money-making schemes

International Astrology Foundation smacked for deceptive practices in Iowa

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An Iowa judge has ordered a New York-based company that prosecutors say conned people into paying for outlandish psychic readings and prophecies to stop soliciting Iowa residents and refund nearly $14,000 already sent from them. Source: Court orders New York psychic outfit to reimburse Iowa residents for ‘outrageous’ deception Polk County District Court Judge Douglas…

Indian “institutes” teaching people “ghost hunting”

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Ghost chasing is becoming a more popular hobby in India. People are paying to take courses from “institutes” to learn how to operate the equipment. It seems like India may be about 10 years behind the US in the popularity of fall for such stuff. An increasing number of urban Indian professionals are signing up…

Ancestry.com now labeled evil due to copyright claim cheap shot

Many reports will not contain enough information to determine the cause. But unexplained DOES NOT mean unexplainable.

In a strange update to this story, government files obtained through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) have been claimed to be copyrighted. Jason Colavito notes it in this piece: the Black Vault database of Project Blue Book was taken down after Ancestry.com asserted that it owns the copyright (!) to the Air Force’s UFO files,…

Psychic mail fraud scheme busted by U.S. feds

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The US Justice Department has brought the hammer down on a psychic fraud scheme that solicits customers via mail that looks personalized targeting elderly and and economically vulnerable people promising wealth. WASHINGTON: Did these mail-order ‘psychics’ see the Justice Department coming? | Suits & Sentences | McClatchy DC. The Justice Department on Thursday filed civil complaints…

Herbalife as “a force of mass deception in America”

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The North American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, has a very involved and interesting piece on Herbalife corporation and why the multi-level marketing scheme is still going strong today – denialism. People have found it unimaginable that this is a fraudulent business plan. Unthinkable, Unimaginable And Unspeakable: Why Wall Street Clings To The Herbalife Myth – NASDAQ.com.…

Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction: Says the government messed up the case

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As expected, Kevin Trudeau appealed his conviction on contempt of court charges that sent him to prison for 10 years. This article also give us some insight into why we still see his dubious books for sale and his ridiculous infomercials on TV. Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction – Consumerist. The appeal contends that…

A “real” monster is in the eye of the municipal council – Iceland worm exists

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Ah, I smell tourism, don’t you? This reward is a small price to pay for Loch Ness-sized advertising. Truth Commission: Lake Monster Does Exist. Lagarfljótsormurinn, the giant serpent rumored to inhabit the lake Lagarfljót near Egilsstaðir in East Iceland truly exists, as announced on Saturday by the majority of a 13-person truth commission established in…

Backfire Effect? Herbalife shares up despite webcast to investors decrying practices.

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Scientific skepticism is viewed by many as an intersection between science education and consumer advocacy. To that end, Doubtful News has had its eyes on news items concerning Herbalife, a multilevel marketing company who has recently had to ask its distributors to tone down medical claims about its products, and has come under fire by critics for its…

Ryan Buell cancels paranormal tour, claims health problems (UPDATE: Fans file complaints)

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See Update below After public exposure of trouble with his paranormal lecture tour and events, Ryan Buell, formerly of the Paranormal State TV show and the Paranormal Research Society, has stated he has cancelled his tour. Buell announced on his facebook page that health problems among other issues have scuttled the schedule. Ryan D. Buell –…

Ketchum wants you to help fund her study on human origins

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Melba Ketchum, veterinarian, is asking for $9000 to study elongated “human” skulls. It must be because she did so well with the Sasquatch genome study. She is spearheading a GoFundMe campaign to raise money. Ancient Human Origins, N American Giants by Melba Ketchum – GoFundMe. We have been doing genetic studies on the origin of…

Swami versus Guru: Sai Baba was no godman or god

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Happy Tuesday morning with religious groups talking smack about each other in India. Religious leader Swami Shree Swaroopananda Saraswati ji says guru Sai Baba is a conspiracy to create division among Hindus. Shankaracharya vs Sai Baba: Devotees seethe with anger as Sai Baba’s cult is challenged – daily.bhaskar.com. A complaint has been lodged against Swami Swaroopanand in…

“Biblical financial principles” advisor arrested on federal fraud charges

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In an update to a story we’ve been following for a long while now, the leader of a church-based alleged Ponzi scheme has been arrested. Ephren Taylor was accused of taking $11 million dollars from congregants across the country in various large churches. Alleged Church Ponzi Schemer Arrested on Federal Fraud Charges – ABC News.…

The “great” and “doctorful” Oz admits he doesn’t have miracle solutions

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No kidding! This truly is great. I wish I’d seen it. But Consumerist has an excellent summary that sounds like when Dr. Oz went to Congress he got more trouble than he bargained for. McCaskill deserves applause. Dr. Oz Grilled By Senator Over “Miracle” Weight-Loss Claims – Consumerist. Since he started appearing on pal Oprah…