16 Scams That Are So Normalized You Might Not Even Realize They’re Happening

We all like to think we’re super savvy when it comes to scams and looking out for ourselves, both online and in real life, but the truth is, we can all get duped. There are new things coming around, but also, there are scams that are so common that they seem normal, so you might not even realize what’s going on.

These 16 people have some suggestions on these kind of “normal” scams, so take notes and watch your back out there going forward!

16. It’s not a great deal.


Friends of mine got a great deal on a cabin with the caveat that they go and sit through one of those timeshare sales pitches. I reminded them to stay strong and not to underestimate the salesmanship of the timeshare salespeople while I watched their daughter. They assured me they had no intention of buying anything.

They came back with a timeshare. And they love it still, three years later. Timeshare salespeople are not to be underestimated. Everyone is vulnerable to persuasion.

15. Just tell us the price.

‘Service fees’ are just an artificial way to pretend prices are lower than they really are. ‘That’s only $15! (Plus $10 in service fees)’ just say its $25!

14. They need you to fail.

Branded Diets. No company that you pay to help you diet is invested in your success. They make money when you fail and keep returning.

They’re all a scam. You’re more likely to end up with an eating disorder than permanent weight loss.

13. We keep doing it.

Getting students/interns to work for free while treating them poorly.

Even better is when you have to intern for your major for free, and then you have to pay for the college credits on top of that.

12. Shouldn’t it cost the same?

Dealerships, I don’t underhand how 2 people could buy the same exact product/trim/style/features and pay 2-10k difference.

Edit: to everyone saying there is no supply, because of shortages. Then sell if for full price MSRP. Isn’t that what it is for? Don’t give discounts and don’t give out incentives. What problem do dealership sales employees solve to justify getting paid so much?

11. Because we have no idea.

So many scams in dentistry. I’ve been in the industry for 12 years and it’s amazing how common it is. So easy to tell someone they need a bunch of treatment they don’t really need.

Years back my dentist told me I might have a cavity in between the cusps of one of my molars, but he couldn’t tell for sure. He asked me to come back in a few days and he would drill into it to check. If it was a cavity, he’d fill it. If it wasn’t … well, he’d fill the tooth anyway because he’d just drilled a hole into it.

Decided to go to another practice. New dentist carefully examined it, gave me a (free)dental x-ray just to confirm, and said “yeah that’s a stain”.

10. And prices just keep going up.

Funeral industry.

When my mother died, my father bought the cheapest casket available on principle (my mother would have agreed). We got some strange looks at the funeral when everyone saw the obviously inexpensive casket.

Unfortunately a lot of people still equate the cost/quality of the casket with how much the person was loved or valued.

9. You’ll never remember to cancel it.

Free trials that auto enroll you at the end.

Any free trial that needs my credit card I skip. Free is free, if I like it I’ll buy it.

8. And believe me, they do.

Congressman can use insider trading legally.

7. Just say no.

Unpaid overtime.

Any work you can’t complete in your paid hours should be done by an extra employee the company pays for.

By doing unpaid overtime you are ‘paying’ for the cost of your time and donating that to your employer.

If a company can’t afford to pay its employees for all their time working and still remain profitable they are not a viable business and need to restructure their processes and/or pricing.

If they can afford to pay it but choose not to they are stealing from you.

6. Deceptive practices.

The BBB. It’s a private company that had a ridiculously successful marketing campaign in the 80’s and 90’s and somehow got people to believe that they are government affiliated and have power over companies.

Similar deceptive practices to Yelp.

5. They’re everywhere.

Fake reviews.

They are everywhere now. I don’t even trust Reddit or YouTube comments sometimes because I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s company plants commenting about how great their product is.

4. We still kind of love them.

A lot of people don’t realize that Avon is an MLM, even though they make great products you can by from me and my referral link /jk

Seriously there is a special place in my heart for Avon ladies. My mom was being abused and beaten in her first marriage. An Avon lady came knocking on her door (like you did back then) noticed the bruises and just forced herself in under the guise of helping her with makeup. Was able to observe my mom even more and it was a good excuse that didn’t make her husband suspicious (abusive people don’t want you to have friends usually). Eventually they became besties and my mom escaped to the Avon lady’s house the night she finally decided to leave him. They’re still best friends today.

Some women need others checking on them. Wish it wasn’t to scam them though lol.

3. They’re predators.

Rent to Own, coming from someone who worked for Rent A Center for 3 1/2 years

I worked for RTO Rents for about a year in California. Our only customers were people who had no chance at buying a TV, VCR, stereo, or appliance outright or even on credit. “We provide a service for underprivileged clients!”

No, you prey on unfortunate victims who have no other recourse but come to you and pay 300% of the actual value. Couldn’t stomach it and got out.

2. I like the ice, though.

Cups with so much ice that you only get 4 oz of a drink in a 20 oz cup.

1. So many extra fees.

Extra fees on travel or actually any e-commerce purchase. Convenience fees or whatever you name them.

Ticketmaster is an evil monopoly that sucks the life out of my concert going experience! I will never get over it.

Honestly, these are just regular parts of society these days, right or wrong.

Can you think of something else that belongs on this list? If so, drop it in the comments!