25 Scams That Most People Don’t Know Anything About

Posted by , Updated on February 10, 2016

We all fall for it. Whether it’s the occasional Nigerian Prince that needs your help or the guy on the street corner doing “magic tricks”, scams are a dime a dozen. Although most of the time we incredulously shake our heads at the people who fall for them and think to ourselves, “how silly could you be? Why would they fall for something so painfully obvious?”. The fact is, however, that there are numerous scams out there that you probably knew nothing about. Scammers can actually be quite clever. And if any of you have ever found yourselves trying to recruit your friends for this “cool new business” then congratulations…you are both the scammed and the scammer. But scams can run higher than that. It may be that for-profit college that is offering you a distance learning degree. It may be that travel insurance that will never actually do anything for you. From timeshares to diamond rings, scams are everywhere. Price gouging, misrepresentation, and the whole gamut of nasty tactics are employed to get you into their little scheme. And the craziest thing? Most of us will still fall for it. Human greed knows no ends. These are 25 scams that most people don’t know anything about.


Fake monks

Fake monksSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

In some Australian cities fake monks walk the streets asking for donations. They don’t actually say anything though, instead they just put a gold token in your hand and show you a list of people who have already donated.


Decoy pricing

Decoy pricingSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

There are three phone contracts to choose from. The 1st phone contract is basic and cheap. The 2nd phone contract is expensive but lacks features compared to the 3rd contract. The 3rd phone contract is about the same price as the 2nd contract but has those extra features. You feel like you’re getting a deal because you don’t have to pay extra for those extra features.


Software that speeds up your computer

Software that speeds up your computerSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

It’s usually so loaded with spyware that your computer will slow down.


Any "business" where you have to sell stuff to your friends AKA Pyramid/Multilevel Marketing

Any "business" where you have to sell stuff to your friends AKA Pyramid/Multilevel MarketingSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

If you do manage to make any money off of it, then you’re the one doing the scamming. And your friends will hate you.


Psychic Mediums

Psychic MediumsSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

They’re called “Mediums” because what they do is neither rare or well done. And yes, that was a serious joke.


Natural herb and supplement shops

Natural herb and supplement shopsSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

If anyone ever tries to sell you “medical grade” cinnamon…leave.


Star Registries

Star RegistriesSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

Do you really think that you get to name a star for $50? Maybe you can look into the List25 “star registry”. We’ll let you name a star for $50 too! (that was another joke)


Unlimited data cell phone plans

Unlimited data cell phone plansSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

Nothing is unlimited. Nothing.


Antivirus software

Antivirus softwareSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

It’s usually a bigger virus than the actual virus.


Checkout donations

Checkout donationsSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

You’re just helping the grocery store/restaurant/etc with their PR. They’re the ones with all the money and goods. Why do you need to get in the middle of it?



HomeopathySource: reddit

The only thing it is guaranteed to cure is your dehydration.


Oxygenated Water

Oxygenated WaterSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

Please explain more about how your stomach is involved in respiration…


6 minute abs

6 minute absSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

No way. It’s going to take at least 7 minutes.


$100 HDMI cables

$100 HDMI cablesSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia

The $5 ones are just as good.


The biggest download button on the page

The biggest download button on the pageSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

The bigger and more colorful the button…they more likely you are to land on a not-safe-for-work webpage.



DiamondsSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

They really aren’t that rare, or even chemically remarkable. Some clever marketing campaigns back in the day, however, managed to convince people they should spend 3 months worth of their income on a diamond engagement ring. Geniuses.



timeshareSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

You’re absolutely positive that you will come back to this exact same spot for vacation next year? And the year after that? You won’t want to go anywhere else?


Anything free

Anything freeSource: reddit

If you’re not paying for it then you’re not the consumer. You’re the product.



LifelockSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

As the CEO himself can explain, nobody can protect you from hackers completely. They just can’t.


Bottled Water

Bottled WaterSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

You’re paying for plastic.


Brand name painkillers

Brand name painkillersSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

Generics and store brands are chemically indistinguishable. But whatever makes you feel better…


Private, for-profit colleges

Private, for-profit collegesSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

You can definitely get that education somewhere else for cheaper. And if you can’t, then you most likely don’t need it.


"Free" financial advisors

"Free" financial advisorsSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

If they’re not charging you, they’re working for commission.


Phone calls for donations to the local police

Phone calls for donations to the local policeSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

If a charity calls you, it’s most likely a scam and the intended recipients will only receive a small percentage at best. You already support the police anyway…with your taxes.


Travel Insurance

Travel InsuranceSource: reddit, Image: pixabay

If something actually does happen…well, good luck getting the insurance company to pay up.

SEE ALSO: 25 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries Ever »


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