Scams aren’t always illegal. Often, the most insidious scams are perfectly legal and happen right under our noses.
Here are the most common scams we all fall for, and the worst part is they’re perfectly legal.
Paying to Watch Ads
When we pay for cable, we literally pay to watch ads. Cable prices are exploding, and for every 22 minutes of show, we get bombarded with eight minutes of invasive advertising. Why are we even paying?
Would you like a $15 extended warranty for that $20 toaster? Salespeople try to push extended warranties with nearly everything we buy; for the most part, they’re useless.
People love to scam each other with false promises, and the worst part is many of us fall for it repeatedly. They do something wrong, promise to change, do nothing to improve, and repeat the toxic behavior over and over again.
Cult of Personality
Politicians scam citizens into voting for them by pretending to be something they’re not. They make the masses swoon with glorious speeches telling them everything they want to hear, and it works most of the time.
Why we elect leaders based on our feelings rather than hard data and rationality is beyond me.
Hard Work Pays Off
Hard work is a scam designed to get suckers to give up the best of their lives to a company that doesn’t care about them.
The harsh truth is hard work only pays if you’re already two steps ahead.
HR Serves the People
HR has only one interest: protecting the company. Far too many people advise folks to go to HR when they have a problem with their job, but HR doesn’t care. HR will fire you in a heartbeat to save the company’s image.
Get Rich Quick
We all long for an easy path to wealth. Get-rich-quick schemes appeal to our inner laziness, offering us a world of opportunity for very little work.
Companies Can’t Afford Higher Wages
Companies will constantly report record profits, yet claim they can’t afford to offer workers pay raises. We all know they can afford it. They’d rather fill their shareholder’s pockets.
Tipping culture in America has gotten out of control. We can’t order anything anymore without an iPad asking us to give 30% more to the cashier who rang up our order.
And the goalposts are constantly changing on what constitutes a “good” tip. A few years ago, 15% was sufficient, and 20% was reserved for servers who went above and beyond. Now, 15% is considered a bad tip.
Health insurance has to be one of the biggest scams plaguing America. We pay thousands of dollars in premiums yet still can’t afford basic care. Those suffering a catastrophic health event are out of luck.
The whole of the marketing industry exists for one reason: to separate you from your hard-earned money. They use every psychological trick in the book to do so, and no one even cares.
More from Partners in Fire – America’s Toxic Work Culture
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Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.