People Are Sharing The Biggest Scams In History, And You Might Have Forgotten A Few Of These

Let's face it — scams are everywhere, and they always have been. Some scams are legendary, to the point where they impact the way society functions in general.

Someone handing a wad of cash to someone else
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U/GransShortbread recently asked the people of Reddit, "What are some of the biggest scams to have happened in history?" The answers might take you down memory lane — and, at the very least, they could keep you from getting scammed yourself:



Ticketmaster home page
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2."Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme."


Closeup of Bernie Madoff
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3."The price of printer ink."


Printer ink cartridges
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4."College textbooks. We'll sell it to you for $100, buy it back for $10, and sell it again as used for $75."


Boks in a bookstore
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5."Tulips in the Netherlands in the 16th century. There was a point at which one tulip bud cost as much as a good house."


A tulip field
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7."American health insurance."


8."Homeopathic medicine."


9."Student loans."


10."The war against drugs."


11."The Franco dictatorship was once sold a water engine during the 1970s."


12."The donation of Constantine, a forged document supposedly written by the emperor on his deathbed that transferred the whole western part of the Roman empire, including Rome, to the Pope. This decree has been used for centuries by the Church to justify its authority over most of Europe, and it wasn't proved to be a forgery until around 1450 by the Italian humanist and priest, Lorenzo Valla. The legitimacy of this document caused a lot of problems in relations both within the Church and with other secular powers."


13."The Trojan horse."


Rendering of the Trojan horse
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14."Hospital billing. The minute you ask for an itemized receipt and breakdown, they start removing charges left and right, and the bill gets reduced by 30%."


A doctor speaking to a patient
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15."In retrospect, it'll be crypto and NFTs."


Someone using their phone
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16."Social media."


Emojis floating over someone's phone
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17."Trickle down economics. I don't care which party you're in — convincing our parents that, by giving rich people more money, they'd get more, and somehow getting them to buy that bullshit, is the most impressive con I've ever seen run."


18."The US said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They invaded the country, killed its leader, killed millions, stayed there for decades, and returned without finding any weapons of mass destruction. And they claim to be a beacon of peace and democracy, lol. Not one country took action against the US. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of America’s wrath."


19."Enron was one of the biggest economic scams of all time."


Enron logo
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20."Insulin prices in America for the last decade."


Someone holding insulin and syringes
Kerem Yucel / AFP via Getty Images

Agree? Disagree? Have your own additions? See you in the comments!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.