Scams often masquerade as legitimate entities, making them particularly deceptive and harmful.  A user asked, “What’s a scam that people think isn’t a scam?” and here are the top picks: 

1. Supplements that “cleanse” a body

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“Supplements or drinks that remove “toxins” from your body. Your body already does that,” said one.

“Completely agree! The only thing which really helps “cleansing “is drinking water, help your body get rid of many things! Sweating also is a helpful tool!” said another. 

“There are superfoods out there, but they’re all natural. Fruits, vegetables, honey, lemon, garlic, baking soda, coconut oil, oatmeal, etc. If your body is not feeling good, I usually start going down the list. That’s the only real cleansing of toxins from the body.” said another. 

Related: 15 Unskippable Frugal Hacks That You Should Know And Try

2. Auction and Bidding Websites

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“The auction websites where items apparently sell for WAY under market value. Like a PS5 going for $5. If you win, you pay $5 for a PS5; that’s not a scam. The scam is that you have to pay for bids.

You’ll buy a set of bids for, say, $50. Then you’ll never win a bidding war, or it’ll take way more bids than you thought it would. I’m sure the websites themselves have fake users that are guaranteed to win, so it’s just farming bids, which is farming your money. If you get hooked, just like any other type of gambling, they will ring you for thousands and thousands of dollars in bids, while you “win” nowhere near that value of the bids.” said one. 

“In addition, many of those sites will let you pay a fixed price for the item that isn’t won and let you apply your bids to the full item price. It’s the sunk cost fallacy. So basically, these sites get you to pay for bids, lose and then pay the full retail price. Quite the scam.” said another. 

Related: Debunked: 19 Frugal Myths That Don’t Actually Save Money

3. Unlimited Options To Eat

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“In my youth, I discovered “unlimited” options at restaurants typically had a limit. Which they rudely told you with a face of disgust. Ever been kicked out of a Red Lobster for challenging their bottomless shrimp policy?” “said one. 

“In my youth, I had friends who would travel doing food competitions at restaurants. Hot molly, big servings, timed stuff, etc

We were all athletic kids who would work out, get high, and eat food. I did smolov a few times. One to get jacked legs, and two, it makes you incredibly hungry. We regularly went to buffets because that was the best bang for your buck. We eventually got banned from a few joints. It was always funny when we would walk in and an owner would run out.

“no no no, these kids aren’t human you aren’t allowed here anymore,” said another. 

4. MLMs

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Multi-level marketing companies, aka Amway, AdvoCare, Shaklee, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, etc.

According to a report that studied the business models of 350 MLM companies in the United States, published on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, at least 99% of people who join MLM companies lose money.” said one.

5. Brands Claiming They Are Sustainable

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“Big clothing labels like H&M, Zara, etc. promote sustainability. It’s called greenwashing, and it makes me sick how they use it as a revenue model instead of caring about people and the planet. And people believe it too.,” said one.

“Another good example of greenwashing is Nike recently changing some of their orange shoe boxes to regular cardboard that now says “Move to Zero.” Nike has a terrible record on the environment and human rights but wants to get the public credit for going green lol,” added another. 

6. Slot Machines

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“Slot machines. House always wins.” said one

“The trick is to get up and leave when you’ve hit a predetermined amount, whether up or down. My sister’s friend won $350 playing a machine for 5 minutes, putting in $10. They hit 350, cashed out, and left,” said another, to which one said, “Lucky, tbf… But to be honest I used to work in arcades and casinos, so I know how the machines work… I just avoid em”

Related: 25 People Share The Most Desperate Thing They Did For Money 

7. Bottled Water

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“Bottled water. Most bottled water is municipal water that has been filtered to remove harmless minerals.” said one. 

Also Read: 13 Habits You Think Men Find Attractive, But They Actually Don’t. They Hate it Instead.

8. Weddings

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“Expensive marriage celebrations,” said one. 

“Agree, it’s OK to throw a party, but there are people who take out loans to pay for it and are still paying for it after the divorce.” said another

“I know people who’ve spent more than 30k on their wedding and struggle to pay rent.” said one. 

9. Upgrading Iphones

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“Getting the new iPhone every year. No, I don’t mean upgrading from the iPhone 3 to the 11 is a waste. Upgrading from the 10 to the 11, when you upgraded from the 9 last year, is a waste,” said one. 

“I used to upgrade, and I agree. I’m on an iPhone XR (~4 years old) and haven’t had any problems with it. The battery life is better than my wife’s 12. While I’d prefer one of the smaller models, this one’s still doing fine. I’m gonna keep it till they stop updating it, or the battery gives out.” said one. 

Related: 10 People Share Where They Draw A Line At Being Frugal (#1 Is My Fav!)

10. Payday loans

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Payday loans are a chance to rip people off the money by charging a high percentage. According to CNBC, ” the typical APR for a loan, 664%, is more than 40 times the average credit card interest”  

11. Tipping

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“The tipping system. In most cases, most of the tip covers the wage they’d have to legally be paid anyway if they didn’t receive the tips. (If the tip wage + tips are less than the normal wage, the restaurant has to pay them more to equal a normal wage, else the worker can report the place for wage theft).” said one. 

“Tipping culture in America has gotten so insanely out of hand it’s not even funny. Tips used to be given for exceptional service. Still, it has now become so expected that if you don’t tip, you risk receiving service that’s worse than the bare minimum. (I have worked in coffee shops and fast food shops where if a tip wasn’t given during payment, the order would intentionally get screwed up.) Unless a personal service was provided for you, then tipping is only encouraging the megacorps to continue to pay their workers poorly. Stop tipping for no reason.” said another

12. Printers

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“Your printer refusing to make a black & white copy because the yellow cartridge is empty. No, don’t shake it to make sure; just trust me, it’s empty. Now, go fork 20 bucks for a replacement, and maybe I’ll let you print once or twice before reminding you that there is NOT ENOUGH INK!” said one.

“I made the switch to a black-only laser printer years ago. Off-brand toner cartridges cost the same as an inkjet one and don’t dry out.” said another. “If I come across something that must be printed in color, I do that at work or the library.” said one more. 

We hope you liked this Reddit discussion on what’s a scam that people think isn’t a scam? Read on Debunked: 19 Frugal Myths That Don’t Actually Save Money

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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