We are a smart people... aren't we? Actually, don't answer that. Many of us are smart, or at least do a reasonable job of pretending to be. So why is it so many people can still be bamboozled by the obvious? Like a brilliant lawyer who looks for love online and sends their paramour 10Gs to get to there location without a phone call. These things happen still. And can happen to any of us, because, we all have some small, gullible part of us willing to be innocent. Don't be ashamed, tis life.Redditor u/CountButtcrackula wanted to know what scams that are out there we need to be ready for by asking.... What's the biggest scam in history that people fall for?
Diamonds, worthless stone.
Diamonds are not a scam. They are precisely what they are claimed to be: sparkly rocks that will raise your social status because humans have collectively decided that owning these sparkly rocks is a sign of high social status.
Is this silly and arbitrary? Yes, but no more than certain clothes, watches, cars, phones, even accents being also regarded as signs of high social status.
Would many people be better off if they stopped caring so much about raising their social status via owning stuff? Also yes, and it's literally been thousands of years since this has been first observed.
But nonetheless, there is nothing deceptive about diamonds. If you own an expensive diamond, you will be able to show people that you are rich enough to own an expensive diamond; and this is exactly what expensive diamonds are for.
A Little Big!
My favorite scam is the World's Littlest Skyscraper in Wichita Falls, TX. It's a little skyscraper, but a pretty big scam!
The engineer who took up $200,000 to build the skyscraper in 1919 (which would be $2,927,876.16 in 2020) clearly noted 480" height on the plans rather than 480', but no one noticed. However, because they'd agreed to these plans, it was legally binding. That's how Wichita Falls, TX obtained a 4-story skyscraper that was too narrow to contain stairs.
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The problem isn't the products or even their quality. The problem is that the market for them just doesn't really exist. That means that the products largely just serve as nodes that transfer wealth back to the top.
Pay as you go?
You have an inheritance of $70,000 waiting for you, all you have to do is send them $10,000 to get it. Them = the people trying to scam you. They say the inheritance is waiting for you, as soon as you give them money to start the process. I had a friend fall for this, but he didn't have the money they wanted. He asked us to lend it to him, and we had to explain to him it was fake. He was into ancestry, and had distant relatives, which made him an easy mark.
Payday and title loans.
The concept of "royalty." How one person/family can be deified and hold so much power over so many other people. It's ridiculous.
Do I Need It?
Buying something that's on sale just because it's on sale when they wouldn't have bought it otherwise in the first place.
Well that depends imo. If it is something you know you'll end up using it is ok. E.g. last week coffee beans I like were on sale with 40% off. I know I have enough coffee for at least another month and had no intention of buying coffee that day, but I still bought two kilo cause I knew that I'll end up using them.
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You pay to watch ads?
What is wrong with you.
As someone who works in timeshare escalations.... definitely timeshares... even points based ones..... you spend buttloads of money for something and get hounded on future trips by sales people at the resort, and if you meet with them they will tell the owner 'your points are worthless, you need to buy more' and they usually do.
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Permanent life insurance. Let me explain. So if you have dependents (kids, spouse, family living with you), and you are the primary breadwinner in the family, you want to have life insurance in case something happens.
But, once your kids grow up and get their own jobs, you don't really need the life insurance payout anymore. Thats why term life insurance exists, to get through the dependency, but with permanent life insurance, you end up paying more than your payout most of the time, and when factoring that with the interest you lost...
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Printer Ink cartridges. I swear to freaking God they make me want to make the American war crimes look like a freaking episode of barney and friends.
Tax refunds. So many people think getting a big one is great, when it actually means you gave the government an interest-free loan for a year.
Unless you have massive child credits.
The college textbooks, they just get minor changes every year to make the current versions outdated and force you to buy new ones which the school will buy back at fraction of a fraction of what you paid for them.
Yeah this one really grinds my gears. Libgen is the best work around. Saved me literally thousands.
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The lottery has to be up there.. it's so depressing seeing 70+ people spending their social security on scratchers.
"C'mon, we're only going out for one beer."
Going out for one beer is like trying to fall down one stair... you fall down them all and then pee on your floor.
$20 as a cure-all
It'd be easy to pick on religion or wealth distribution in this thread, but that's a downer and we're here to have fun.
So I'll say homeopathic medication. Pour tap water into a vial and sell it for $20 as a cure-all. You don't even have to do all that crap with diluting an ingredient because your product has been proven not do do anything and if it actually does do anything you'll get in real trouble.
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Kirby vacuum cleaners......
Damn you got me. It's been a good vacuum, but $1500 is a lot. My parents still have theirs they got back in the 80s for a wedding gift.
Religion: Fairy Tales for Adults.
Came here to say the same thing. The question says "in history" and most replies are modern day scams from within the past century. Religion has been using fear of the unknown to scam people since prehistoric times.
It's all the same....
Everything living is organic, so you can slap that label on every food if you wanted to. Also if it's non-gmo they actually use farming methods worse for the environment, like harsher pesticides and taking up even more land to farm the same amount of product that gmo foods could grow on a smaller area of land.
Plus the foods that are "non-gmo" are actually gmo bc they've changed over the years. Corn as you know it was genetically modified from how it was in the past, even if it says non-gmo. There used to be no sweet corn 'til they modified it. The only difference is they don't want to keep up with the latest gmo's that help the crops protect themselves from insects and stuff, so they have to use more pesticides than the latest gmo farms.
Maybe it's changed the past few years to be something different, but that's what we learned when stuff like this first came out. I only know this stuff bc I was raised in an agricultural community, and all of us at some point had to learn a bit about farming in school and from talking to our farmer friends.
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Believing that politicians care about the voters. Wrong. They care about getting elected and re-elected and kowtow to party bosses, not the citizens who voted for them. There is no credible evidence to refute this fact.
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