Scale tool extrudes instead of scales for no reason.

When extruding and scaling the scale tool normally lets me take vertices and collapse them inward to make a narrower or wider object. But now all of a sudden, I’m in edit mode and I hit “s” to scale, and instead of shrinking or expanding vertices, it raises them upwards or downwards along the z axis as if I’m extruding them and I can’t figure out why. Keep in mind I’m new to blender.

It scales towards whatever you have set to be the pivot point. You select the pivot point type from the dropdown list on the 3d view header
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/3D_interaction/Transform_Control/Pivot_Point

That solution worked but only temporarily. Now, no matter what type of pivot point I use, its the same problem.

Are you going to show us anything ?

Screenshots and blend file etc etc