An exposé about much more than just Suze Orman
From Fraudulent FICO Fables to Corporate Cons, How Suze Orman and Her Crooked Cabal Manipulated the Media, Plundered the Poor, Stole from the Middle Class, Damaged the United States Economy, and Hijacked a Political Party
A Citizen Journalism Public Service Offering
This online multimedia book is based on the documentary film:
How Suze Orman SCAMMED the World (2016)
A comedy, tragedy, and IQ test all in one
Click here to download the free ebook
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Suze Orman SCAMvenger Hunt
1: From Waitress to “Financial Expert”: Orman’s History of Shams and Shenanigans
2: Seducing Corporations, Banks and Billionaires
3: Trumping Up Her Bank Account with a Gold “Pump and Dump” Scheme
4: Distortions of the “Queen Of Crisis”: Damaging the Economy for Personal Gain
5: The “Approved” Card Scam and Media Wide Fraud
6: Capitalizing On The Financial Illiteracy of The Poor, Minorities, and the “Occupy” Movement
7: The Scam-Ridden Card’s Demise and Cover-Up
8: Sociopathology and a Twitter Meltdown
9: And The Scams Go On…
This is an online multimedia book -- throughout the text, you’ll find underlined links to videos, articles, and other supportive documentation.
The Scam-Ridden Card’s Demise and Cover-up
With the CFPB’s new ruling and other factors, Orman surely knew the card was going to go under by mid-2013, and should have been begging forgiveness and promising to stop the scams in the face of possible justice.
But Orman knew that her behind-the-scenes protectors would make sure she would never face justice for any scams, ever, no matter how much damage they caused or how much money she stole from poor and middle class United States citizens.
There is evidence suggesting that Orman may have actually planned this “Approved” card as one last big con to fill her offshore bank accounts before laughing her way into a very luxurious retirement. With her oft-repeated two-year deadline for her fake "experiment" with TransUnion, it could very well be that Orman intended all along for this prepaid card to be a short term, but very lucrative suck of money from the poor and middle class she'd already been plundering for fifteen years.
Just two months before releasing the prepaid card as her “People First Movement,” Orman had announced that she was going to retire from the financial advisor business in three years to travel on her yacht and enjoy the grand fortune she had acquired. That doesn't sound like the appropriate time to launch a massive new long term venture that would have millions moving their bank accounts to her shlocky card, trusting this scammer with, in some cases, their entire savings, from which Orman took more and more off just like when she used to steal money from her father's wallet every night for years.
To announce a prepaid card business two months after announcing that you're going to retire sounds quite like putting up a snake oil stand, knowing it would soon fold up shop and run off to a private island in the Bahamas to enjoy the ill-gotten loot.
When Orman told several media outlets, including the Daily News, that come 2015, she was going to retire and close up shop, she said that when she did, the only thing you would see on her web page would be a sign that said, “Gone fishing.” Little did she know Hay House was going to swoop in and keep the Orman machine going with almost no participation from the fisher girl and a lot of fake social media postings in Orman's name of often ghostwritten or plagiarized phrases and excerpts. From the Daily News in November 2011: (Link 7-1)
“Financial wizard Suze Orman already has her retirement plans laid out. She told us at the recent Friars Club testimonial dinner for Larry King that she plans to end “The Suze Orman Show” in three years and sail around the world: ‘Unless something wacky happens, I’m 60 now, and I always had a date of 63 that that would be that.’
Orman said that on her last day of work, her Web site’s home page will simply say, “Gone Fishing.”
Just before retiring would be a strange time to start a huge new venture such as the “Approved” card, a business that would require resources and commitments of all kinds for years to come. But nothing ever has to make any sense whatsoever in Scamming Suze’s topsy-turvy land of deceptive webs, where journalists have been too fearful, ignorant, or corrupt to ask the needed questions.
Another indication of when Orman thought the card scam might end is how, throughout 2012, Orman promised in show after show that the results of her little fake experiment with TransUnion would be made public in eighteen to twenty-four months. “In eighteen to twenty-four months, we’ll know if a debit card can create a FICO score!!!”
Orman also mentioned several times that if the card didn’t make money, she would close it. At the time, my Suze Scamdar said that she was probably doing that with the expectation of closing the card after the experiment deadline was up.
Here’s another tip for Suze SCAMvengers: Orman often gives clues of what she is doing, such as when she bragged about making massive amounts of money from her gold pump and dump and suggested that she was planning to buy and sell her way up and down the roller coaster being created, in part, by all her media blasts to BUY GOLD!!!
On the same day Orman’s Mothers Day, “buy my prepaid debit card” article was published in Elizabeth Street, came other articles by Orman with pitches for mothers to use her crummy “Approved” card.
This Hay House article from the same time includes Orman's assurance that: “You know I will do everything in my power to tell you everything you need to know. You can always bank on me because I have your best interest at heart. Learn more about The Approved Card here.”
Don't bank on Suze! She does not have your best interest at heart!
This Hay House article appeared to be pieced together from bits and pieces of PR materials Orman had previously used to pitch the card. As of June 2016, it is still online: (Link 7-2)
Now many parents have come to me and said, “Why are my kids in debt? Why aren’t they living the way I want them to live?” “How can I teach them to handle their money without making the mistakes that I made?”
Well, you spoke. I heard. And what you said mattered to me. So I decided to do something about it. I want to help you teach your teens about money. I want to help you feel good about your finances. I want to give you a place to bring your money home to—a place that really values you and puts people first. So I decided to create my own prepaid card. It’s The Approved Prepaid MasterCard®.
The Approved Card is simply a prepaid card that you load money onto — you prepay the amount of money that you use. It’s that easy. It’s not a debit card that’s attached to a checking or credit union account.
It stands all on its own. No credit check. No background check. No checking account.
For the first year-plus, Orman was pushing the completely fraudulent idea that using her fee-laden prepaid card would improve users’ FICO scores, which was clearly shown to be false lies by the documentation earlier in this book.
During her snake oil pitches, Orman continually claimed that within 18—24 months, TransUnion would have their answer on whether her card could create a FICO score. But what was Orman going to do when the jig was up and this obviously deceptive ploy ran out the clock?
The 24-month deadline was up in January 2014, so in November 2013, the jig was almost up. That is when the only journalist to ask Orman about the outcome of her big media blasted experiment with TransUnion asked the big question, timed so she could give a scammy answer before the card actually closed.
From The Daily Beast, November 2013: (Link 7-3)
…She can’t help but claim victory already. The card, she says, is “thriving,” and broke even for the first time this summer. “TransUnion made a deal with me,” Orman says, “so that for two years they would look at behavior on this card—in an aggregate, anonymous way—and see if it determines future behavior.”
I point out that it’s been just about two years. Any word?
“They are finding out that it does,” she says, with a smile.
A representative from TransUnion confirmed the broad outlines of its partnership with Orman, but wouldn’t corroborate her statement about the two-year timeline. Nor would the representative make any statements about what kind of conclusions, if any, TransUnion has drawn from its analysis, stating only that the process is “ongoing.” Orman declined to give any further details, as well.
Maybe she’s wrong, letting her passion get in the way of the facts. Or maybe she’s right, and a groundbreaking TransUnion deal will soon materialize. Maybe I’ve witnessed a Suze witching moment.
Note that when Orman said she broke even in mid-2013, that means she personally received a return of at least the two million dollars she claimed at the NCLR to have invested in the card from her own bulging coffers. She also assumedly had to get at least the financial investments back to the other partners whom she surely must have promised big returns for their complicity in her scheme that plundered their reimbursed money off the backs of the middle class and poor.
It was time to set up a distracting silver object to cover up the card’s demise and cover her tracks.
Orman’s Fake Petition Cover-Up Campaign
In January 2014, the 24-month experiment deadline for Orman’s “Approved” card’s “experiment” with TransUnion was up.
Orman had finally stopped pushing to sell her card, but she added another web to distract and cover up her scam, as she prepared to close down the card.
Orman and her political lobbyist publicity strategist damage control experts created a ridiculous, poorly executed Change.org petition, and addressed it to Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tim Johnson, and Mark Warner.
Here is the text of Orman’s petition:
In this prepaid card petition sham, Orman was feigning to ask these politicians to mandate that the credit bureaus include debit card holder's information on credit reports, something that is not in the hands of legislatures, nor anything that would make sense to do, as explained in the Approved card scam chapter.
Elizabeth Warren, who started the CFPB, was one of the government officials who should have easily sniffed the scam and directed an investigation of Orman’s prepaid card fraud.
Instead, Warren and other Orman cabal enablers played along.
There are many ways the credit scoring system of FICO could be improved, however most finance experts agree that using a prepaid card to determine credit worthiness is not and should not be one of them. But helping poor people get a better FICO score had nothing to do with what Orman’s Change.org petition was really about.
For Suze Orman, all of her fans, followers, and friends are nothing more than pawns for her to use in her con games. When she knows the jig is about to be up for one of her scams, she creates a diversionary headline to distract people, usually one that makes her look altruistic in some way.
In this case, Orman needed a cover-up to make her look like a great credit score debit card activist, in hopes of covering up and making everyone forget about the prepaid debit card scam she had just run on the American public.
This ruse didn’t require much work. All Orman had to do for this fake cover-up of her fraudulent “Approved” card scheme was to put up a petition with the lowest resolution video clip I’ve seen in decades, and send out a bunch of tweets to get others to do the publicity work for her.
This petition was intended to give Orman ammunition to defend criticism of her nearly defunct Approved card scam and the millions she made from it. She could use this petition to suggest that she was vigorously lobbying senators to change the score all along but, oh well, it just didn't happen.
Orman pushed her Change.org cover-up ploy to many celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Cory Booker, Lady Gaga, Kathy Griffin, and Perrez Hilton, asking them to re-tweet the link to their millions of followers, many of whom would sign the petition without even knowing or understanding what they were signing.
Read more of Orman’s petition pushing tweets here: (Link 7-4)
Particularly intriguing was Scammin’ Suze asking Senator Cory Booker to “Show people you really care and help me circulate my help (sic.)” Booker shows how much he cares in his service-based approach every day, but he’s almost fallen for Orman’s schemes before, so she hoped he would re-tweet her petition and give it a sheen of merit.
Also note Orman’s typo in her tweet to Booker that showed how lazily she was frantically rushing to tweet famous celebrities she hoped might make the mistake of re-tweeting her link to their millions of followers.
Clearly, Orman’s goal was to drive up the numbers on that petition so it might look valid in the eyes of government agencies and others who might question her card but weren’t really paying attention. She pursued the tactic with full enthusiasm.
Orman even added a threat to make sure it looked like she was really passionate about this cause. I can assure you she was laughing her head off with her partner in crime about how easily they could con the world, again and again.
With all the millions Orman has bilked from the public and received from banks, billionaires, and corporation, she didn't even have the interest to use even an iPhone quality camera to film her “important” plea—this video had the lowest quality resolution I’ve seen in a very long time (play the clip here: Link 7-5)
Orman knows that even with minimal effort on her part, her protectors will keep her from scrutiny or justice, and that makes her laugh her evil laugh all the more.
Yahoo Finance tried to warn their readers that the petition was ridiculous in an article titled, “Why credit bureaus will never care about your debit card history”: (Link 7-6)
Orman launched a Change.org petition in January asking Congress (specifically Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is a longtime consumer finance advocate) to make banks turn over non-credit banking history to credit bureaus…
Even if lawmakers back a plan to include debit transactions in credit reporting, credit reporting agencies aren’t going to simply roll over and play ball until debit history can be proven to indicate credit worthiness. That, after all, is what a credit score is supposed to indicate in the first place.
In the meantime, there are many proven ways you can improve your score without having to picket on Capitol Hill. Start by making on-time payments, tackling high-interest credit card debt above all others, and keeping your card balances under 10%.
In the Yahoo article, Senator Warren's spokesperson gave Yahoo Finance the same kind of cagey answer that is typical of those complicit in Orman's devious schemes: “Senator Warren believes it’s important for families to have various ways to build their credit and enhance their access to affordable financial products and services.”
What does that mean, Senator Warren? Seriously, letting Orman use you to run her scam. And it wouldn’t be the last time Warren would shockingly support Orman’s deceptions.
At the same time Warren gave this non-response to Orman’s petition sham, the “Approved” prepaid card scam was still bleeding the poor and middle class dry through exorbitant fees and the completely incompetent card management that lost many card users' accounts and money and charged inappropriate fees, requiring a whole lot of those $2 phone calls to the “Approved” card's customer service in the Philippines (click here to read complaints of the card stealing from customers: Link 7-7).
Note that during the previous two years, while Orman was soaking up millions of dollars in fees from all the poor and uneducated who had believed her latticeworks of lies, she didn’t do anything beyond pitching her predatory card to advance the “cause.”
Now that the jig was about to be up, Orman needed a good alibi for all the questions that should have already descended about the upcoming demise of her “Approved” card, but never did.
Up until the publishing date of this book, no journalists have ever pushed Orman for any information about her card closing or her big experiment with TransUnion, aside from that one question by the Daily Beast six months before the card abruptly closed, when Orman extolled how great the card was doing and bragged that she and her investors had won the game and made back all the money they’d invested in her prepaid card scheme. Because nothing would be worse for a con artist than to publicly lose money from a con.
Orman’s petition scam also helped to cover up the January 2014 announcement that her newsletter partner had been fined by the SEC right around the same time: (Link 7-8)
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission levied a $100,000 fine against adviser Mark Grimaldi and his firm last week for misleading investors in two tweets about his investing strategy's performance. The tweets claiming he “DOUBLED the S&P 500 the last 10 years” took liberties with the performance claims to boost his portfolio's allure, the SEC said.
Orman knows you've got to cover up any bad press with confusing press! And where would Orman's scams be without Piers Morgan and his producer looking to raise their viewer numbers (while his show was still on the air)? Orman bragged to Morgan’s producer about how she had generated 100,000 signatures for her petition just by scamming others into publicizing this sham to cover her prepaid debit card scam.
Of course, Orman's publicist and co-conspirator Hilary Rosen also tweeted the petition ploy out to her fifty thousand mostly democratic followers that included many of the most powerful people in politics and the media.
Change.org re-tweeted the link many times, while obviously enjoying the publicity Orman likes to promise when she involves people and corporations in her scams.
Most people who saw Orman’s petition crusade hadn’t read the documentation in this book or film, and still thought of Suze Orman is someone they could trust, someone who was acting on behalf of the poor, who she had just plundered for millions of dollars in her prepaid debit card scam.
See more Change.org tweets about Orman’s petition sham here: Link 7-9
Next is the email Change.org sent out to their huge mailing list on behalf of Orman's petition scam.
Note that anyone unfamiliar with the facts wouldn’t know that congress can’t tell credit scoring companies what to count toward their scores, or that prepaid card use gives absolutely no information relevant to credit worthiness, or that many in the financial services industry were already looking at non-traditional credit line ways to determine credit worthiness, such as how consumers pay their utility and other bills, or that if by chance debit card use ever were to be counted toward users’ FICO scores, they would be more likely to lower a person’s score than to improve it.
Nevertheless, Orman’s publicist used many buzzwords to convince people that this highly recommended “financial expert” must be pitching something that will help the poor and middle class, whom she had just ripped off for two years with her scammy “Approved” prepaid debit card.
Here is the unsolicited letter that was sent to Change.org’s entire email list and other mailing lists:
(Name of recipient) –
As a world-renowned financial advisor, I know that building good credit is one of the most important things you can do to secure your financial future. But did you know that none of the purchases you make with your debit card count toward building your credit?
This puts debit card users at a serious disadvantage when it comes to making big purchases like a car or a home, or even applying for jobs and rental agreements. No credit = bad credit, and because the credit bureaus don’t track debit card transctions (sp.), debit card users get no reward for being financially responsible. This is a deeply unfair system, especially for lower income people, and I am determined to see it change.
That’s why I started a petition on Change.org calling on the Senate Banking Committee to mandate that the major credit bureaus track debit card transactions as well as credit cards. Please click here to sign.
This change could make a big difference for a lot of people, from young people applying for student loans, to new families who want to own their own homes, to people who’ve fallen on hard times and need to refinance their mortgages.
You could be the most loan-worthy person in the world, but simply because you choose to use a debit card rather than a credit card, you run a high risk that your credit score will be negatively impacted—and you might not be able to get the loan you need.
The good news is that the Senate Banking Committee is led by folks like Senatory (sp.) Elizabeth Warren who want to promote financial fairness. I know that by using a petition to draw attention to this important issue, we can give the Senate Banking Committee the leverage it needs to help make the credit ranking process more fair to everyone.
Please sign my petition calling on the Senate Banking Committee to help debit card users to build strong credit history.
Some of the people who received this unsolicited email were confused and bemused, including one fellow who tweeted, “Dear Suze Orman: Please do not start your unsolicited emails with the words 'As a world-renowned...' It sounds assholish.”
After all the other blatant scams she's gotten away with, Orman knew that most of the people she fools don't read Yahoo! Finance, so even with comments from bemused finance experts piling up on the Yahoo article and others, Orman posted a photo of herself and her partner in crime, giddy with con artist glee.
I don’t think the storm Orman was laughing about had anything to do with the weather.
Then came more of this:
It’s all a joke, all a game, and the loser is the American public, and the world.
With her Petition blitz, Orman once again showed is how dangerous it is for a corrupt person to have way too much public influence, including the ability to get hundreds of thousands of people (assuming many or any of them were real) to vote for something that would be harmful to almost everyone. The only person intended to benefit from that petition was Suze Orman, who used it to distract public attention from the TransUnion “experiment” deadline of her prepaid debit card scam, which neither Orman nor TransUnion ever mentioned again. Poof!
During the twenty-four months that her card was raking in fees from the poor, she didn't do a thing to address this “cause” of getting debit cards to count toward FICO scores aside from pitching her card. Suddenly, she was pushing this grand goal fervently, which for Suze Orman involved doing nothing more than having her publicists create a ridiculous petition and sending out a few tweets.
Orman knew she could easily play the public for a fool again and create this diversionary tactic that would entice the same people who were fooled by her fraudulent claims into pouring money into her accounts through her “Approved” card scam to think, oh well, Suze is working so hard to make this change, and she’s connected with important people like Senator Elizabeth Warren. I shouldn’t say anything about the fact that her card took so much of my money. Those complaints should have resulted in a big class action lawsuit against Orman and the “Approved” card, since government agencies were obviously not interested in protecting the public from Suze Orman’s scams.
Orman also intended the petition to put that same protection in place ahead of the card’s dirty demise that was coming up, in many cases, locking people out of their accounts while still charging fees, and of course, those never-ending two dollar phone calls to customer service.
The only “change” Orman was interested in was moving bucket loads of “change” from the pockets of the middle class and poor into her own. As an seasoned scammer, Orman also knew she had to also distract enough to run out the statute of limitation time for any of her prepaid card victims to file class action or personal lawsuits regarding her consumer financial fraud.
Remember that long before this petition cover-up, FICO had already said they were not interested in what Orman’s petition was claiming to want. And you can’t have congress telling a corporation like Fair Isaac that they have to include completely irrelevant data in their calculations, just because Suze Orman says she wants them to do it while running these scams.
In fact, giving corporations more access to debit card use, what Orman was asking everyone to sign her petition to do, would probably be harmful to most debit card users. The only possibly relevant information would be if they messed up and somehow overdrew their cards, which would ding their scores.
Using Orman’s prepaid card would also show that they either have such bad financial histories that they couldn't get a free debit card from even a credit union, or that they’re so financially uneducated that Suze Orman talked them into moving money from a bank to her fee-laden card.
Some people use debit cards specifically to hide their financial transactions, and even they would lose if this petition were successful, which it never would or could be. Giving corporations access to someone’s prepaid card use might be good for ex-wives looking for some child support, but it would likely harm those debit card users as well.
Also, if you gave credit scoring points for using a debit card, then you'd have to also give points for using cash or checks, and then the whole credit scoring system becomes moot. As you’ll see at the end of our film, Orman proclaimed that she wanted the credit scoring industry to change to an entirely new scoring system, “And I hope they call it the ‘S.O.’ score!”
While some changes might be needed in this and other areas of the economy, Orman’s petition was nothing more than one more scam. There are plenty of ways she could have spoken up through her years of public influence to really help people, but that's not what motivates con artists like Suze Orman. Once you see that everything Orman says and does is either to put more money into her pockets or to cover her previous shenanigans, the patterns start to unmask, and her actions start to make more sense.
Of course, Suze Orman idolizer Kathy Griffin re-tweeted the petition request to her nearly 2 million followers, asking them to sign Orman's petition without even knowing what it was about, just to generate more numbers that didn’t represent support for the convoluted idea of the petition, but actually represented the ignorance of people blindly following and trusting someone who should not be trusted.
At the same time Orman was using this petition sham to cover up her fraudulent FICO score claims in preparation for the card’s demise, she appeared in an article for E! Online about how to budget and save in 2014.
What was “financial expert” Suze Orman’s number one tip just a few months before her card would close, stealing more money from users on the way out? To buy her fee-laden “Approved” debit card, of course. From the E! Online article in January 2014, “How to Budget and Save in 2014, Plus Tips and Tricks from Financial Guru Suze Orman”: (Link 7-9a)
Famed financial guru Suze Orman, who is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, and a renowned motivational speaker, is known for her ‘keep it real' approach to finances, particularly when it comes to budgeting and saving.
The Suze Orman Show host gave us her five tips and tricks for a “Money Perfect NEW Year,” which Orman promises will increase your financial security in 2014:
1. Pay as you go. “Using cash or a debit card (without overdraft protection) means you will limit yourself to spending money you actually have,” Orman said. “That's smarter than using a credit card and charging more than you can afford to pay off in full at the end of the month.” Using a pre-paid debit card is also a great way to limit your spending and debt. Check out Suze Orman's new prepaid debit card—the “Approved Card” here!
As a reminder, here is Orman’s January 2012 snake oil pitch on Good Morning America about her card and the 24 month debit card “experiment” that ended in January 2014, which was the same time she launched her B.S. cover up petition: Link 7-10
Click here to view more video Clips of Orman’s Prepaid Debit Card Fraud in Action throughout the mainstream media, with her frequent repetitions of the two year “experiment” deadline: Link 7-11
The silent, destructive death of Orman’s Approved card
The Suze Orman “Approved” card closed all accounts as of July 1, 2014, with the only notice being one convoluted letter from Bancorp, leaving many who fell for Orman’s debit card fraud unable to access their own money.
Rev. Pagan never received any response from Orman, and sent me the only communication he’d received, a confusing mess of a letter from Bancorp that was the only notification Approved card users ever received that the card holding their hard-earned money was closing: Link 7-12
The US Bancorp letter, dated May 1st, began:
“Our records indicate that you hold The Approved Prepaid MasterCard issued by The Bancorp Bank. This is a prepaid card and thereby not reported to any credit reporting agency (this is Bancorp finally correcting the misinformation that was the main reason most card members got the card after being fooled by Orman's fraudulent media-wide scam)
This letter is to notify you that The Bancorp Bank will discontinue all services in connection with these Cards, effective July 1, 2014...Use remaining balances before July 1, 2014...we encourage you to bring your available balance to $0.00 prior to your expiration date. If you have any balances in your Goal Funds you will need to transfer the balances to your primary account...”
How many people didn’t understand or even open that one letter from Bancorp—the only notification they ever received about the card closing? It probably looked like junk mail to most “Approved” card users who had no idea that Orman’s card had partnered with Bancorp. How many “Approved” card victims found themselves suddenly unable to access any of their money, including whatever they had moved into the card's sections for long-term savings as had been recommended by Orman herself? From Orman’s “Approved” card web page:
Those who were already victimized by Orman's high fee card got fleeced even more on the way out, with a lot more of those two dollar customer service call fees on top.
Note from those terms that the only way card users could get access to their “Goal Funds” would have been to go through a poorly administered request section on the Approved Card website. Since the website was not functioning properly, users had to jump through hoops and make more calls to get their long-term savings back. How scary it must have been for these poor and middle class workers to lose access to their own money, unable to pay rent or buy food, medicine, gas, and other necessities.
Meanwhile, Bancorp refused to give journalists any information about why the card was closing, just as TransUnion had refused to give any details about their little pseudo “experiment,” and FICO had only given one line addressing Orman’s fraudulent claims, and Senator Warren had sloughed off questions about Orman’s Warren-addressed petition sham.
From Consumer Reports: (Link 7-13)
Have a Suze Orman 'Approved Card'? What to do now.
The prepaid card is being discontinued, potentially leaving some holders in the lurch
Published: June 18, 2014 04:15 PM (Just eleven days before card users would be locked out of their accounts!)
Launched to great fanfare not too long ago, Suze Orman's prepaid Approved Card is closing up shop, according to a report in The New York Times. While the personal finance guru has been silent about this development, cardholders report receiving letters that say that the Approved Card will no longer work after July 1, 2014.
You may be wondering, “Can a prepaid card just stop like that?” The answer in this case—and in many others—is yes. That’s because most financial services contracts, usually called the terms and conditions, include a clause that says something like this from the Approved Card website: “We may amend or change the terms and conditions of this Agreement at any time. We may cancel or suspend your Card or this Agreement at any time.”
So what is an Approved cardholder to do?
Stop loading, start spending
If you have an Approved Card, it’s a good idea to stop loading funds onto the card (more on that below for those who have direct deposit) and to spend it down to zero as soon as you can.
These already defrauded consumers also had to go through the stress of wondering if they would ever see the money they saved on the card again. From Go Banking Rates: “Why Suze Orman’s Approved Card Will Soon Be Denied”: (Link 7-14)
Suze Orman announced her prepaid debit card, the Approved card, in early 2012 to much fanfare and criticism. Now Orman is quietly canceling the Approved card, which was marketed to consumers who were trying to build credit or rein in spending habits, according to The New York Times.
Approved cardholders started receiving letters this month from Bancorp Bank, Orman’s partner in offering the product, stating that their cards would be deactivated and wouldn’t work as of July 1. In the letters, cardholders were encouraged to spend or transfer the remaining balances on the prepaid cards, and informed that any remaining balances would be returned to them via a check from Bancorp, per the New York Times.
Despite this news, the website for Orman’s Approved card is still up, with no updates or changes that would indicate that the product has been discontinued.
Card users who had set up direct deposit from their employers, as Orman had encouraged users to do so they could avoid a few of the card’s many fees, also found that the “Approved” card was keeping additional paychecks sent to them after they abruptly closed users' accounts too quickly for people to change their deposit choices at work. This fiasco put even more money into Orman’s pockets, and more of those two dollar phone calls to the “Approved” card’s customer service center.
This next woman's plight is just one example of the damage Orman’s messy and heartless card closing caused to many lives of those who had already been victimized by the overall high fees and shoddy management of Orman's “Approved” card that they thought was going to improve their FICO scores:
In stark contrast to Orman's wild headline blast while pitching her card throughout the mainstream media, this card closure was done so quietly that there was not even a peep in any press about the closure, until I forwarded a Twitter message to New York Times finance journalist Ron Lieber, who wrote the first article about it. (Link 7-15)
This disabled vet couldn’t access his money after being conned by Orman’s “Approved” card scam, and asked Senator Warren for help:
Unfortunately for this disabled vet who asked Senator Warren for help in getting his stolen money back from Orman's card, Warren was entangled in what Chris Cuomo called “The Orman Cabal.” (Link 7-16)
In what is the most shocking element of our documentary film for many viewers, at the very same time Orman’s card was continuing to steal more money from its financial fraud victims as her card closed, Senator Elizabeth Warren—champion of the poor and middle class and creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—yes, that very Senator Warren was giggling on Politico’s stage with the scammer like schoolgirls in love about how they met at a Time 100 event as two of the “most influential people in the world,” and how they liked each other, tee hee.
Then, sitting together on stage, Warren looked on with a goofy smile as if in a trance, as Orman lied, then admitted lying, then justified her lie with another lie right to Warren’s face. Watch it for yourself: Link 7-17
Huffington Post: “With Senator Warren Watching, Suze Orman Denies, Admits, Rationalizes Teaching at University of Phoenix” (Link 7-18)
At an event in Washington DC this morning, speaking alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), financial guru Suze Orman at first seemed to deny what is a documented fact: that she teaches a personal finance course at the nation’s biggest for-profit college, the University of Phoenix. Then Orman admitted it, but offered a wholly unconvincing explanation.
The event, hosted by Politico and sponsored by Starbucks, addressed the issue of educational opportunity and student debt, issues on which Senator Warren has been a leader. Having read a tweet I sent yesterday, Politico reporter Allie Grasgreen asked Orman a highly relevant question:
Q: Suze, are you teaching classes at the University of Phoenix?
Orman: No, I’m not.
Q: Did you?
Orman: Did I? No, I never did. (Orman pauses with a grimace)
Orman: Now wait, let me just say something about that. I did a personal finance course for the University of Phoenix, the first credited one — under the guise that if you take that course and you look at the beginning of it, it says you cannot take out student loans if you cannot afford it. If you cannot afford to go to this college, I want you to drop out right now. Just so you know
It’s hard to square Orman’s initial denial with the admission that immediately followed. Perhaps it was a lawyerish parsing — “it depends on what the meaning of ‘at’ is.” But perhaps Orman just wasn’t comfortable admitting that she has been paid to lend her expertise and credibility to a business with a record of leaving many students with overwhelming debt.
Suze Orman not only was hired by the University of Phoenix to teach an online personal finance course, but also last year she appeared at a Capitol Hill event where she promoted the school. It’s difficult to understand how a person who proclaims herself “undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance” could accept such a role when, for many people, enrolling at a for-profit college can be the worst financial decision they make in their entire lives.
Guess who arranged this troubling appearance that basically threw Senator Warren under the Suze Orman scamming bus to give Orman a false sheen of trustworthiness even after so many scams had been revealed, and with customers of her card still trying to get their stolen money back?
See why people who care about the good of our country and world should have concerns about Rosen being a major strategist for Hillary Clinton?
In another “Orman cabal” strand, just before this Politico event, Orman was used by the same protector—political lobbyist, media broker, publicity strategist Hilary Rosen—to push Senator Warren as a presidential candidate.
Rosen was behind the “Run Warren Run” campaign, and obviously asked Orman to jump on board. Whether this was due to their actual fondness for Warren, or perhaps because Warren was paying Rosen and SKDK to publicize her new book or increase her public influence, or whether it was done as a threat to convince Hillary Clinton to sign on with Rosen and SKDK for the 2016 election is anyone’s guess. My current theory is that the plot was to have Warren run "against" Clinton, while being easy on her, with the end result being a Clinton/Warren ticket -- two complicit politicans at the top, a corrupt lobbyist's dream come true. But then Bernie Sanders came in with his revolution, and disrupted the plan, in spite of DNC and Rosen's efforts to take him out.
Is that a Hilary Rosen shill I smell, Sam Stein?
Like Michael Moore, Stein voiced support for Rosen when she made some disrespectful comments about Mitt Romney’s wife, that were criticized by democrats as well as republicans, because Rosen’s “mean girl” games are not the kind of discourse this country needed in the 2012 election, or the 2016, or any other election or government work.
Stein appears to also be a supporter of Rosen’s pal Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:
Orman’s big proclamation that she wanted Warren as president and not Clinton had all the substance-free overly-excited passion of Orman’s usual deceptions. Here is John King announcing the big headline on CNN: (Link 7-19)
JOHN KING: Suze Orman picking a president? Guess what? She’s not a Hillary Clinton fan; she prefers Elizabeth Warren, listen.
SUZE ORMAN: I tell you, and I’ll go on record saying this. If she would run for president against anybody, including Hillary Clinton, I would vote for her hands down. She’s the real deal; I think that woman, I couldn’t have enough good things to say about Elizabeth Warren.
See? Not a single substantive reason for this enthusiastic endorsement. Along with ignoring Orman’s other deceptions, Warren and the CFPB did absolutely nothing to help victims of Orman’s prepaid card’s financial fraud get one penny of restitution. Nor did Warren have any response on that politico stage upon learning that her panel partner for a discussion of student debt happened to be in the pocket of the most predatory for-profit school out there.
Did Senator Warren know about this association ahead of time? Does she really think Suze Orman is a trustworthy financial expert? If so, then Warren is ignorant of facts and intuitive signs right before her eyes. If she knew about University of Phoenix, the prepaid card, and other Suze Orman scams, then she is a corrupt enabler of a financial predator. With this event in mind, it was intriguing to see Warren go after Donald Trump two years later for his predatory “University.”
In the same way, you feel so much for people with college debt, dear Elizabeth Warren, as well as the poor and middle class. Why would you support someone who has scammed them?
As someone aligned with democratic principles, this Facebook post by Senator Warren about after the event with “financial expert Suze Orman” was especially disappointing:
Be careful whose back you’re scratching dear Senator, or you may end up with fleas like this credit union expert did after working with Orman:
Around the same time, the Senate’s Consumer Protection panel was busy questioning another Oprah protégé, Dr. Oz, about his overly enthusiastic recommendations for some questionable weight loss products. Focused on whether green coffee extract can help with weight loss, the Senate’s Consumer Protection panel had no interest whatsoever in that other Oprah protégé who was causing much more serious damage while running actual cons on the public.
Watch Scammin’ Suze in action while pitching the card, promising to always keep card users informed about everything they need to know: (Link 7-20)
“You know I will do everything in my power to tell you everything you need to know. You can always bank on me because I have your best interest at heart."
That’s Orman’s sociopathic sense of humor. It’s likely she knew that her strategy would be to let the card fizzle out after taking a ton of money from card users, after which she was going to go completely silent about closing the card, certainly not doing “everything (or anything) in her power” to tell her fraud victims what they needed to know. In fact, Orman never said a single word about the card closing at the time or since. As the New York Times put it: “Suze Orman’s Approved Prepaid Debit Cards Are Quietly Discontinued.”
As Approved card victims were frantically trying to get their stolen money back from the closed accounts, Orman posted gleeful, taunting photos of herself and her partner in crime enjoying those fees and improper charges they took from the poor and middle class, on a luxury yacht vacation that intriguingly took place in the Cayman Islands, where Orman’s protector Rosen has helped Corporations such as Herbalife move their accounts, to avoid paying taxes in the United States.
At the same time “Approved” card victims were unable to access their own money for basic necessities, Orman also shared this video of herself and her partner in crime laughing all the way to the bank: Link 7-21
Orman posted these photos of herself at the same time card users were unable to access their money after the card closed.
“Ha ha, fooled ya again!”
Huffington Post ran an article about the card’s demise, with the same kind of deference Arianna had previously shown in the video interview that allowed Orman to fool and scam Huffington Post readers with her “Approved” card fraud. (You'll see clips of Arianna’s interview with Orman in the documentary, or you can view longer clips here: Link 7-22)
The title of the new Huffington Post article was: “Suze Orman Nixes Her Prepaid Debit Card; It Appears Her Dream of Helping Millions to Establish and Build Credit Is Dead.” Seriously, here it is: (Link 7-23)
A more accurate subtitle would have been, “Although Orman earned back all of her investment and more from the fees plundered and outright stolen from 'Approved' card users, it appears her dream of breaking the banking system and fooling millions more into moving their money to her fee-laden card is dead.”
That Huffington Post article is an example of how PR spin can cover up a fraudulent money grab that stole from the poor and middle class and should have landed the perpetrator in prison—painting Orman’s scam as an altruistic quest for the betterment of humanity.
Orman-friendly Upstart Business Journal joined the obfuscation spin with an article titled, “Suze Orman prepaid debit card too good a deal?” beginning with, “You can’t fault Suze Orman for trying to help people…”
That shill article title was republished and re-tweeted by many real and fake social media accounts and news outlets.
And the “Orman cabal” juggernaut continued on.
Go to Chapter Eight:
"Sociopathology and a Twitter Meltdown"
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