People Are Sharing Scams That Have Become So Normalized You Might Not Notice (23 Posts)

I sure know I’m steaming as I scroll through these ridiculous scams. And that’s just what they are, despite how normalized they may have been. Service fees, MLMs, and a whole host of other annoyances that if we have noticed, we’ve all collectively just shrugged and decided to swallow. What a rage-inducing thought.

Over on Reddit, u/ihatenuts69 recently asked:  

“What scam is so normalized that people don’t even notice?”

And there were plenty of replies to choose from. We grabbed some of the best and put them down below for you.

1. Service fees

“‘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 it’s $25!” —u/srcarruth

2. Chicken wings

“The fact that someone cut a chicken wing in half and managed to convince everyone it was two wings.” –u/GodChangedMyChromies

3. Ice

“Cups with so much ice that you only get 4 ounces of a drink in a 20-ounce cup.” —u/your99thproblem

4. Existing memberships

“The fact that existing customers aren’t automatically moved to better deals once their contract ends. They hope you won’t switch and will pay the premium.” —u/zer0mike

“This is why I left my first apartment complex after a year. They wanted to raise my rent $120 per month. When I told them I would not be renewing, they listed my apartment for the same monthly rate I had been paying all along.” —u/Firedown31

“I just quit my gym membership because of this. They had big posters advertising the new low rate, but they wouldn’t switch me to that without paying an exorbitant fee. Fuck them. I’ll never go to one of their gyms ever again.” —u/Can_I_Read

5. The bane of my existence

“MLMs (multilevel marketing).” —u/ScammerC

“Moms Losing Money.” —u/fr-ank

“It pisses me off how true this is. It’s kicking families at their most stressed out and desperate.” —u/Hexatona

6. Dentistry

“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.” —u/Legacy0904

“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.'” —u/thyIacoIeo

7. Digital fees

“Anything that charges an extra fee for DIGITAL processing. Pay my HOA fee online via bank transfer? Three-dollar fee. Mail in a check? Free. Bonkers.” —u/DMoogle

8. Insurance

“Insurance. You spend most of your life giving them money; then, when you need it, they turn over every stone to figure out how to deny you.” —u/Gravemindzombie

9. Fast fashion

“Fast fashion. The reason your clothes don’t look good after you start wearing them is because they were meant to break/fade after the first wash so you can keep buying more and more.” —u/totue13

10. College books

“College bookstores. They are the worst.” —u/RightAboutTriangles

11. Free trials

“Free trials that auto-enroll you at the end.” –u/BADMANvegeta_

“Some companies make it harder for you to even find the cancellation page.” –u/trystate

“AND for some, you have to call them to cancel.” –u/rendenwolf

12. Funerals

“The funeral industry.” —u/username802

“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.” —u/Neelieoh

13. Black Friday

“Some companies are the worst about this. Whenever they advertise what discount you’re getting for an item, it’s ALWAYS from the MSRP. For example, a product could be $100 that they sell for $80 throughout the year, but on Black Friday, they’ll list it at $70 and claim a 30% discount.” —u/taybul

14. Healthcare

“For-profit healthcare that’s rigidly tied to employment.” —u/Defiantcaveman

15. Mascara

“Mascara ads that use false eyelashes on celebrities who endorse products they don’t use. We know you ain’t using boxed L’Oréal from CVS, Beyoncé.” –PHM8

16. Rent to own

“Rent-to-own — coming from someone who worked for a rent-to-own company for three and a half years.” —u/El-ChuPugcabra

“I worked for a rent-to-own company for about a year in California. Our only customers were people who had no chance at buying a TV, 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 to come to you and pay 300% of the actual value. Couldn’t stomach it and got out.” —u/CharDeeMacDennisII


“Employers not giving raises that at least match inflation. Essentially paying you less money compared with the last year.” —u/Dolthra

“It used to be normal to get yearly raises to match/exceed inflation as a sign of employee appreciation. Then they realized they didn’t have to do that because fuck you, that’s why. ‘What are you going to do, quit and make me hire a new person at a low hourly rate? Boohoo! Don’t do that!’ What happened to organized worker rights, again?” —u/Cyhawk

18. Car dealers

“Car dealerships. Why the FUCK is there an entire industry dedicated to forcing you to overpay for a product and finance it with a high-interest loan? It should be direct from manufacturers to customers.” —u/ItsKnope2016

19. Experience

“Needing experience for an entry-level position.” –u/faizanalam

“Companies: ‘Nobody wants to work anymore! We can’t even find anyone with a bachelor’s degree and years of experience to run our cash registers.'” –u/DeathSpiral321

20. Work for Free

“Getting students/interns to work for free while treating them poorly.” —u/yk003

21. Gendered stuff

“Women’s razors and other unnecessarily gendered products.” –meow

“It’s pink, it works worse, AND it’s more expensive? Sign me up.” –PHM8

22. Taxes

“Having to calculate your taxes (unless you have things you can actually claim and write off). They already know what you should pay or get back.” —u/harrilal

23. Bank fees

“How banks charge you for not making/having enough money. Monthly fees are waived by having direct deposits over a certain amount or a balance over a certain number. Overdraft fees charge you money for accidentally spending more than you had in the account, often even if you had it elsewhere at that same bank.” “Checks are ridiculously expensive. But if you’ve got thousands of dollars in your account, suddenly there’s no fee for anything. No fees for keeping your money there; no fees for checks.

I work at a bank. They can generate plenty of profit off of lending interest as well as the myriad partner products they sell like brokerage accounts, annuities, and varying forms of insurance. They don’t need to scam their poorest customers with fees they don’t charge to the rich.” –Paladin12