Not a scam, it's a choice.
I'm not gonna buy customs for any vehicle unless it's good for normal racing, wanted new cars as well.
Things naturally get more expensive in many games which are replaced every year, but GTAO has been out a lot longer, so therefore prices are much more inflated. In these yearly games, try to start playing online after about 6 months and you'll see that GTAO is actually quite easy on new players.
When I started, I had to unlock everything, couldn't just go and buy a carbine and a homing launcher, nope, I had a pistol and freemode was full of tanks. Nobody was giving away race wins, absolutely not, I had to win them the hard and dirty way.
There were no businesses to run solo in passive lobbies, so everything needed unlocking to be able to compete, or get my ass kicked.
I couldn't afford all the best stuff, the grind was huge, 4 years in fact. Yet people late to the game complain about things being expensive when they're making millions a day while sat in safe lobbies. You guys don't know how easy you have it
Another thing that irks me is people complaining about the developer or publisher while playing the game for years and using forums dedicated to it. Just stop if it's that bad. I don't play any 2K games, and for that reason you won't find me on a forum dedicated to their games. People love to hate R*, but they're one of the very best, free updates for 4 years is just one example.