Usually, the lifespan of a scam is remarkably brief. The ploy works on a relatively small amount of people and their unfortunate fates tip off the rest of us.
As soon as that happens, the scam is largely dead. People see it coming a mile away and they'll never walk into the trap.
But some scams are better than others. Some--the most elite scams of all the scams--stand the test of time. These scams stick around because they are done so subtly, appear so above water, and are often conducted by otherwise legitimate groups or companies.
Thankfully, Reddit is here to pull the covers off of even those tricks. A recent thread on the site asked folks to share the least noticeable--and therefore most successful--scams they've ever come across.
balisto2222 asked, "What is a scam not many people notice?"
The Allure of the Cutting Edge
"That 'renting' a modem from your isp is a huge waste of money. They'll tell you 'oh you should rent one because tech is always changing and it might go out of date' when I moved out on my own 4 years ago I bought a modem at Best Buy for 70$."
"If I had been renting from the greedy isp's this whole time I would have close to 500$ on rental fees. And while Tech is always changing a modem is not something that changes very much. So please if you are renting one go out and buy yourself a modem!"
Too Little to Notice
"The Verizon $1 scam."
"Verizon tacked on a $1 fee onto 8% of their customer's bills each month so over the course of the year, they did it to every customer, about 150,000,000."
"Their rationale was: 50% wouldn't notice and just pay the charge or would notice and wouldn't spend anytime fighting a $1 charge. 50% would notice the charge and call to have it removed. Of those, 35% would get frustrated while on the call and give up."
"This added approximately $120,000,000 to the bottom line each year (3 total) until caught. Once caught, they paid a $25,000,000 fine."
Not So Simple
"When a hiring company say 'we work hard but play hard.' It means everyone is over worked and an alcoholic." -- annoyingone
"mandatory happy hours" -- AccountENT42069
"They'll also probably expect you to spend lots of your free time with them, or you won't get the same opportunities they guys who do get." -- Rallings
Thwarting the Unit Price Calculations
"When the 'value pack' price is higher than the regular pack price. The trickier the grams to dollar conversion, the easier to trick people." -- TheBilingualSnail
"Or the bottle says 33% more! But it isn't free, it just a bigger package." -- sharpei90
"This is why I love walmart. The unit price is almost always in the top left hand corner of the price tag." -- jmmatthews20
Not All Fun and Games
"Surveys. Something like 'Which Frozen character are you?' tricks users into giving out answers to common security questions."
"I'm sure a lot of those could get direct access to the user's account by just clicking on the link as well."
Legal and Horrible
"The textbook industry, biggest scam there is." -- soul-man34
"McGraw Hill is Satan reincarnate. Want to do your home work? Gotta buy this $230 ACCESS CODE. Want to keep the textbook for later? NOPE. Expires after a year. Want to sell it? NOPE. Everyone has to buy a code." -- Recyclops3000
$69.99 When Conditions are Perfect
"If you have cable tv or internet or anything like that, the promos they offer on that stuff is almost never legit. Like $25-$50 higher than the advertised price sort of wrong. There's local sports fees, equipment fees, broadcast fees, discounts you only get for certain times, etc."
"Example, my cable company advertises $69.99 a month tv/internet/phone but if you actually price it out it's over $100/month."
"When the boss says 'We're a family' " -- Amehvafan
" 'we're family....except i can disown you anytime i want if it means me being better off, because y'know, fuck the worker's life lol' " -- Twisterlord
"My old boss used to say 'I make less than before I started this company.' I always wanted to ask if he had 300k in vehicles before he started the company." -- dudius7
" 'Beware of pickpockets' signs in touristy areas. It triggers an individual to reflexively check their pockets, allowing observant pickpockets to know where your wallet is." -- 0xD153A53
"Similarly to this - in public transport a pickpocket will often throw or place an empty wallet on the floor, then point it out and ask if anybody lost a wallet."
"You instinctively check your pocket to make sure it's there. A good pickpocket will memorize 8-10 people, their hand placement, go to work and leave on the next stop with 4 or 5 more wallets more than they had when they got on." -- OcassionallySane
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