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Fool Me Once: 16 Big Scams We’ve All Fallen Victim To

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At some juncture in our lives, most of us have fallen prey to the temptation of a persuasive salesperson, a compelling advertisement, or the enticing recommendation of a friend, only to later discover that our purchase amounted to nothing more than a bundle of empty promises and shallow assertions. Thus, what are some examples of this phenomenon? Within an online forum, people are exchanging stories of the commonplace scams we regularly encounter, which have unfortunately become all too familiar.

1. Business Gurus

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Have you ever seen YouTube or Facebook ads with people flaunting money and status, saying they have a “fool proof” system to help you get there with a brand new income stream? They get tiring after a while, but people desperate to find an extra side hustle are up for trying anything- helping these guys make bank.

Unfortunately, an online forum user points out the irony, “They’re not rich and successful because of the things they teach. They’re rich and successful because they sell courses.”

2. Coaching Culture

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In the same vein as selling courses to make money, a few people point out that coaching culture is similar. The general attitude from coaches surrounds, “Pay me a bunch of money to point out the obvious.” While a coach can be great for staying accountable in any niche, the culture of it and the cost has gotten out of control.

3. Charities

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Several people that are avid volunteers and donators point out that it’s important to check out where the money actually goes within a charity. For some organizations, how much goes to the organization and people in need is much less than you might think- allowing founders to use donations on frivolous expenses, like new cars. A local volunteer shares some shocking numbers in his state, “Any 501c3 charity can use up to 97% of donation money on expenses with only 3% going to the intended recipient.”

4. Large City Bays

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One user shares his wariness for large bodies of water near a big city, particularly the world-famous Sydney Harbor in Australia. He writes, ” Consistent testing shows that many sites in the Harbour fail to meet water quality guidelines for faecal bacteria. There are sewage leaks all over the place.” Other users share this is the same story for most large bays due to trash, sewage leaks, oil spills, etc. Gross!

5. Buying Detox Products

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Many people are confused as to why detox culture has gotten so big. The belief that our bodies are full of toxic build-up is apparently a big myth (for most of us anyways). One user writes, “Who has two kidneys and filters her own blood? This gal!” Other write, don’t forget the liver!

Another shares, “The best thing you can do is eat healthy, be active and drink more water. The answer is simple, almost too simple. A lot of people just don’t want to accept that and look for these “shortcuts” constantly.”

6. Fake YouTube Videos

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Social media has become a cesspool of filters and fake info meant to look “real.” Someone writes, “Every content creator trying to gain a YouTube partnership by creating staged content that is framed in a way that makes it look real and spontaneous.” This will likely only get worse with the use of AI technology.

7. Influencers Recommending Crap Products

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Companies have figured out that some influencers (with lesser integrity) will recommend just about anything if they get paid for it- even if the product sucks or doesn’t align with them. “Influencers/YouTubers when they advertise products that I know for a fact they don’t/wouldn’t use. Listen bro, I know you aren’t playing Raid: Shadow Legends but I realize you have to make money somehow,” shares someone.

8. Celebrity News

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Someone writes, “They [celebrities or their PR people] plant scandals and plant reactions. They fake relationships. It’s all PR in the end.” All in the name of fame and viewers.

9. Checking Your Credit on Credit Karma

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Credit Karma used to be a go-to source for credit info. Someone writes, “All they do now is advertise garbage credit cards from sh***y predatory banks. Their “approval odds” is so unreliable and out of whack that you can pretty much ignore it.

If you want to check your credit score, chances are your bank app already does it, and they’ll give you the FICO score (the one banks actually use when you’re getting a loan).”

10. Fake Beauty Standards

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When did fake-looking body parts become a standard in Hollywood? Especially when celebrities try to pass them off as “natural”- whether they used surgery, injections, or steroids to achieve their physique. Someone writes, “The Kardashian/Jenners/any other rich celebrity that sets beauty standards while lying (directly and by omission) about how they achieved those.”

11. American Tipping Culture

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Tipping for good service to an employee making a decent wage is one thing- desperately needing it because their employer isn’t paying them well enough, even at fast food or low-cost restaurants/kiosks, is getting out of hand- according to some people.

A man shares, “Caught me off guard once when I was at a sit down place (not a fancy restaurant) and they brought the smartphone card reader thing over and swiped my card then and there. I was then presented with tip options like 22%, 25% and 28% or something.”

12. Multilevel Marketing Schemes

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Aka pyramid schemes. While there might be some successful folks at the top, most people at the bottom are losing money to be a “consultant” while they cushion the pockets of their higher-ups.

13. The Dieting Industry

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Someone writes, “Cutting out entire food groups or drinking magical weight loss potions or whatever is not sustainable and will lead to failure. You’d be much better off eating what you do now, but in smaller portions.”

Another comment summarizes the mindset of dieting perfectly, “My wife refuses to eat rice or potatoes I make for dinner because of ‘carbs’ then 2 hours later she will end up eating chips and ice cream. I just can’t understand it.”

14. 40-Hour Work Weeks

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“They are an artefact from when the standard was one family member working and one not working. A 40hr week is fine if you have someone taking and collecting kids from school, cleaning, washing, and cooking.

With both parents working, the 40hr week becomes an unbearable slog. You have to pay more for childcare and get almost no relaxing time. Not to mention missing your kids growing up, patents growing old etc.”

Thankfully, some companies are working on standardizing a 4-day work week. However, some parts of the world seem to sway to the extreme opposite. For example, many Japanese workers reportedly work 12 hours a day for 6 days a week- having major repercussions on mental health and quality of life.

15. Hustle Culture

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The idea that we have to work our way up the ladder at the expense of our mental health and relationships is one many of us have accepted without realizing it.

16. Negative World Views

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As humans we are naturally drawn to drama, so of course the news caters to that- but it can leave people feeling stressed and like the world is the bad place. In a lot of circumstances, it’s better to turn off the catchy news.


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