20 Professions That People Think Are a Scam

Let’s face it; every profession has its fair share of scams and dubious characters. From the snake oil salesmen of the past to modern-day internet fraudsters, dishonest people have always tried to exploit naive people for personal gain.

One Redditor asked, “What profession do you consider to be a bunch of scam artists?” Now, this thread received thousands of comments, and we have listed the most interesting one’s for you!

1. The Rich Books

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A discerning Reddit user commented, “the Author of any “how to get rich book”. “I can show you how to be a billionaire. $29.95 please.””

Another replied, “The reason I know that the “how to get rich books” don’t work is because none of them start off with “first I read this how to get rich book.””

Have you ever encountered one of those books promising that you’ll be swimming in cash by next Tuesday? Yeah, those are the ones we need to be skeptical about. Look, building wealth takes time and hard work. Anyone who tells you that you can skip the blood, sweat, and tears and go from zero to zillionaire overnight is wasting your time and money!

2. Timeshare Salespeople

Inscription "Timeshare" in the sand on a tropical island, Maldives.
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Here’s the thing: when you buy a timeshare, you’re not really buying a piece of property- you’re buying a slice of an overpriced vacation nightmare!

One said, “My wife and I sat through a presentation to get a discount on tickets on some of the attractions while on honeymoon. We were told it was like a 90-minute thing. I thought, what the hell, it’ll save us some money.

4 hours later, we are still listening to this guy go on and on. When he finally finished, we said no. Then he got offended and, at one point, said I don’t need to sell you one today because I sell 4 of these things a week. He got someone higher up than him, and I think the lowest was like $100 something. Still said no.

At the end, we wasted 4 hours of our time. I tend to think of we wasted 4 hours of his time, and it all makes me feel better. Edit: I forgot to mention a few years after all this happened a wildfire broke out and burned the place to the ground.”

Someone else added, “Me and my boyfriend sat through one 90-minute presentation so we could get 3 free night stay in Vegas. We were set on not buying it. The sales guy got so mad that we said no, he started trying to break us up, saying to each of us, “You are saying no cause you know this relationship won’t last; one of you should buy it now so you are not tied to each other” we said thanks for the presentation and left, still got our 3 nights free and had a great time. That was 8 years ago, we are still together; that guy didn’t realize what kind of bond he was dealing with.”

3. Ticketmaster

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Let’s kick things off with those so-called “convenience” fees that Ticketmaster loves to throw in our faces. Seriously, what’s convenient huge sums for the privilege of purchasing tickets online? 

A Reddit user wrote, “The day I become president, Ticketmaster is done. The only convenience fee allowed will be them paying you; sorry for the convenience.”

Another added, “It would actually be cheaper for me to drive 20 min to the venue and order from the box office 😄”

4. Telemarketers

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Okay, seriously, what’s the deal with these unsolicited calls? They’ve got a script ready and won’t take no for an answer. They’ll try every trick in the book, from flattery to fear tactics, all hoping to convince you to buy something you don’t need.

One Redditor stated, “Telemarketing is one of the worst jobs on earth, so it’s really its own punishment.”

Someone else replied, “I always get at least one call a week from any telemarketing. Solution, starting to block the numbers.”

Another responded, “Especially the ones that don’t take the first no for an answer. Move on, dude I don’t need product you’re selling, and your constant talking past my first no is just gonna lead to a hangup.

Also, love those callers who just blind call you with no information. Hi, how are you? We are looking to reduce health insurance for seniors over 65, what is your current age? Not 65? (Click) and they hang up on you.”

5. MLMs

Close up on businessman holding a wooden block with "Multi level marketing" message
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A Reddit user wrote, “To be fair, MLMs are full of both scam artists and victims.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Yeah, but once you’re in there and you realize what’s going on, but still decide to prey on others, then you suck, too. And I think even guilting your friends and family into buying your wares is also a jerk move.”

Someone else added, “MLM. I am fascinated that this seems to be a market exclusively for women. There are hundreds of pyramid schemes aimed at women. There’s no male equivalent to the Avon lady.”

These pyramid-scheming scam artists will promise you the moon and the stars, but in reality, they’re just after your cash.

6. Chiropractors

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Chiropractors claim that they can align your spine and fix all sorts of health issues just by cracking your back. They’ll tell you that it’s not just about relieving back pain but also curing everything from allergies to constipation. But hold up, hold up! Where’s the scientific evidence to back up these claims? 

Someone on Reddit said, “Chiropractors. A lot of people think it’s legitimate because it just looks like physical therapy at first glance. But chiropractic is based on nonsensical mysticism that claims re-aligning your spine will cure all sorts of ailments. It’s worse than useless because chiropractors have been known to cripple patients by breaking their spines. And yet, there are people bringing babies to them for treatment.”

Someone else commented, “Indeed. They alleviate the symptoms, not treating the problem, so lots of repeat business. Also, they’re not medically certified and aren’t required to carry malpractice insurance. My dad knew an obstetrician who made $30k per baby delivering babies in the 80s but had to have $2 million in insurance that quit to become a chiropractor and was making more money after the job change.”

7. Quantum Healers

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So, you walk into a session with a quantum healer, and what do you hear? A bunch of mind-boggling terms like quantum entanglement, vibrational frequencies, and energy healing. It’s like they’ve memorized a few chapters from a physics textbook, right?

But hold up! When you start digging deeper and asking for scientific evidence to back up their claims, they start tap-dancing around the subject. Sounds shady!

One said, “I’ve been interested in physics/quantum mechanics, and I made the terrible mistake of searching “quantum physics” in Tiktok. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I deleted Tiktok after that.”

Another person added, “I bet a “quantum healer” doesn’t have a clue of what quantum is. I never met one who knew what he was talking about.”

8. Carnival Barkers

Great Entertainer | Ticket Seller, Retro American Carnival Barker
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Someone shared, “Carnival barkers trying to lure you to a rigged / unwinnable game of hit the pins where they are glued to the table.”

A user responded, “My daughter, when I first took her to a fair, was at that cute adorable age where they were just giving her prizes. The rest of her childhood kept wanting to play games, and I had to be all “no they did that because you were cute the games are rigged.””

You pay to play the game, thinking that’s it, but surprise, surprise! Suddenly, there are additional charges for extra balls, special darts, or upgraded prizes!

9. Insurance Companies

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One user shared, “Insurance companies. You pay for the coverage, and if they have to pay out, you’re penalized.”

Another added, “My vision insurance for the family is $30 a month, and the copays for an optometrist visit is $50. For that, you get a $130 frame allowance and $60 for the lens. Only my son and I use the “benefit.” After shopping around, I realized it’s cheaper to have no vision insurance and pay the out-of-pocket cost at Costco.”

Let’s talk about those premium payments- they’re a never-ending drain on our bank accounts. They promise to protect us and give us peace of mind, but sometimes it feels like we’re just throwing our hard-earned cash into a bottomless pit!

10. Politicians

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Politicians will say anything and everything to get our votes. Lower taxes, affordable healthcare, better education, you name it, and they’ve got a catchy slogan for every issue. But you soon realize that they were just empty promises. 

Someone said, “Politicians. They tell you what you want to hear, get money from you to run for office, get your vote to be elected, but once in office, they don’t really do anything for you unless you are rich.”

One Reddit user wrote, “While the majority of their money comes from the rich, corporations, and special interest groups, there are plenty of regular people who donate some amount of money to politicians as well. Just because you don’t give them money doesn’t mean there aren’t other people who do.”

11. Psychics

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Someone said, “Psychics. Especially the ones who prey on those who have lost loved ones. When Grandma died, one of my cousins got suckered by a Psychic. She recorded a session for my Mom, and it was the most BS I ever heard.”

Another added, “My husband’s aunt lost her teenage son in a tragic and painful accident and has spent thousands on psychics trying to find some peace. I know those people fleeced her for years, and now she has some bad ideas about how long each person gets on this planet and why. The whole thing has messed up her relationships with her other children.”

Another user commented, “This, my goodness. I’ve seen 3 different “psychics” and every single time was funnier than the last. An absolute sham every time. Was approached by a psychic once when a friend and I got locked out of our car in the middle of nowhere Arizona. 

Said she’d give us readings if we gave her gas money, and we went for it. She told my friend that she was connected to angels and had psychic abilities herself, but that misfortune was coming her way. The issue was, she couldn’t tell what was going to happen, BUT if we gave her 2 large men’s shirts, 3 pairs of men’s jeans, and $2000 she would bury the clothing and cash in the mesa and pray over it for a week straight to help my friend avoid the tragedy. Good times.”

Who hasn’t come across those advertisements promising to predict your future or connect you with departed loved ones? The world of psychics invites major skepticism due to the lack of evidence supporting their claims.

12. Real Estate Agents

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So, you’re on the hunt for your dream home, and who shows up? Your friendly neighborhood real estate agent, armed with a smile and a stack of property listings. These realtors will then try to squeeze every last dollar out of a property, listing it at an inflated price that’s nowhere near its actual value. 

One wrote, “Lawyer here. I agree with Real Estate Agents. There is really no specialized training or knowledge held by a real estate agent that makes buying or selling a home by a “normal” person difficult. Most of the “hard” parts of selling a home (title transfer, sales contract, etc.) are handled by lawyers anyway even when using a real estate agent.

Real estate agents took over the housing market to the point they’ve effectively made private sales of homes borderline impossible. You’ll have difficulty finding a home to buy or being shown a home without a real estate agent since they control all the online listings. Similarly, you’ll have the same problem selling your home. They made themselves indispensable and necessary. They should not be.”

Someone else said, “I loved that my real estate agent would send Zillow links, or we would send them to her and say “we’d like to look at these houses” and I thought the whole time real estate agents are pointless now that everything is online. They send canned documents with your info inserted and where to sign, then collect their commission for doing nothing.”

13. Car Salespeople

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Picture this: you walk onto the dealership lot, eyes wide with excitement, ready to score a sweet ride. But what do you encounter? Car salespeople ready to pounce on you like hungry lions. And suddenly, you’re hit with dealership fees, documentation fees, and who knows what else!

A Redditor wrote, “Car salesman, and more specifically their sales and finance managers, are scum. I hate to generalize, but I worked in the industry for almost two years and work against them (sort of) for the last 5. Every dealership I have ever dealt with is filled with jerk who will say anything to make the sale. The amount of lies I catch them in every day is staggering.”

Someone else agreed and said, “I work in automotive finance, and I agree with you 99%. Every single person in this industry that I’ve met has fit the stereotype to a T. I say 99% because there’s one dealership I work with where nobody on their 3-man staff fits the stereotype.

They are VERY upfront and honest, they don’t pull shady stuff with the banks to try and get someone approved who shouldn’t be approved, and they have a free warranty on all of their cars; even the $2999 beater out back gets a free engine/transmission warranty. They also do BHPH/in-house financing, but they charge 0% interest on it AND won’t repo unless the car is like 2-3 months behind; none of that 10 days late, and you’re done nonsense.

And wouldn’t you know it, customers seem to prefer them over the other places. They have great reviews online, they get A LOT of repeat business, and they’ve got a great reputation. If they can make a killing by being upfront and honest (their lowest-paid sales staff made $140k last year), it just proves that everyone else in the industry is being a jerk for no reason.

It’s 2023; people can do their research these days, there’s no need to lie about ANYTHING during the car-buying process. I wish more dealerships were like this one. Again though, everyone else I’ve ever met in the industry fits the stereotype.”

14. Recruiters

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Someone said, “Recruiters, the whole concept is a lie. While they say they want to find long-lasting employees for employers, they attempt same time, are constantly undermining stability and making huge money to do it. If I have a 100k budget for a position, I’d rather give it all to the employee than 80 to them and 20 to a recruiter who made a 10-minute phone call.”

Another elaborated, “My favorite are the Indian callers. You may or may not be actively looking, but these dudes will barely try to keep your attention and even constantly mess up your first name.”

These recruiters focus more on their cut than finding the right fit for you. They’ll push you into roles that aren’t a good match or try to convince you to accept a lower salary just so they can close the deal and move on.

15. Cryptocurrency 

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Someone commented, “Anyone dealing in cryptocurrency.”

Another replied, “There’s a hard limit to how much of a given cryptocurrency can even exist in the world at any one time, so right from the get-go, it’s mathematically impossible to make money in crypto without someone else losing money.”

Someone said, “My main issue is the whole “this will subvert government-issued fiat currencies” thing. Like, maybe. Probably not, though. Every year, they give a little more into government regulation, and people celebrate it because it “brings stability” to the system. The thing is, it mostly just reduces them into semi-liquid securities, not the system revolutionizing currency replacement that these investment bro’s still tout to this day.”

Are you into Cryptocurrency, or do you think it’s a scam?

16. Homeopathy

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Homeopathy seems to thrive on the power of belief. They’ll tell you that their remedies are potent and tailored specifically for you, creating a sense of trust and hope. But guess what? The healing you experience might be a result of your own mind tricking you into feeling better. 

A Redditor shared, “In Germany, there is a profession called Heilpraktiker, which just means they try to scam you with homeopathy.

You don’t have to prove that you heal (duh.) as people who study medicine or psychology have to, you just have to prove that you don’t cause harm …. tells you all you need to know.”

Another responded, “Worked in a camp with disabled who needed a lot of medication and care. Naturally, their immune systems are heavily compromised, and a simple fever can kill them if unhandled.

The ‘heilpraktiker’ didn’t mention to us that his client was sick for the whole day..he was trying to heal him with his magical hands. Luckily our supervisor got suspicious about them missing dinner. Found him barely breathing in his room with the charlatan shrugging and be like, “I was working on him; couple more hours, and he would have been healed.””

17. Life Coach

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Here’s the thing: the coaching industry isn’t regulated, so anyone can call themselves a life coach without any formal training or qualifications. 

One user said it all by sharing a personal experience: “life coaches. My parents died when I was 10 and 13 years old, and my dad chose his friend to be the trustee of their finances for me until I turn 30. Right when the pandemic hit in March 2020, this trustee friend noticed I was showing symptoms of anxiety. So he forced me to see his friend, who was a life coach, 2x a week via 1.5-hour-long phone appointments. 

If I refused, he wouldn’t send me money for food, school, bills, healthcare, etc. (The trust terms specifically said the money was to be used for my well-being and education.) I was told, “If you don’t want to see the life coach, get a job.” The whole world had just shut down. They knew what they were doing. I was fortunate to have this money to support me, but they were using it as a weapon.

The life coach fully believed in his weird self-founded “Paradox Cure” which was some stupid visualization exercise he tried to do with me over the phone. It was basically just “Ok imagine what you want your life to be like. Are you inspired now? Is your life changed?”.

He was also a Tantric Intimacy Educator, apparently, and asked me repeated, unwanted questions about intimacy. I was twenty. He was fifty-two. Also, if I said anything he didn’t like, he’d tell the trustee to penalize me via the money he sent me every month. When I said I needed a break from our sessions to study for finals, he said no, and threatened to tell the trustee to not send me any money for the month, Isn’t a life coach supposed to support my goals, not stand in the way of them?

Also, they were making huge life decisions for me. They told me I was moving out of my parent’s house, and they were getting me an apartment near the university several towns away (maybe so my housing status would also be in danger if I disobeyed them). I said no because I enjoy having my freedom and one of the few remaining connections to my parents. They both refused. I wasn’t a minor. I was twenty. Why the heck was this random life coach allowed to make major life decisions on my behalf? I felt trapped.

The life coach charged ridiculous amounts: $150/hr plus unspecified “prep work”. In total, $6000+ of my dead parents’ money went to some grifter. I’m still upset. I paid $6000, and all I got was trauma and self-harm issues.

I finally got rid of the life coach and the trustee in July 2020 because lawyers got involved, and the trustee knew he was boned if we took him to court since he forced me into this situation and technically violated the terms of the trust. I have a new trustee now who is an actual professional and knows what they’re doing. But I’ll never see that money again.

I have no respect for life coaches. They have no regulations they have to abide by, and their practices often aren’t based on actual, empirical science. There’s a reason counseling requires years and years of schooling. Most of them have no clue what they’re doing and strive to suck money from vulnerable people. I was literally a client who couldn’t say no.”

18. Art Dealers

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Art dealers will hike up the prices of artworks simply because of their connections. They’ll inflate prices based on trends and personal preferences, making it seem like a painting is worth its weight in gold when, in reality, it’s just a canvas with some paint splatters. 

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Few things blew my mind like when I found out a lot of the art world is just money laundering.”

Another replied, “Commission a painting for $100,000. Get it appraised at $2,000,000. Donate to museum. Get $2,000,000 tax deduction and pay $700,000 less in taxes.”

19. Management Consultants

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A Redditor wrote, “When you realize their job is to be the scapegoat for a policy that actual management wanted to implement but knew would be unpopular, they make a lot more sense.”

Another person added, “Former consultant here; this guy is right. I will say ethics are an issue in the industry. Idk what it is about sleaze balls that attract them to this job, but I’ve worked with a lot of them. Needless to say, I have since left the field.”

Another person pitched in to say, “I work in the public sector, and we brought in a consultant to lead the organization for a couple years. I’d say everything is going swimmingly, but all they did was reiterate to the board of directors what we’d been telling them for years, but because it’s coming from somebody we’re paying half a million a year to, they’re actually listening. It sucks that this company is getting the credit for our ideas, but at least we’re seeing them get implemented, so I can’t complain too much.”

Let’s not forget about the sky-high price tags that consultants often slap on their services. They’ll charge you an arm and a leg for their expertise. And when the results don’t match, they’ll conveniently blame external factors or claim that the benefits are intangible.

20. Debt Consolidation Companies

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Someone commented, “Debt relief and debt consolidation companies. I work in finance and actually interact with these reps, and the whole thing is just a scam lol.”

Someone else replied, “I love how they prey on people with bad credit because they know that they’re going to default on the loan, and they’ll still get their money through insurance. I feel bad for their victims, of course, but you’ve gotta admit that it’s a pretty clever way to make a few bucks.”

Consolidating our debts doesn’t magically make them disappear. We still have to pay off what we owe, and it can take time to get back on track!

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.