt for making money in this way.

How do we decide what is an unethical way to make money? We polled the internet and these were the ways to make money that people thought were unethical and should be illegal even if they are not currently illegal. 

Payday Loans

Payday Loan
Image Credit: garagestock/Shutterstock.

One user says people who give payday loans take advantage of others’ desperation, “Kicking people with massive interest rates when they are already low on money and are desperate enough to get such a loan.”

One person comes to their rescue, noting that these lenders play a critical role in the economy, “To be fair, people with terrible credit have a high probability of default. So charging insanely high-interest rates is the only way to break even without losing money. Despite their controversy, a lot of these lenders do provide value by providing lending to people that are shunned by the banking system.”

Time Share Opportunity

Image Credit: V_E/Shutterstock.

One user has prepared his family adequately to avoid the snare of timeshare opportunists, “I have a game I’ve played with my son since he was little where I ask if he’d like to buy a timeshare, and he’s supposed to answer no regardless of what incentives are offered. If I accomplish anything in life, it will at least include dissuading him from getting suckered into a timeshare.”

Hoarding and Scalping

Young handsome man with a beard showing italian gesture that means what do you want over white background.
Image Credit: RealPeopleStudio/Shuttterstock.

Hoarders do not always win; according to one user, “I love that all the hoarders of the latest GPUs have all lost significant money because the bitcoin fallout and drop off of mining in general.”

Scalping is legal yet seems wrong, “With scalping, you buy a product that has a limited number and sell for a higher price due to the limited inventory,” says one user.


Close up on businessman holding a wooden block with
Image Credit: Uuganbayar/Shutterstock.

Multi-level marketers are similar to telephone scammers. According to another user, “People in Mlm’s don’t make money; they lose it. I don’t see how these people are any better than telephone scammers but somehow they get away with it on a grand scale, just look at the amount of satellite companies surrounding enagic kangen, and charging you a fee to join, if that’s not a pyramid scheme I’m not sure what is.”

Private Prisons

Crime - Prison Cell Bars
Image Credit: Dan Henson/Shutterstock.

Owners of private prisons seem to be incentivizing arrests to keep their business running, “Incentivizing unnecessary arrests – wHaT cOuLd PoSsIbLy Go WrOnG?!!??!” wondered one user.

Starting a Megachurch

Young woman is worshipping at a service in a church
Image Credit: cmp55/Shutterstock.

One user notes that this is a common practice today, “Starting a megachurch and bleeding your parishioners dry in the name of Jesus,” he says

Jacking up the Price of a Medication

Variety of Non-Proprietary Medicine Bottles and Large Pills on Reflective Surface With Grey Background.
Image Credit: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock.

Adding the price of medication is not legal, but it seems wrong. One user noted, “The first thing I thought of is when they jumped the price of EpiPens for those of us who have severe allergies to something. For me, it’s bee or wasp stings. Thank God we have great insurance, but for those people who don’t, it’s stealing a person’s money.”


American flag waving with the US Capitol Hill in the background
Image Credit: rarrarorro/Shutterstock.

One person puts it bluntly “Politicians are nothing but grifters.” Another adds, “Politicians with vested interests. Often, even if those interests are declared and legal they can be extremely morally ambiguous and involve very unhealthy relationships and give sway to a politician’s priorities.”

Managing Your Daughter’s Adult Content

a mature pretty woman in glasses looking direkt questioning and criticizing.

Image Credit: Irina Takajeva/Shutterstock.One user bluntly says, “Kris Jenner was ahead of the curve on that one, lol.”


Pastor with a Bible in his hand during a sermon. The preacher delivers a speech
Image Credit: MVolodymyr/Shutterstock.

They sell miracles to a vulnerable audience; according to one user, “I legit once saw a man on TV on one of those shows where they just advertise their products, and they have a number in the corner that you call to buy the product. Idk what those shows are called. Anyways, this man was basically telling people to send in 49.99 to earn God’s favor and basically assure your place in heaven.”

Working for Big Tobacco

Portrait of selfish senior man crossing hands on his chest..
Image Credit: Koldunov/Shutterstock,

This is a legal job with deathly consequences. One person notes, “You’re selling death, and everyone, including you, knows it.” Another adds, “Production and sale of tobacco products. Even people who smoke (I know them personally) curse those who sell cigarettes because having a temptation to buy them makes it harder for them to quit smoking.”


Portrait of offended dissatisfied woman with stylish hairstyle wear purple shirt staring open mouth isolated on blue color background.
Image Credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.

One user shares her experience with this job, “Someone on Reddit told me last week that I have no morals & compared my job to someone that’s a child predator, committed domestic abuse & does drugs while their toddler is in the car.”

Septic Inspector

Opening septic tank lid. Cleaning and unblocking septic system and draining pipes.
Image Credit: KaliAntye/Shutterstock.

They perform a critical job, yet people frown on them, “Hard to hold onto a wife when she has to hold her nose to tell her friends you are a septic inspector, “ said one person

Bill Collectors

Man angry at bills he needs to pay.
Image Credit: Elnur/Shutterstock.

They are troublesome and disturb everyone as they look to get paid. One user says, “Just spam calling the individual, family members, etc. Making threatening calls and texts. It wild this is legal. I truly believe they are the scum of the earth. You can get another job.”

Drop Shipping

Wow. Attractive male half-length front portrait on coral studio backgroud. Young emotional surprised bearded man standing with open mouth. Human emotions, facial expression concept. Trendy colors.
Image Credit: Master1305/Shutterstock.

Selling other companies’ own while marked up seems illegal, says another user, “Drop shipping, basically buying a bunch of a super cheap product from China and selling it online as your own original product for a much more expensive price.”

Used Car Sales

man very frustrated in car.
Image Credit: olly18 via DepositPhotos.com.

A user points out that these are very dishonest people, “The only people reliably more dishonest than a used car salesman are the retail customers trading in their cars to the used car salespeople.”

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude From Their Shopping List

Old Man in a hat as a cowboy.
Image Credit: Thomas Mucha/Shutterstock.

Frugal people are known to spend their money wisely. They live within their means and don’t spend a lot of money. According to a thread on Quora, here are some common things frugal people never buy.

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude from Their Shopping List

23 Side Hustles You Never Considered That Make More Than Your 9 to 5

woman warrior. woman holding sword
Image Credit: Avrora-Andrey via DepositPhotos.com.

Have you ever wanted to make a lot of money from a side hustle and quit your 9 to 5? You may know about the typical side hustles, but I bet you never even heard of these lucrative side hustles!

23 Side Hustles You Never Considered That Make More Than Your 9 to 5

9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

woman laying under knitted blanket
Image Credit: serezniy via DepositPhotos.com.

Not everything is frugal! I am sure you have read articles and tips that promote frugal living and give some ideas that are just not frugal! These frugal myths float around and sometimes even cost people a lot of money!

9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

10 Stupid Scams People Won’t Stop Falling For

Doctor in corruption concept with being offered bribe.
Image Credit: Elnur/Shutterstock.

It seems like every day there is a new scam popping up, promising to make you rich or solve all of your problems. Yet, despite the prevalence of scams and the numerous warnings about them, people still fall for them.

10 Stupid Scams People Won’t Stop Falling For

20 Hilariously Outdated Pieces of Boomer Advice That Leave Millennials in Stitches

Hipster style bearded man.
Image Credit: Lemon Tree Images/Shutterstock.

From lectures on frugality to hard work, Baby Boomer advice is never in short supply. But what happens when that wisdom doesn’t seem to fit with the experiences of a millennial? Some advice needs to be left in the past.

20 Hilariously Outdated Pieces of Boomer Advice That Leave Millennials in Stitches



This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.