We’re going to make you rich, Money Morning implies, while denying that it provides investment advice. (Reminder; when I color a link red, click it at your peril.) Judging from consumer complaints, the real business of Money Morning and its Money Map Press siblings is scaring people into panic investments, with a sideline in credit-card fraud. On September 6, 2016, let’s see how a company that sells nothing but words looks in the harsh light of the Scam-O-Meter!
Ridiculous claims: Tom Gentile (who is a real guy and not clip-art) writes:
Ever since I introduced my all-new way to make money, readers have been clamoring to get in on these fast-moving trades. When the best recommendations turn into total profits like 277% in four trading days, 269% in four trading days, and 297% in 24 hours, that’s no surprise. Now I’ve agreed to take few more people under my wing before summer ends. To see my special commitment to your success, start right here.
“Right here” is a link to a slide-show entitled “A whole new way to double your money in four days or less!” C’mon, if you believe this stuff, it’s because you want to. If this guy can make money so fast, why does he bother selling subscriptions? -1
Post Office box: Nope. “16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201″ is a real building. Score one point for Money Morning. +1
Onerous terms: I couldn’t find a Terms and Conditions document on the Money Morning website. But I’ve seen references to “rules” in consumer complaints; so I think there is one. Maybe a subscriber would see the T&Cs after she put her money down?
The Privacy Statement says you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking a button, or by phone. Of course, a scammer may not do what they claim; and judging from the complaints I’ve found, Money Morning doesn’t. 0
Lying and deception: I smell a weasel here.
- “When the best recommendations turn into total profits like 277% in four trading days, 269% in four trading days, and 297% in 24 hours, that’s no surprise.” Which are the best recommendations? The ones that panned out, apparently. One way to claim you’re a super predictor is to say a lot of random stuff and don’t count the misses. Astrology works the same way.
- Another article mocks Marcus, Goldman Sach’s new online bank, for being FDIC-insured and for not doubling your money in four days. “So go ahead and partner with Goldman – up to your protected limit. Otherwise you’ve got no one to blame if the squid’s tentacle pops a bubble somewhere and wipes out your savings.” This is manipulative writing. -1
Obfuscation: You don’t get to see the Terms and Conditions until you sign up (if then). Customers complain that the company isn’t responsive. -1
Phony reviews: I haven’t found any reviewers that were obvious shills of Money Morning. I was looking for a review coupled with a Money Morning ad or a button linking to Money Morning — evidence of payola. There are some suspiciously enthusiastic reviews, but I’ll let that slide. +1
Crummy product: Most customer reviews are harsh:
- Political propaganda posing as financial information. Lack of citations or supporting evidence. Not credible enough to take seriously when trying to stay informed.
- Linked video purports to be about imminent existential risk to humanity and economic collapse. It is actually an inducement to buy financial products from an affiliate of this site.
- Presents infomercials as news. Attempts to create anxiety in order to sell questionable financial advice. -1
Overpriced: I don’t know how to evaluate this. 0
Unauthorized charges: I found many complaints by customers who couldn’t get their subscriptions to Money Map Press’ paid newsletters cancelled. For example, of the 138 complaints logged by the Better Business Bureau in the past 12 months, 50 were billing and collection issues.
I ordered the booklets supposedly for a one time payment of less than $5.00. Then I find they took a payment of $94.13 from my bank account. There was no mention of this becoming a monthly-recurring payment for basically useless information that can be obtained from U.S. Government for free. This is advertised as free just pay mailing cost. -1
Final score: -2
Don’t let the scorn of a pretentious “expert” stampede you into playing games you don’t understand. There’s nothing wrong with an FDIC-insured bank account. You’re more likely to improve your fortunes by saving money than by gambling with it.