17 Of America’s Biggest Rip-Offs

Krystal Smith

Getting around the consumer landscape can feel like a landmine of surprise charges, overpriced items, and shady methods. Some of the premier scams targeting Americans’ beliefs and weaknesses have become well-known within the United States. Here are 17 of the most enormous scams in America.

Costs of Healthcare

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The exorbitant healthcare costs in the US are a prime example of some of the price gouging in the US. From exorbitantly high drug prices to surprise medical bills to the ever-rising insurance premiums, navigating the healthcare market can be financially damaging and headache-inducing.

Tuition 

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College tuition has quickly outpaced inflation, eroding much of the benefit of a degree and burdening students and families with crushing student debt. Unfortunately, only some can afford to when tuition is rising faster than inflation, to the point where it is canceling the benefits of a college. 

Educational Textbooks

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Textbooks are astronomical in price, so much so that some college students take out loans to buy them. Additionally, authors love releasing new additions, making teachers require the newest one each semester, even if it hasn’t been changed.

Car Dealerships

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The car dealership industry is, in general, a less-than-savory industry. The majority of consumers are prospects for big car dealerships, and employees have been trained to tackle every situation that generally leads to more profit at the expense of the consumer. Common tactics include “no problem,” which means to say yes to everything the consumer asks for to get the sale, even if it means unrealistic terms and a “no” at the back end.

Warranties For Electronics

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Extended warranties for electronics and appliances are almost always a waste of money because the salesman at the store is trying to make an easy commission, and unloading another warranty onto your purchase is an easy way to do it. Most consumer electronics don’t break down in the three years after the manufacturer warranty expires, and electronic replacements are usually cheaper than repairing. 

Bottled Water

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Bottled water can potentially be one of the biggest consumer rip-offs of all time. Water can be collected from the nearest tap for less than $0.01 per gallon. In stores, it is sold for massive markups.

Brand-Name Prescription Drugs

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Brand-name prescription drugs are often far more expensive than what the average consumer can afford. Therefore, these brand-name drugs can usually not be purchased to help people recover from their illnesses. 

Payday Loans

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Payday loans are short-term cash loans based on the borrower’s check for future deposits or electronic access to the borrower’s bank account. Sometimes, borrowers sign over electronic access to their bank accounts to receive and repay payday loans. Institutions that offer payday loans include credit unions, banks, and loan stores. 

Fast Food Value Meals

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At first glance, fast food value meals may seem like a bargain, but when you take a closer look and a little bit of simple math, you can tell you are probably not getting the deal you expect.

Internet Packages

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Bundled cable and internet packages come with many surprises in the fine print. Many times, consumers are promised low prices and great deals. Cable and internet companies love new customers. They get to reel them in with great offers and promise to take care of them. Hidden fees, charges for rental equipment, and data caps are just some of the issues with our nation’s affordable and reliable service providers that make it frustrating and difficult for consumers.

Luxury Gym Memberships

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High-end gym memberships often include a hefty initiation fee, a monthly due that can be a few hundred, and a year or two-year contract, which is nearly impossible to break once arranged. The facilities themselves and the services provided are top-of-the-line. Still, many people who sign up find themselves underutilizing their membership and, after the fact, finding that the gym isn’t worth the cost.

Airport Parking

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Airport parking can be a harsh way to start and end your vacation, with prices as much as double your airfare. Bankrupt before you even board the plane? It can happen – In one day at an airport facility, your bill can quickly escalate to the related costs of your vacation during your vacation!

Mini-bar Snacks

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Practically every hotel room you ever stay in will offer mini-bar snacks. While the thought of mini-bar snacks is rather convenient, be aware that the prices of these snacks are outrageous. Mini-bar snacks are almost always much higher than prices you would pay at a grocery store or convenience store. 

Convenience Store Snacks

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When people go shopping in a convenience store, they’ll almost certainly pay much more for goods as opposed to shopping at, say, a grocery superstore. For instance, individuals will pay a significant amount for what they need, like beverages, snacks, and water bottles. 

Credit Cards

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Credit card companies often have a high-interest rate that applies to the balance each month, and they also send out high bills each month, which can sometimes take time to pay. People with bad credit also have to pay a high fee, meaning they will have to pay considerable interest. 

The Cost of Weddings

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This industry is notorious for price hiking and adding concealed expenses to anything wedding-related—everything from the typical, over-the-top location fees to outrageous food and drink packages and vendor mark-ups. The result of all this price hiking is that the couple feels pressured into paying for things they never even had their heart set on in the first place, leaving them heavily out of pocket and pretty ticked off!

Store Brand Clothing

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Name-brand clothing, shoes, and accessories are usually expensive and outside a consumer’s budget. These are often the same type of clothing; they are just re-branded. Some of the brand-name clothing that consumers are paying too much for did not even make the list of the most well-known retailers in the world. These products are usually just as good of quality and will last just as long as the name-brand products.

21 American Norms That Make the World Go ‘Huh?

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We’re venturing into the diverse landscape of American quirks that make outsiders go, “Wait, what?” From the red cup phenomenon to the maze of tipping etiquette, the U.S. has its own set of head-scratchers that might leave our international pals raising an eyebrow or two.

21 American Norms That Make the World Go ‘Huh?

10 Things Americans Dislike About Living in America

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The United States is a great country with a lot to offer its residents. However, there are also some aspects of daily life in the US that can be frustrating or challenging.

10 Things Americans Dislike About Living in America

10 Factors That Challenge America’s Status as the Greatest Nation

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The United States, once celebrated as a symbol of distinction, is now navigating a narrative in flux. Challenges such as gun violence, healthcare disparities, declining life expectancy, and socioeconomic gaps are reshaping the perception of its trajectory.

10 Factors That Challenge America’s Status as the Greatest Nation

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