People Are Sharing “Scams” That Are So Normalized But You Don’t Even Know It, And This Changes Everything

·5 min read

So, Reddit user u/yvngjiffy703 asked in r/AskReddit: "What is clearly a scam but is so normalized people don’t notice?" People (unsurprisingly) had LOTS of thoughts. ... Here are some of their most provocative responses.


1."Funerals and everything to do with them."

"The funeral industry has WILD pricing. Some of the funeral homes and vendors are even predatory, getting grieving families to pay upwards of tens of thousands of dollars because 'that’s what the deceased would have wanted.'"


Power /

2."Paying for cable TV."

"The whole idea of paying was to create a revenue stream separate from that of marketing. There are a few out there (HBO, I think), but generally, we pay to access the content and still have to spend 20% of the time sitting through commercials. Then streaming comes in, and we're free of advertisements again...for a bit. Now YouTube has tons of ads, and other streaming services are talking about adding ads as well."


A man using a television remote control
Gregorbister / Getty Images

3."Annual college tuition increases."

"Why aren’t they held to a competitive pricing model as opposed to having to take out a mortgage to go to school? Everyone wants to talk about government paying for college education, but there is no conversation on why it's that expensive anyway? Especially when some universities have endowments in the billions — just the interest on those funds could pay the tuition for everyone that goes through the door."


NowThis /

4."Bottled water."

"Especially in places like amusement parks that mark up the prices a shocking amount. Also, the average markup of bottled water is 4,000%, which is fucking outrageous since water is literally free most places."


Someone holding a plastic bottle of water
Yothin Sanchai / Getty Images/EyeEm

5."The school picture industry. $80 for an awkward picture of my baby? Nah, thanks."


TV Land /

6."I just paid for the privilege of setting up my router."


A man setting up a router
Simpson33 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7."Social media."

"Social media is now mostly just a funnel used to ram as many advertisements into your mind as inhumanly possible. 'Sponsored Posts' every third or fourth item? Yeah, I see you. And that’s not even mentioning the extensive filtering network that 'curates' the information you get to see when you are looking for something. 'Curated information' is just a nice expression for you being conditioned to form certain opinions and buy more stuff. Social media grooms minds."


Amazon /

8."Having to pay $100+ for glasses."


A glasses display
Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

9."Those registries where people pay money to 'name a star.'"


Photo of the sky with text that says, "[insert your name here]"
Getty Images

10."MLMs (Multi-Level Marketing)."

"They prey on insecure women, specifically army wives, to give in. It’s almost like a cult as they guarantee new friends, lots of free trips, and make $20,000 a month. They are not your friends, the trips are only 'free' if you become a top earner, and the only way to make $20,000 a month is to get a minimum of 100 people in your team to work every single day. Most sales from those companies are from the salesperson who is buying it to sell it, and they tell you that you have to buy more to sell more."


An opened notebook that says "Multi Level Marketing"
Andreypopov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11."Doing your own taxes, and paying to use a privately owned software (or a service) when the government could totally do it for you, send you the details, and ask if it’s correct."


Freeform /

12."Reducing a price by one cent to trick our brains into thinking a product costs less than it actually is."


TiaCorine /

13."Diamond rings for marriage."


A diamond engagement ring
Richard Smochek / Getty Images/EyeEm

14."Rent-to-own furniture and appliances."



15."Manufacturers refusing documentation to private repair enterprises and requiring you to get your products fixed by the dealer. Basically, the reason for the 'right-to-repair' movement."


A person repairing a computer
Athima Tongloom / Getty Images

16."Minimum wages staying the same while the price of virtually everything else rises."


Gas prices
Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

17."Printer ink."


Printer ink cartridges
Thanasis / Getty Images

18."Cat food."

"Look at the cat food at a random store, and you'll see how the design brags about all the healthy vegetables they've crammed into your obligate carnivore's diet. Then check out the ingredients and see how corn, rice, etc. are often the first ingredients. Pet foods market toward humans by trying to appeal to human sensibilities, not genuine desire to provide your cat with the best diet."


A kitten eating out of a bowl
Benjamin Torode / Getty Images

19."Most mega churches."

"I remember an interview with Kenneth Copeland talking about how he needed a private jet to spread religion."


A crowd in a mega church
The Sydney Morning Herald / Fairfax Media via Getty Images

20."The games at fairs and carnivals."



21."Scientific journal memberships."


A stack of journals
Olga Kadygrob / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22."College textbook prices."

"It's wild how ridiculously expensive they are. Why put even more of a financial burden on students?"


A woman with a stack of books in front of her
Adam Crowley / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

23."Unpaid internships."

"Fuck anyone who gives unpaid internships! People get exploited like shit, and for what? I get so irritated when someone posts 'unpaid but you'll be given a certificate.' Shut the fuck up, and do the work by yourself."


Hulu /

24."Payday loans."


A man using a cellphone
Wutthichai Luemuang / Getty Images/EyeEm

25."Homeowner's insurance."

"'Sorry, we're not selling new policies in your area right now because [an earthquake, wildfire, flood, etc.] just happened,' and 'We don't cover that sort of problem,' aka something that the insurance should cover. Also, 'You submitted a claim? We're going to triple your rates FOREVER after this.'"


A man and woman hugging
Momo Productions / Getty Images

26."Loot boxes in videogames."


A loot box in a video game


llcucf80 /

28."Health insurance in the US."

"It costs a small fortune, never covers shit, and you still end up bankrupt if you're not rich and get sick or hurt."


A doctor's sheet with a stethoscope and pen on it
Prapass Pulsub / Getty Images

29.And lastly: "Planned obsolescence, where products are deliberately designed to have a defect or worse performance shortly after the warranty has expired."



H/T r/AskReddit