20 Legitimate Opportunities That People Wrongly Dismiss as Scams

Scams are prevalent in today’s society, and with the rise of the internet, they have become more sophisticated and convincing. However, not everything people consider a scam is actually fraudulent. There are some things that look like scams but aren’t!

Not a Scam

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In fact, many legitimate opportunities are often dismissed as scams because people don’t fully understand them.

A Reddit user asked, “What do people THINK is a scam, but they actually don’t understand it?” The question received a bunch of comments, which were quite intriguing, ngl.


blonde woman artist paints a colorful picture
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bezikus via DepositPhotos.com.

A user commented, “Doing a piece of art takes time, talent, and effort. Some people want a detailed piece of art that will take hours to complete, and want it for free. Even if you’re a friend or family member, it’s still a lot of time and work. Please pay artists for their work. I’m begging you.”

To this, another person added, “As a general rule, if you’ve requested something from someone and they spent their time on it, offer to compensate them generously. Especially if it’s someone you know well and will continue interacting with frequently.”

Well to be honest, crafting any kind of art is no piece of cake, and should be compensated properly.

Unemployment Benefits

Anxious woman looking at money dollars offered by suspicious people
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A person shared their experience by saying, “There are many that I’ve worked with that didn’t understand that unemployment payments aren’t “handouts from the government. One employee who truly was let go for no reason other than downsizing just refused to take it no matter how much I tried to explain it to him. It was sad because he really needed it and just couldn’t understand that the employer pays into the unemployment fund specifically for this kind of thing.”

Another one said, “It’s the shame and stigma associated with unemployment. I’ve had to convince people, that it’s money you put into a system for just this reason.”

Credit Cards

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A user mentioned, “my mom thinks sites that accept credit card payments are a scam.”

To this, another user replied, “Y’know what”ll really blow her mind? Assuming you live in the US, at restaurants, you hand your server your credit card. They DISAPPEAR and do God knows what with your card information, then return 5 minutes later.”

Don’t we all know at least one person still believes credit cards are fraud in this age and time?


Generic Versions of Pharmaceutical Drugs

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Someone mentioned, “Generic/store brand versions of Tylenol, Aleve, etc. It’s the same stuff, probably made in the same factory, just with a different label on it. Yet so many I know refuse to buy the generic/store brand because “it costs less, it can’t work as well”.

Another user added more by mentioning, “Not only those but many generic foods are made on the same lines as name brands. Breakfast cereals are a big example. I also can’t for the life of me figure out why people buy name brands of common staples, eggs, salt, sugar, etc.”

It’s a common misconception that anything that’s a cheaper alternative to a big brand won’t be as good as its expensive counterpart.

Paying People for Their Knowledge

Hispanic young woman hands on heart during video call
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One Redditor shared, “People being paid for there time and knowledge. I hear “if you loved animals more and weren’t so greedy you would do this for free” everyday at my job. I would love to into their office and demand their services for free.”

To this, another user replied, “Just ask them if they want to pay your bills, expenses, and feed you (and your family if you have one).”

Wonder how long it would be before we actually begin to recognize people’s talent and its worth instead of downplaying it.

Air in Chips Bag

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FreeProd via DepositPhotos.com.

A user added to this response by saying, “It is nitrogen and it serves a dual purpose. First to protect the chips and second to prevent them going stale. You want your chips to be crispy, you got to have the nitrogen in there”.

Let’s face it, we all have considered the empty space in the chips bags a scam.


Beautiful pregnant woman in fashion dress on pink background
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A user shared their experience, “Having previously travelled to USA, if anything went wrong where I needed medical assistance I would be absolutely {in trouble} without the insurance.”

Someone else also mentioned, “Ain’t just the US. I studied in a country with socialized healthcare for a while. They strongly encouraged foreign students to buy into a health insurance plan, which I of course, ignored because it was a few hundred dollars a year. Ended up paying out of pocket in cash more than that for a single doctor visit. Then twice as much for the prescription.”

Internet Connection Speed

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One user added to the thread by mentioning “Internet Connection Speed” and wrote, “They get 100 Mb per second speeds and think it’s 100 MB per second not realizing it’s only 12.5 MB per second. Then they claim they have slow speeds because they can’t download XYZ game in 4 seconds.”

In response, another user shared, “It surprises me that internet speeds are allowed to be advertised in a measurement that nobody uses for actual file sizes. Seems to me it’s just a way for ISPs to inflate their numbers and prey on people who don’t know a great deal about bits and bytes.”

We bet the majority of us never knew what the speed measure actually meant.

Preventive Dental Maintenance

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sjhuls via DepositPhotos.com.

Someone responded by saying, “I’ve lost count of the people who have proudly told me over the years that having your teeth cleaned by a hygienist is a scam and that plaque is not really a thing.

I’ve also had a surprisingly large number of seemingly rational people tell me that dentists create holes in your teeth so they can scam you with fillings.”

Another one mentioned, “I’ve taken good care of my teeth but trust me. Plaque is real. Enamel loss is real too.”

Selling Gold

Curious Girl Testing Engagement Ring from Boyfriend with Magnifier
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A user wrote this by saying, “People read the papers and see gold price is €45 per gram. Then they search all their gold and come to the store expecting €45 per gram for their 14kt necklace. If they realise they get only €15 they think you are a scammer.”

He also added more to it by mentioning, “And on that note people also seem to think that jewelers change the diamonds for fakes. Which not one single goldsmith will do because a brilliant actually costs them not that much. The time to replace it costs more effort than its worth even if it is a €20000 brilliant. Also they will never take the risk that a customer will have it tested by another jeweler and it turns out to be fake all of the sudden.”

Investing in Stocks

Bitcoin with young woman holding out a smartphone
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A user stated, “Some old people still think stocks are a scam. Or any financial investment for that matter.”

Another user added to this by saying, “Yes. I know an older person who is very proud to have pulled all her money out of mutual funds at a time when the market went down. She seems to have this idea that it all went down and never came back up.”

Do you think putting your hard-earned money into a risky investment is wise?

Higher Salary Bracket

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Someone mentioned that “Getting a raise that gets you to a higher tax bracket. Seriously, people don’t even use google to verify it. When you get a raise, only the portion of the salary that goes above the bracket is getting the higher taxes.”

Another one added, “I’ve had many, many people say this. Older and younger. I am sure companies love that people think this so they can short change them.”

Visiting a Mechanic

Modern luxury car close-up
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An interesting take by a Redditor mentioned, “When the mechanic tells you that your brake pads are completely gone and says it’s just bare metal to metal.”

Someone else added, “I have a brother that’s a dealership mechanic. When he talks to his advisor (or even the customer directly) he give 2 numbers. First: what needs to be fixed (for safety). Second: what should be fixed (before it becomes a safety issue).”

It’s a somewhat common thing to be scammed by mechanics. However, not everyone’s in the same boat. It’s better to have your automobiles checked once every few months.

Recall Notice on Vehicle

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IgorVetushko via Depositphotos.com.

A user wrote, “Alright, guys. Serious s*** here. Go get your recalls fixed. Quit messing around. It’s dangerous business. Call a dealership, ask if there are any recalls, get them done. I mean it.”

In response to this comment, another user added, “Something I learned when car shopping years ago. If you’re worried there’s been a recall on your vehicle, call your local dealership. They’ll ask you for the VIN number. They’ll be able to tell you right away if there’s been a recall.”

Entering a New Password for New Accounts

person hacking a computer
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A user wrote about this, “When you’re making a new account somewhere and it tell you to enter the email and a password for your account some people think they’re asking for the password to your email.”

Another one mentioned, “I’m not remembering two passwords.”

Online Shopping

Teenage girl in sweatshirt holding credit card and digital tablet
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One of the users wrote about the online shopping experience saying, “My grandma thought buying anything online was a scam for years. Amazon, Xbox store, ordering food, etc. She couldn’t understand that you could actually buy stuff with your credit card without going to a physical place or saying it over the phone.”

Another user added about their FIL, “This is the same as my FIL. He boasts regularly that he doesn’t have internet banking and has never bought anything online. Then complains regularly that the bank is only open after work hours on Thursdays.”

Debit Cards

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A user mentioned debit card authorizations, “Debit card authorizations. I work at a hotel and the amount of times we get screamed at because people don’t understand how their debit card works is way too high. Problems with this are almost a daily occurrence.”

Another one added to it by saying, “Some gas pumps only hold $1, so you can effectively get a full tank of gas a day or two before payday.”

Signing Anything

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One of the users wrote, “Literally anything that requires a signature. Confirmation that they’ve seen their doctor’s care plan and we’ve reviewed it with them. Refuse to sign. Financial form that will get them free medications that normally cost >$1000 a month. Refuse to sign. Form that allows us to provide them a nutritional supplement at no additional cost. Refuse to sign. Refusing a flu vaccine that could prevent them and the rest of the clinic from dying over the winter and then also refusing to sign the form confirming that they’ve refused the vaccine.”


Young successful rich businessman lying on floor with dollar bills covering his face
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A user wrote about PayPal, “My mum thinks that PayPal is a very dangerous scam.”

To this, another user added, “The way they handle disputes may as well be a scam.”

Now that’s an interesting take. Have you ever had a bad experience with PayPal?

Family PC Slowing Down

Worried young African American couple looking through bills online
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A user wrote that “Any game downloaded on a family computer, all a family member says is that it has viruses. Sorry that the laptop was already slow, Linda”.

Another one said, “My sister had me come over once to talk to my nephew because he had “messed up the laptop with his games.” A quick check told me that she had installed a torrent client loaded with malware and some other “cracked” versions of programs she refused to pay for.”


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via DepositPhotos.com.

Scams and fraudulent activities will continue to happen in every era. It’s on us to keep ourselves aware not to fall prey to such hazards. We hope this list was comprehensive enough to help you make informed decisions and not face any sort of loss.


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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.