"The Suze Orman Problem:
Scams, Shams, and Shenanigans"
A New Documentary Film Exposé
And The "Approved" Prepaid Debit Card Scam Video
An honest and in depth look at the problematic effects of Suze Orman's behavior, ideas, and insatiable greed for personal fame, power, and profits on society and the economy. A labor of service for the public good.
In our "Suze Orman Problem" article, documentary film, and "Approved" card fraud video, you will see Orman running many strings of schemes, including her "Approved" card scam, Money Navigator Newsletter scam, Gold Rush scam, and the ultimate sham of Orman portraying herself as an expert in areas in which she has neither personal nor professional expertise.
Over 100 finance journalists tried to warn their readers about Orman's prepaid debit card scam that nevertheless stole millions from poor and middle class citizens whom she fooled into believing the fraudulent con that moving their hard earned money onto Orman's fee-laden, incompetently run prepaid debit card would improve their FICO scores and not cost more than $3 per month.
Watch "The 'Approved' Prepaid Debit Card Scam,"
Starring Suze Orman
Play in this screen, or on YouTube
After stealing millions of dollars from poor and middle class citizens who were fooled by Orman’s “Approved” card fraud, the card abruptly closed in July 2014, charging card users more inappropriate fees on the way out and keeping some card users’ money as a final kick. The "Approved" card closed without a single word from Orman to this day – in stark contrast with Orman blabbing about the card on more than 100 shows and media venues in 2012 and 2013. Journalists who heard about the card closing were too afraid of “The Orman Cabal” to even ask her about it, although several Orman-friendly shill reporters tried to make ridiculous excuses and suggest that the card may have closed because it was such a good deal. No government agencies to date have taken proper steps to refund victims’ money from Orman’s blatant fraud, or to question TransUnion, who made a lot of money from Orman's "Approved" card scam, or FICO who has paid Orman tens of millions of dollars, staying almost completely silent when she made fraudulent claims throughout the media landscape using their name.
See how Orman fooled her victims into using social media to spread her fraud like a virus to their friends and family:
Why hasn't the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau taken steps to refund the millions of dollars Orman's fraud scammed from the poor and middle class since 2012? Why has the CFPB turned a blind eye to Orman's fraudulent and corrupt schemes while going after con artists and criminals who have caused far less damage? Here's a clue.
Update: One more Suze Scam goes bust after plundering the public
The Suze Orman "Approved" card closed all accounts as of July 1, 2014, leaving many who fell for her debit card fraud unable to access their own money. But don't worry about Orman's overly stuffed coffers. "Suze Madoff" let The Daily Beast know that she had already made back the millions of dollars she invested in the card and then some, money she stole from the pockets of poor and middle class victims who were fooled by Orman's media wide fraud campaign into thinking that moving money from their banks onto Orman's prepaid card would improve their FICO scores.
Nearly three months later, Rev. Pagan still hasn't received any response from Orman, telling me, "This is the only communication I received from anyone even remotely connected with the approved card. There was no information of any kind on the official website for the Approved Card or Ms. Orman."
Click here to read the confusing mess of the letter from Bancorp that was the only notification Approved card users have ever received that the card holding their hard earned money was closing.
Beginning on July 1st, 2014, a whole lot of people who trusted Orman's fraud found themselves unable to access their own money to pay rent, buy food, medicine, gas, and other necessities, not to mention the stress of wondering if they will ever see the money they saved on the card again.
Go Banking Rates: "Why Suze Orman’s Approved Card Will Soon Be Denied"
If card users set up direct deposit from their employers, as the card encouraged users to do in order to avoid a few of the many fees, Orman's "Approved" card has been keeping some additional paychecks sent to them after they abruptly closed users' accounts in too short of a time for people to change their deposit choices. This woman's plight is just one example of the damage this card closing is surely causing to many lives who have 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:
This disabled vet is asking Senator Elizabeth Warren to help get his money back from the "Approved" Card, which already stole a lot of unnecessary fees from his limited income, due to Orman's successful media widespread fraud that convinced many that using her card were going to improve their FICO scores:
Unfortunately for that disabled vet who is asking Senator Warren for help in getting his stolen money back from Orman's card, Warren seems to be entangled in what Chris Cuomo recently called "The Orman Cabal," More on the Senator Warren/Orman Cabal part of the "Suze Orman Problem" here.
As seen in the "Approved" card fraud video, Orman repeated on many of America's most popular television and news shows the exact same carefully worded phrase, "This card will only cost you $3 a month, if you use it how I tell you to." Of course, that is blatant fraud, given the list of 20 fees from $1 to $30 a pop, and the gross mismanagement of the "Approved" card that lost accounts, charged inappropriate fees, and required many $2 phone calls from customers to try to get their money back. And that's still the smaller part of Orman's Approved card fraud that fooled millions into thinking her card would improve their FICO scores. What a clever little criminal you are, Ms. Orman. How unclever are the United States government agencies who have allowed you to run scam after scam on the citizens they are commissioned to protect.
What justice for this con artist would look like:
This pitchman was sentenced to ten years in prison and fined $37 million dollars to repay customers after selling questionable weight loss advice books and causing only a tiny percentage of the damage Orman has caused with her mediawide scams and frauds:
Why have the CFPB and other government agencies given Suze Orman a complete pass for defrauding a lot more people out of a lot more money for over 15 years? Here's a clue.
Watch the Full Documentary
"The Suze Orman Problem: Scams, Shams, and Shenanigans"
Play the full documentary in this screen, or you can
click here to play on YouTube.
In the full documentary film, you will see how Orman scammed her way up from bakery waitress to "financial expert of the world," by conning, suing, and stealing from people and companies. You will see Suze Orman behaving as a gangster wannabe, who often brags about having more "hood" in her than most. You will see evidence of Suze Orman being a public puppet-for-pay mouthpiece for the same banks, corporations, politicians, and billionaires who have supported and covered up her shenanigans, through which Suze Orman and what CNN's Chris Cuomo bravely called "The Orman Cabal," complete with behind-the-scenes experts and ghostwriters, have plundered the public and distorted the economy to fill their own pockets for the past fifteen years. It's time for government agencies and the public to to clean up these shenanigans and turn toward more trustworthy experts who, unlike Suze, have actual financial educations.
Orman's scams and shams have been hidden and protected by behind-the-scenes financial experts, ghostwriters, and powerful media and political figures, including Oprah Winfrey (who fought her entire producer team when they claimed Orman's behavior was so "brutal" and "bloody" that her show should never air). Orman's protectors also include political lobbyist and BP Oil spil cover up specialist Hilary Rosen, Orman scam contributer TransUnion, and many other corporations, banks and billionaires.
During the past three years, Orman supporter Hilary Rosen and her political lobbyist PR company SKDK have used their expertise and political and media connections to cover up a huge wave of bad press by finance journalists who attempted to warn their readers about Orman's scams.
Rosen and SKDK have also reportedly been paid millions to cover up the BP Oil spill, banked millions destroying Napster, blocked reforms on predatory for-profit colleges, pushed for billions in tax breaks for already profitable corporations, fought against attempts to improve food nutritional standards, and supported corporations in moving out of the USA to avoid paying taxes (links to information about these alliances are available in "The Real Hilary Rosen Scandal" at The Nation).
Rosen has also played all kinds of political games that have distorted United States politics and put politicians in her pocket. Now she is apparently using promises of using her clout and media connections -- including CNN, to which Rosen and SKDK have funneled massive amounts of advertising dollars from BP and other clients -- to convince Senator Elizabeth Warren, supposed protector of the middle class and poor, to violate her own integrity by giving credibility and support to Rosen's client, plunderer of the middle class and poor, Suze Orman.
Watch a New Suze Sham as it Unfolds!
The Sham of Orman’s News About Retiring from CNBC to Create a Show Called "Money Wars"
On November 25th 2014, Orman’s publicists used many of their favorite outlets that have protected Orman's scams over the years to spin her retirement from CNBC as a positive step, announcing that Suze Orman is leaving CNBC to begin a new show called "Money Wars," that currently has no producer, no expected production date, and nothing more than Orman’s word, which, as you'll see in our documentary film and article, is worth less than nothing.
If you believe there will ever be a Suze Orman show called "Money Wars," I've got a prepaid debit card to sell you that will up your FICO score, or a Money Navigator newsletter where you can buy the gold that Orman insisted would be at 2100 by November 2012, or a financial advisor without any current credentials who never took a single college course in anything finance related, or one of a long string of other Suze Orman lies, scams, shams, and shenanigans.
The Fees on Orman's "Approved" Card
Beyond the Fees
As bad as these twenty fees listed in the card's fine print are, "Approved" card holders spent a whole lot more than that due to the gross sloppiness of Orman's card that charged improper fees at every turn.
The big bucks especially flowed into Orman's pockets from those $2 per call customer service phone calls, coupled with extremely incompetent card management that lost many users' money and entire accounts. Every mistake the "Approved" card representatives made put more money into Suze Orman's pockets and soaked Orman's victims for even more fees upon fees.
Click here to read more heart wrenching complaints from customers who were fooled and plundered by Orman's "Approved" card scam.
Where is a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit to question those involved under oath and get these financially victimized people their hard earned money back?
Where is the CFPB?
And don't say Orman didn't warn everyone:
"I'm not in this for charity. This is a business, and anybody who thinks that it’s not a business is an idiot... I'll tell you the sources of my income -- everything I do is a source of income to me."
-- Suze Orman, from Chicago Tribune: "Ad puts adviser's advice in question
Our film and article show Orman going far beyond what many hucksters have already received lengthy prison sentences for doing, apparently feeling protected from due justice by her behind the scenes webs of support and protection, including Oprah Winfrey -- who you will see irrationally defending Suze when her entire "Oprah Show" producer team brings up concerns about Orman's "brutal" and "bloody" attacks on guests.
You will hear Orman brag about her almost complete lack of finance education and far from illustrious ascent to power and fortune, with an elaborate sham supported by publicists, ghostwriters, and behind-the-scenes experts who in some cases tell Orman what to say, which she repeats as an actress who has learned her lines. Obviously Orman has learned some information about finances while playing her roles, however one of her recent partner-experts confirmed with me that she would ask him what to say and then repeat his advice and assessments verbatim in interviews and social media as if his expertise were her own (this expert is currently writing a book that he says will be filled with email and other evidence of Orman's fraud far beyond even what I've presented here). After all, this self-proclaimed "financial expert of the world" never took a single college course in finance and does not currently have any finance-related credentials. As you can read in this article from the Chicago Tribune, Orman claims to be neither a financial advisor nor a journalist, but a celebrity, who does not have to follow any of the rules of ethics required for those occupations.
You will hear clear evidence of Orman committing blatant fraud throughout 2012 and 2013 in a devious prepaid card scam designed to fool and steal millions of dollars directly from the pockets of the poor and middle class into her own. You will hear blatantly fraudulent FICO frenzied pitches on many CNN shows, The View, Oprah Winfrey Network, Wendy Williams, Nate Berkus, and a long list of local and national shows and media venues. Orman's misinformation campaign fooled many financially uneducated victims into pouring their hard earned dollars into her shoddily run prepaid card that stole far more than the twenty admitted fees from card customer's accounts before abruptly closing in July 2014, without a peep about the card closing from Orman, but with many customers unable to access whatever of their own money was left after paying all the fees.
Throughout 2012 and 2013, Suze Orman used the American media to fool millions into believing that moving their money from banks and other financial services onto Orman's fee-laden, poorly run card would improve their FICO scores. As some journalists explained, it would be difficult to hear Orman's misleading pitches and not think that was the case. You can see her fraud in action in the longer documentary film or in the "Approved" card fraud video.
Orman's bigger vision for her prepaid card scheme, as you will hear her describe during CNN interviews in the film and prepaid fraud clips, was to fool millions of people into moving their money from the banking system onto her shoddy and shady card, causing more damage to the U.S. economy and banking system than her other self-profiting and corporate sponsored schemes have already caused.
- The "Approved" card pilfered money from card users at every turn, with excessively incompetent customer service, lost accounts, improper charges, and a whole lot of those $2 customer service calls as frantic card users tried to get their money back.
- When the card closed in July 2014 without a word from Orman to this day, many card users were unable to access their money for basic necessities.
- TransUnion played along with Orman's "Approved" card scam, giving only the flimsiest of responses to one Orman friendly reporter of the many journalists who were clamoring for information.
What did TransUnion get in exchange for their support of Orman's profiteering hoax?
They received a lot of press as Orman spinned her webs of false FICO dreams throughout the media landscape to fool people into moving money from their banks onto her fee-laden card. TransUnion also got free access to a whole lot of people's personal spending data through the credit experiment part of Orman's "Approved" card scheme that gave TransUnion access to the specifics of every penny Orman's fraud victims spent on the card.
For those fooled into trusting Suze Orman enough to do whatever she suggested, TransUnion charged and received annual fees of $143.40 for "Approved" card customers to have access to their TransUnion report score beyond the first year. All that money went to TransUnion and Orman directly from the pockets of financially uneducated mostly lower income victims in the midst of an economic recession. These victims were conned into paying nearly $150/year for something that is easily available for free from Credit Karma and other avenues.
Orman's other partner, US Bank, never said a word about Orman's prepaid card, until they sent this letter to card users letting them know the card was about to close after two and a half years of sopping up their fees, and asking them to quickly spend all the money they'd stored on the card. Anyone who missed or didn't understand their convoluted letter was out of luck.
Victims of Orman's fraud were notified in the second sentence of the same US Bank letter, "This is a prepaid card and thereby not reported to any credit reporting agency."
Not only did Orman's widely broadcast false promises and fraudulent claims convince fellow citizens to pour their hard earned money into the black hole of Suze Orman's Approved Card, this criminal actually convinced her victims to enthusiastically spread her shameful fraud like a money-eating virus to their own family and friends. If that's not illegal, what is?
America, you've been conned!
Some journalists have delivered plenty of alarming information in their articles, including these:
- The Daily Beast: Can Suze Orman Save America? -- Adam Auriamma's title is a riff on the narcissistic sociopathy and delusions of grandeur Orman displays in this article, including, "I don’t question myself anymore. If I think it, I know it is true, and I don’t care what you say to me. I know my thoughts are true." In this article, Orman also claims that she deserves to win a Nobel Prize for her attempts to scam and plunder the Philippines with her prepaid debit card scam. (Do they give Nobel Prizes for most successful scams?)
- New York Times: Suze Orman is Having a Moment -- filled with examples of Orman's bad behavior and deceptive nature.
- Reuters: The Troubling Fine Print of Suze Orman's Prepaid Card -- "If Orman 'hates extra fees,' as she says in the advertising, then why promote a card that's loaded with them?"
Note that even with over one hundred articles from journalists top to bottom warning their readers about Orman's prepaid card's thirty fees from $1 to $30 a pop, none of them properly addressed the fact that Orman's shoddily run card lost users' accounts left and right and charged many undisclosed and mistaken fees, forcing users to spend big bucks on many $2 phone calls to Orman's incompetent card management and call center in the Philippines to try to get their money back. That problem continued when the card abruptly closed in 2014, keeping many users' saved funds and leaving them unable to access their own money to buy basic necessities for their families. Instead, the same media shills who have protected Orman in the past put forth the excuse that her card must have closed because it was too good a deal. This, in spite of Orman telling The Daily Beast in the link above that she already made back her millions of dollars of investment in the card within a year and a half -- bled from the backs of the poor and middle class.
Read some examples of complaints from "Approved" card users who lost a lot of money that went into Orman's pockets.
- Forbes: Sizzling Suze -- Details some of Orman's shenanigans from early in her deceptive career, before Steve Forbes became one of Orman's protectors.
- Fredd Blog: Suze Orman: If you take her advice, you're an idiot -- Fredd blog warned readers about Orman's shams a year before more than one hundred finance journalists, top to bottom, wrote articles to warn their readers about Orman's even more brazen "Approved" prepaid debit card fraud scheme.
- Suze Orman and Lil Wayne: A Match Made in Heaven Forbes
"Celebrity prepaid debit cards are both hilarious and horrifying. Hilarious because they are an excruciatingly obvious ploy to feed the greed of money-bloated fame-mongers. Horrifying because they prey on the poor and financially illiterate...In their eagerness to capitalize on a trendy and morally dubious market, Suze Orman and Lil Wayne will only deepen the financial woes of the unbanked. Spread the word. If enough truth proliferates, these prepaid atrocities will succumb to the same embarrassing fate as the Kardashian catastrophe."
- Eric Tyson, author of many finance-related "For Dummies" books has also been warning readers for years about Orman's deceptive career in his books and in this article.
Even with many articles warning the public about Orman's scams, shams, and shenanigans, the plundering and distortion of America and the world by Suze Orman and “The Orman Cabal” continues unabated, so I've done my best to present what should be more than enough information for any thinking person to realize that there is a serious problem with Suze Orman having any, much less extreme influence in today’s world. (Orman protector Forbes named Suze Orman as the ninth most influential celebrity of 2013, at the same time her "Approved" card scheme was raking in millions from the middle class and poor.)
Someone asked if I had a bone to pick with Suze Orman. My response: "I do have a bone to pick with anyone who is harming the country and people's lives, but am especially moved to act on it when I bear some personal responsibility for helping the person onto the public stage, in spite of clear indications of her severe personality issues that I mistakenly overlooked at that time."
Some quick links:
- Suze's “Approved" Prepaid Debit Card Scam
- Video Clips of Suze’s Prepaid Debit Card Fraud in Action Throughout the Mainstream Media
- Suze Orman: Fooling and Targeting the Poor and African Americans
- Suze's Attempts to Fool and Plunder the Occupy Movement
- The Suze Orman Money Navigator Newsletter Scandal
- A Warning About Suze's Almost Complete Lack of Financial Education and Credentials (by the author of Personal Finance For Dummies)
- Suze’s Early History of Shams and Shenanigans That Took Her From a Waitress with Zero Financial Education to Self-Proclaimed "Financial Expert of the World"
- Suze's Disturbing Exploitation of Disasters and QVC Hard Sells
- Suze's FICO Shenanigans
- Suze's 2013 Shenanigans
- Suze's 2014 "Approved" card cover-up "Change.org petition scam"
- Suze's Personal Gold Rush that Made Her Richer While Those Who Took Her Advice Became Poorer (just the way she likes it)
Oh yes, and with all this damage comes some general, basic financial advice from someone who never took a single finance related college course, but whose books, articles, and other information are often the product of behind the scenes experts and ghostwriters, with a whole lot of banks and corporations paying a steep price to fill Suze Orman's pockets and be recommended with her emphatic, over the top theatrics. Click here to see one example of Orman's theatrics for pay.
Come on, government agencies. I know you've been coming to this page numerous times. How about taking steps to protect the public, our country, and the world from the continuing damage from what CNN's Chris Cuomo recently called, "The Orman Cabal?"
How about you, Orman supporter Senator Elizabeth Warren, former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who claims to want to protect the public, while you continue to protect and enable this scoundrel who is ripping off the poor and middle class, and harming the U.S. economy. Don't you think it is time to clean this up?
CNBC got it more right than they probably know with this alarming October 2014 headline:
As did the Huffingtom Post in November, because Orman's entire career is built on scams upon scams:
One of Orman's recent business partners shared with me tales of being one of Orman's behind-the-scenes experts, because even though she has picked up many facts along the way about Roth IRAs and things, she barely got a BA in social work after many years of struggling to even get a grade "C" in any course. You'll also see other documentation in this presentation that indicates a latticework of behind the scenes experts and ghostwriters who have worked for many years to keep the "financial expert" facade going. This expert, like me and many others was used, abused, ripped off, and defamed by Orman after she used our skills and good names to run her scams and fill her endless hole of desires. He is currently writing a book that will include emails and other evidence he claims will prove the outrageous extent of Orman's fraud even beyond all the evidence I've presented here.
People who are basing their most important life decisions on trusting the financial and personal relationship advice that Orman has given very liberally, assuming she has some kind of education or degree in any subject relevant to either finance or psychology – with Orman emphatically and confidently telling mothers not to help their children, telling wives to divorce husbands who are not good with money, demanding that people get rid of their beloved pets who would likely be euthanized, and many other harmful doozies – deserve to know more about who they are trusting, rather than just assuming that because Oprah and others have given their stamp of approval, they don’t need to be vigilant when it comes to Suze Orman.
In the documentary film, you will see how Suze used her undeserved trust and extreme influence to derail the 2008 economic stimulus and intentionally distort and damage the United States economy, resulting in more millions of dollars in her own pockets and headlines such as the Wall Street Journal's, "Crisis Makes Suze Orman a Star," and Time Magazine's, "Suze Orman: Queen of the Crisis." You will watch Orman lie through her teeth throughout the media landscape with a media wide fraud campaign that fooled mostly the poor and middle class to throw away their hard earned money on a predatory piece of plastic, filled with fee-laden land mines and many instances of losing people's entire accounts of money.
Suze Orman is a scam upon a scam, within a scam
Orman's harmful actions were bad enough before she began her biggest con game of all, the "Approved" prepaid debit card scam, which was clearly intended fool millions of poor and middle class citizens into moving their money from banks and credit unions onto her shoddily run card that lost people's accounts right and left, stealing user's money with improper fees for the card's own rampant incompetence. Orman bragged that she had earned back her millions of dollars of investment in the card within just over one year from its launch, in part from an untold number of $2 calls to Orman's incompetently run call center in the Philippines by frantic card users who were unable to buy food for their children, all because Suze Orman's widespread media fraud and outright lies had convinced them that using the "Approved" card would improve their FICO scores. Then Orman gave those fooled by her fraud one more big kick in the but when her card went bust in 2014 without a single word from Orman, leaving many users unable to access their hard earned money at all, while Orman posted photos of her luxury yacht vacation in the Cayman Islands.
You will watch as Orman created a huge fervor to buy gold in 2011 -- with Orman bragging about how she reaped big profits and left all those who took her advice to watch their investments disappear, after which she bragged to a Reuters journalist, regarding her scam-riddled newsletter that she soon after denounced, "That newsletter is fabulous...It has been been beating the market by a lot... We issued a buy for an ETF for gold, we are up 5% in that ETF in a week and a half." (Click here to read the whole Reuters article with more interesting info about Orman defending her prepaid debit card scheme.)
You will watch as Orman distracts from the deadline of her prepaid debit card scam with a Change.org petition scam directed toward Senator Elizabeth Warren, who certainly knows better than to think the government should step in and tell a private company that they have to use completely irrelevant information to determine someone's credit history. Soon after, Orman lavished public praise on Warren and her book, declaring to great media fanfare that Warren should be the next president, to which CNN's Chris Cuomo decried the "Orman Cabal."
Click here for more on "Hilary Rosen, Elizabeth Warren, and the Suze Orman Cabal."
One of the many business partners and behind-the-scenes experts Orman has used and abused in recent years told me he is currently writing a book that will contain emails that prove Orman is a fraud, and worse, saying that all the information I've gathered in this film and article are not even close to the tip of the iceberg of what she is really doing. Nevertheless, even in the tip of the iceberg that is covered in this film, you will see why Suze Orman’s name should go down in history right next to Bernie Madoff's, except that while Madoff plundered the wealthy, Orman has slopped up and stolen a fortune directly from the pockets of the middle class and the poor, while causing damage to the economy of the United States of America.
With Suze now starting to perpetrate her financial scams on other countries, it is time for us to clean up these shenanigans and turn toward more trustworthy financial experts who, unlike Suze, have actual financial educations. It is time to choose non-sociopathic financial experts who don't sell the content of their advice to the highest bidder, but have helpful intentions to guide the most important decisions of people's lives at this important time in human history.
More than a month after Orman's card closed, users still had no idea if or when they'll get their money back, and Orman's strategy for dealing with the corrupt mess she created to steal from the poor and middle class has been to disappear without saying a word other than what her representatives are posting on social media on her behalf to pitch her show.
Not a peep from Orman to all the users who were fooled into buying and pouring their hard earned money into the fees and planned obsolescence mistakes of the card that generated a whole lot of those $2 customer service calls to Orman's incompetent call center in the Philippines, and who were just told by US Bank to spend all the money they'd placed on the card by July 1st.
As of August, still no word from Orman, who instead posted photos of herself and her partner in crime enjoying those fees and improper charges stolen from the poor and middle class on her luxury yacht vacation.
August 2014: A letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (click to read)
While Orman was pitching her fraudulent frenzy throughout the media landscape in 2012, TransUnion also gave a cagey answer to one of the few Orman-friendly journalists about their little "experiment" with Orman's Approved card -- the very "experiment" she used to give a false impression that using her "Approved" card would improve users' FICO scores.
"TransUnion is committed to supporting Suze's efforts to understand the impact of pre-paid card use on an individual's credit health. Our goal is to help Suze understand whether including this data in a consumer's credit report would impact access to credit products." It doesn't say a word about being interested in the research themselves or about any interest in this information from FICO, rather TransUnion is "supporting Suze's efforts," and "helping Suze understand." That is a far cry from Orman's mediawide fraudulent claims that TransUnion and FICO were looking to see if her debit card can create a FICO score. See the scam?
The unhappy "Approved" card user who wrote this iCNN article also shared with me this mess of a letter he received from US Bancorp informing him that his fee-laden "Approved" card was about to abruptly close. The letter began with what sounded like a legal requirement to tell people that prepaid cards do not improve anyone's FICO scores, except maybe Orman's with the millions she raked in from the pockets of the middle class and poor who fell for her scheme. The letter gave card users two months to spend all of the long and short term money they'd stored on the card.
The single Bancorp letter is the only notification card users received about the card, so all the card users who missed this one letter found themselves unexpectedly unable to access any of their money on July 1st. Even months later, while parading around photos of her around the world luxury vacation with her partner in crime and going on major news shows to yell at the Microsoft CEO about karma, Orman has never once been asked about the closed card or said a single word about it. Pretty much the only journalist who even asked Orman about her card claims was Adam Aurianna from The Daily Beast, who received personal access to Orman and wrote quite a telling article, in which Orman says the card is doing great and that she and her partners had already earned back their millions of dollars in investments.
Here's what Orman said to The Daily Beast in an article from November, 2013, less than six months before US Bank informed customers that the card was going to close:
Months after the card closed, there has not been a word from Orman, two and a half years after she appeared on over one hundred television, radio, and print outlets pushing her "Approved" card scam. Orman and her protectors know that the best way to make her strings of scams disappear is to ignore them and cover them up with new headline blasts. Hopefully my efforts will help stop these scams.
The US Bancorp letter, dated May 1st, begins: "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 (which is the main reason most card members got the card after being fooled by Orman's fraudulent mediawide 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 will not understand or open the single letter from US Bank about the card closing and will simply find themselves unable to access any of their money, including whatever they had moved into the card's sections for long term savings as recommended by Orman herself? Sounds like there is a whole lot of room for those already victimized by Orman's high fee card to get fleeced a little more on the way out.
In stark contrast to Orman's wild headline blast through the mainstream media that fooled poor and middle class people into falling for her "Approved" card fraud, this card closure was done so quietly that there was not even a peep in any press about the closure, until I sent a Twitter message to New York Times finance journalist Ron Lieber, who wrote an article about it. Even if the closure has not been publicly announced, the "Approved" card is clearly closed; the links no longer work on its website, and customers have been complaining about their accounts being closed.
Now that the Senate's Consumer Protection panel has questioned Dr. Oz about his overly enthusiastic recommendations for some questionable weight loss products, it is time to clean up a much bigger Oprah protégé problem. If you think Senator Claire McCaskill, chair of the Senate's Consumer Protection panel, should be asking Orman, her "cabal," and those who are blocked from speaking up by Orman's ironclad confidentiality agreements, about all the millions of people who have been ripped off by her prepaid card and other scams, please send a message to Senator Claire McCaskill here:
Let's get one thing straight here. In spite of Orman's widespread media hype and outright lies, there was never a chance that her "Approved" card was going to do a single thing to help anyone's FICO score, certainly not in the first two years, and certainly never with the very limited information TransUnion was looking through about where card users spent their money, with no access to any other individual facts about users, since the information was anonymous. When asked about Orman's claims, FICO's spokesperson, obviously trying to be honest but gentle so as not to upset their biggest proponent (although Orman still took revenge on FICO a few months later), nevertheless told the Baltimore Sun, "In our (FICO's) experience, spending is not actually a great indicator of the thing that the FICO score tries to measure, which is the likelihood you're going to default on a credit bill."
It was all a big Suze Scam that fooled people into paying big fees and money from every transaction they conducted with the card, into Orman's pockets, with victims of her fraud actually paying to give their spending information to a corporation. Even usually savvy people were fooled into moving money from their banks onto Orman's card, certain that they had just heard her say that the card was going to increase their credit scores. You'll see "Suze Madoff's" latticework of claims and disclaimers about her "Approved" card that she repeated throughout the media landscape in both the full documentary film and the debit card fraud clips video.
Personally, I'm not as concerned about Orman receiving long overdue justice for her schemes as I am in stopping the continuing damage she causes on so many levels of society, due to her extreme, Oprah-bestowed influence. If Orman receiving proper justice for her fraudulent schemes would help to erase some of her previous damage, then I hope for that. Many have gone to prison for doing far less damage than "Suze Madoff" has done. I do think that the opportunity for a government agency to question the “Orman Cabal” and others who may currently be bound by confidentiality agreements would yield abundant facets that should also be cleaned up, for the good of the world.
Here is the response from Suze's spokeswoman, Jill Zuckman, managing director specializing in strategic communications for Hilary Rosen's SKDKnickerbocker, to questions by a finance journalist from Bloomberg about Orman's prepaid card scam, with not a shred of accurate information to refute their claims, because the whole "Approved" prepaid card is a case of greed-fueled smoke and mirrors:
As for what TransUnion might be getting from this deal, aside from free access to a whole lot of personal spending data, "Mr. Consumer," Ed Dworsky points out, "If you only read the headlines about the free TransUnion credit score, report and credit monitoring benefit, you may miss the fact that the service is only free for the first year. After that, if you want to keep it, it is $143.40 a year."
Again, this $143.40 per year charge is for credit score information that can easily be accessed for free on sites such as Credit Karma, which also gives access to the other two main bureau scores, along with TransUnion, all 100% free. It won't take too many uneducated users of Suze's card trusting her enough to pay this ridiculous, completely unnecessary annual fee of $143.40 for Suze to plunder more big profits from the poor and uneducated for herself, US Bank, and TransUnion. It's a "scamducken": scams within scams, covered with scams.
In November 2013, Orman told The Daily Beast that her card broke even within a year and a half of launching, which means it has taken in millions of dollars of fees, lost paychecks and accounts, and a whole lot of those $2/call customer service calls -- fees that Orman stole directly from the pockets of the poor and middle class who were fooled by her media-wide fraud campaign. TransUnion also continued to obfuscate. Someone needs to question Orman, TransUnion, and FICO under oath!
The "Orman Cabal" Spin Begins!
US Bank, who is closing Orman's card, has refused to give journalists any information about why it is closing, just as TransUnion has refused to give any details about their little pseudo "experiment" with Orman that fooled so many into pouring their hard earned dollars into the pit of her card that goes into Orman's gluttonous pockets.
The spin on this card has continuously come from Orman's damage control PR experts, the same team -- SKDKnickerbocker and Hilary Rosen -- who have been covering up the BP oil spill, who are credited with making millions of dollars from destroying Napster ("Hilary Rosen banked millions destroying Napster"), and who represent companies that are moving from the United States to take advantage of tax loopholes.
Here is more on Orman's protectors, Hilary Rosen and SKDK from "The Real Hilary Rosen Scandal" at The Nation:
"We’ve compiled a partial list of SKDKnickerbocker’s clients. Since the firm refuses to register as an ordinary lobbying firm, we don’t know their full roster of clients:
— SKDKnickerbocker was hired by Kaplan Education to block Obama’s reforms on for-profit college companies, an industry plagued by by low quality education, false promises to students, and fraudulent business practices.
— SKDKnickerbocker was hired to push for billions in tax breaks for already profitable corporations. As Bloomberg reported, SKDKnickerbocker manages a lobbying campaign called “Win America,” an effort by companies like Google and Pfizer to receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks on profits made overseas.
— SKDKnickerbocker was hired by a coalition of food manufacturers to fight the Obama administration’s proposals on food nutrition standards. As the Washington Post reported, the firms paying Dunn include General Mills and PepsiCo.
The PR coverup excuse for the messy demise of Orman's shoddy card, which was first suggested in the New York Times and then requoted in other articles, is that the "Approved" card fees were so low, and that Orman was being so generous, that the card couldn't sustain itself. This is a load of baloney, especially when you see all the complaints from people who lost a whole lot more than those twenty listed fees from using Orman's card.
New York Times journalist Ron Lieber said, “Ms. Orman’s consumer-friendly tactics may have undermined the profitability of the venture, according to experts. At first, Ms. Orman had hoped to offer the card with no monthly fee at all, and it is possible that her customer-friendly $3 fee proved too low, given all the associated costs." Note that the only expert he is quoting was the manager of another prepaid card that had even larger monthly fees and is also considered to be predatory by many financial experts, although at least that card didn't charge those scandalous $2 fees to call customer service when Orman's shoddy card lost users' entire accounts over and over again.
Maybe Mr. Lieber is afraid to take on "the Orman Cabal." After all, his wife writes books about the same political circles Rosen frequents.
Click here to watch a May 2014 clip of CNN journalist Chris Cuomo bravely bringing up a need to take on the "Orman Cabal."
In his New York Times article about the card closing, Lieber -- who was also the first journalist Orman went to when she launched the "Approved" card -- added many overly generous assumptions about all the good Orman wished she could have done, hoped to do, or was proud of wanting to do, using a supportive quote from the same "expert" Lieber quoted in his first article that introduced the card, that manager of another exploitative prepaid card. Since Orman did not respond to Lieber's or anyone else's requests for comment, he must have been assuming good faith to an extreme degree, especially since Lieber has seen this webpage and likely watched at least some of the documentary film -- he follows me on Twitter, where we have shared some direct messages. Even with his overly positive view of Orman's motives regarding her "Approved" card scam, the facts in Lieber's article point to some of the problems beneath the surface, including this: "It is unclear exactly why Ms. Orman’s venture is ending. A spokesman for Bancorp Bank, which ran the back-end systems for Approved, declined to comment, citing a policy of not making statements about its partners. Ms. Orman could not be reached for comment. The website for the card does not appear to have been updated recently, and as of Monday night, had no mention of the card’s status." Notice how similar US Bank's response is to the noncommittal response by her other partner in this scam, TransUnion:
Although I appreciated him giving me a tip of the hat, Mr. Lieber left off a mountain of facts that you can see quite clearly in this article and in the video above, where Lieber also has an interesting cameo, in which Orman insults him by mistake, forgetting that he is one of the"friendly" journalists whom she doesn't consider to be one of those "Suze haters" who "yap, yap, yap, right at my little feet" -- something you'll hear Orman say in this clip with sociopathic relish:
Click here to play the clip of Orman's interview with Arianna Huffington that Lieber is referring to, with other telling information that helps to explain why her card is such a mess.
That exchange was from January 2012, when Orman was rolling out her prepaid debit card scam. While overly generous to Orman, Lieber's recent article about the "Approved" card closing did bring some facts to light:
"Suze Orman is quietly getting out of the payments business. Starting July 1, Ms. Orman’s Approved card, a prepaid debit card aimed at budget-challenged consumers, will no longer work, according to a letter from Bancorp Bank, her partner on the product. Bancorp is encouraging cardholders to spend all the money on their cards before that date. After that, it will send checks to people for any remaining balances. It is unclear exactly why Ms. Orman’s venture is ending. A spokesman for Bancorp Bank, which ran the back-end systems for Approved, declined to comment, citing a policy of not making statements about its partners. Ms. Orman could not be reached for comment. The website for the card does not appear to have been updated recently, and as of Monday night, had no mention of the card’s status."
One inaccuracy in his opening sentences is where Lieber calls the Approved card, "a prepaid debit card aimed at budget-challenged consumers." As you'll see repeatedly in the film, Orman was asking people from all walks of life to "join my People First Movement," and to leave their banks and move their money to the Approved card. You will see her tell John King that she envisions a world where all transactions take place on prepaid card -- i.e. hers. Obviously Orman thinks the American public is easy to fool into anything, and her assumptions would likely have once again proved accurate if not for well over one hundred articles by finance journalists top to bottom, warning the public about Orman's prepaid card scam in 2012. Note that these warnings about Orman's fee-laden card and the FICO scam that went with it didn't take into account that Orman's card was going to be run in a completely slipshod and incompetent manner, losing people's accounts, charging extra fees, locking many people out of their accounts, and costing users a whole lot of those $2 phone calls to customer service.
But don't worry about Orman, she made her money back, plus more, and is enjoying spending all those fees on her luxury vacation, strategically taken just as the card closure was going to inevitably be discovered, with no way for any journalists or card users to contact her for an explanation.
Huffington Post, in which Arianna herself did a video interview that allowed Orman to fool and scam her readers (you'll see clips of this in the documentary, or you can view longer clips here) once again hosted space for damage control now that the card has stolen what it could from customers and is closing without giving anyone the credit score boost they were expecting. This Huffington Post article is written by someone who runs a website that recommends prepaid debit cards, which most financial experts describe as one of the worst financial products available, due to the unavoidable fees, even aside from the complete incompetence of Orman's card and the exploitative $2 fees to call customer service. The title of this ridiculous article is: "Suze Orman Nixes Her Prepaid Debit Card; It Appears Her Dream of Helping Millions to Establish and Build Credit Is Dead." A more accurate subtitle would have been, "Although Orman earned back all of her investment and more in 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." This Huffington Post article is an example of how PR spin can turn a fraudulent money grab that stole millions of dollars from the poor and middle class and should have landed the perpetrator in prison into an altruistic disappointment.
Upstart Business Journal also joined the obfuscation spin, by actually writing an article titled, "Suze Orman prepaid debit card too good a deal?" that has already been republished and retweeted by other media outlets. This homage to Orman's good heart starts by saying, "You can't fault Suze Orman for trying to help people..." The same publication, Upstart Business Journal, also appears in our larger presentation page section that shows how a negative article about Orman in Portfolio Conde Nast was rewritten three years later to appear to be positive, after Portfolio was bought by none other than Upstart Business Journal. Oh the shenanigans! See the original and rewritten Portfolio and Upstart articles here.
Remember that "Saint Orman" didn't just endorse this card as most celebrities have with their prepaid cards; she created and owns it, and told the Daily Beast that the card broke even a year before it was closed -- making back Orman's millions of dollars of investments off the backs of the poor and middle class who were fooled into thinking using Orman's shoddily run card would improve their FICO scores.
During the past two and a half years, every time her employees made a mistake, the result was more money in Suze Orman's bank; a con artist's dream come true, $2 for each call to straighten out problems when the card loses people's money. The card would also hold people's money for a long time and hold an additional 20% when people use the card at restaurants, and oh so many other "Approved" card twists and turns, after Orman repeated throughout the media landscape, "This card will only cost you $3 a month if you use it how I tell you to." Most people ripped off by Orman's card were just quietly victimized, without posting about it online or knowing about other steps to take to get justice.
Orman and her partner in crime KT were probably hoping this fiasco would go under the radar as most of their other busted scams have, but if this "Bonnie and Clyde" team ends up being called to justice for their crimes, we just might see them disappear at sea. If you knew Suze, you'd know that is not outside the realm of possibility, especially given her repeated claims that by the end of 2014, she's going to close down her website and "go fishing." Well, who knows. Here they are boating around the Cayman Islands while the card was being closed -- the very place that some criminals go to hide their money from things like monetary judgments for fraud. Click here for some info about Orman PR representative Hilary Rosen's questionable financial dealings in the Cayman Islands.
As one of Orman's recent business partners told me, all the information I've shared in this film and article is not even the tip of the iceberg of the Suze Orman problem, nevertheless it is a big chunk. This public service effort is not about whether Orman's advice about investing in stocks is good or bad, but about something more important and insidious that needs to be addressed for the good of humanity, not to mention the economy and the pocketbooks of the poor and middle class.
A journalist recently asked if I had a "bone to pick" with Suze Orman. My response: "I do have a bone to pick with anyone who is harming the country and people's lives, but am especially moved to act on it when I bear some personal responsibility for helping the person onto the public stage, in spite of clear indications of her severe personality issues that I mistakenly overlooked at that time."
As one of many who have been personally scammed and ripped off by Orman and her deceptive and depraved ways as she clawed her way to the top, it is easier for me to see her scams in progress when she fools and plunders the public. Therefore, I have been moved by personal responsibility to use my skills as an author and filmmaker to make this information available as best I can. What started as a blog post some years ago in hopes of assuaging my deep regrets for having helped such a destructive person onto the public stage has ballooned with a constant stream of Orman's scams and shenanigans into several webpage articles with hundreds of links and a full two-hour documentary film with plenty of evidence for individuals, journalists, and government agencies who have been entrusted with protecting the public. I've done my best to organize this information while working on many other projects, so please excuse any duplicated information or "rambling." At some point, I may be able to offer a more streamlined version, although I prefer to focus on more positive topics, and welcome journalists, government officials, and individuals to use the research I've offered to help stop the damage from Orman's scams, shams, and shenanigans.
September 2014 Update: Watch Orman lie during an event with Senator Warren
Just a short time after Orman and her political lobbyist protector Hilary Rosen made big headlines about how Orman wants Elizabeth Warren as the next president instead of Hillary Clinton, Senator Warren gave Orman undeserved credibility by appearing with her in a public forum. Orman was asked an obviously unexpected but obvious question about working for University of Phoenix, a predatory for-profit college that many financial advisors who are not being paid by the "University of Phoenix" consider to be the worst financial mistake anyone can make, as explained in this article and video clip:
"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."
Watch the clip as Orman lies, then admits this one of a long string of lies and misinformation she has been well paid to feed to American citizens during a major economic downturn that she contributed to creating.
Note that Senator Warren, who is supposedly intent on protecting the same poor and middle class citizens that Orman has plundered time and time again, including through her association with the University of Phoenix, just sits there smiling:
Orman appears to be upset that Politico's reporter may have violated their agreement not to mention the Approved card or her involvement with University of Phoenix:
I was a friend to Suze and helped to start her career at a time when she was unpublished, unknown, and deeply in debt. Since then, I've seen how she pretends to be friends with people, only to use their skills and contacts to further her career, before often leaving those "friends" in seriously worse condition than she found them, including Orman's infamous reputation slander campaigns.
We had hundreds of hours of conversation during our two years of association, which ended right as Orman's first book was at the printer, with double thanks to me in the acknowledgments. The fact that Suze stole a lot of money from me and caused significant harm to my life, as she has done to many of her other associates, is not my motivation for creating this documentary and presentation. I want the best for everyone, however it is not possible for me to stand back and watch silently as Suze Orman rips damaging holes through the economy, through many people's lives, and through the fabric of society.
A wisdom quote that is generally attributed to the Sufi path says, "Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: At the first gate, ask yourself, 'Is it true?' At the second, ask, 'is it necessary?' At the third gate, ask, 'Is it kind?'" What I am sharing in this film and article is truthful, is necessary, and of course it is kind for people who may avoid being fooled, conned, and harmed by Orman's scams and shenanigans. Speaking necessary truth can also be kind toward the person who is causing serious harm to the world, giving them a chance to repent and choose a better way.
I have many positive projects to work on, however this one has become important to address at this time. No matter how many times I've resisted speaking up about this matter, there would always be another Suze scam to remind me of the very real damage being caused by a serious problem I mistakenly helped to create, damage that I could possibly help curtail or stop by speaking up, regardless of how others might view me or the presentation. This exposé is also intended to be a gathering of evidence for journalists or government agencies who might like to take it from here.
Imagine helping someone get invited to a party, in spite of the person showing troubling behaviors from the day you met, and then having to watch as she steals money from the pockets of everyone at the party, including the house owners, guests, and wait staff. Imagine knowing she is a fraud as she fools them with flattery and extravagant false promises, and charms them with uber-confidence and the techniques learned from many years of fooling and plundering people as a con artist from the South Side Chicago hood, as you'll hear Orman intriguingly brag in the film, "where all the murders take place, that's where I grew up, everybody."
Imagine watching this scoundrel you helped gain entry to the party as she denigrates and brings down the level of discourse, watching as she bullies people, shouting and proclaiming what they must do, even though she has neither the personal nor professional credentials to be giving such advice. That is the regretful predicament I and others have been in for the past fifteen years, while watching Suze Orman use the public platform we helped her achieve to cause serious harm to individuals, the economy, and the fabric of society.
Although Suze stole a lot of money and caused a lot of troubles for me after I spent two years helping her on to the public stage, this film and presentation are not a matter of revenge or unforgiveness. I forgive and surely would have all but forgotten, if not for seeing Orman cause continuous damage and feeling a sense of personal responsibility to speak up and share my experiences and observations.
Many have additional information and insights to bring to light regarding the Orman phenomenon; if the requirements of Suze's ironclad confidentiality agreements were to be released, more would be able to tell what they know. One of Suze's recent partners did not sign an agreement in spite of daily pressure from her lawyers, and will hopefully be sharing his information in an upcoming book. Even an astrologer who saw this new documentary had some insights to share in a forum about how being deceitful to the public can be seen in Orman's chart, although the astrologer is wrong about Suze not caring about astrology; when I knew Suze, she was hopping from one astrologer and psychic to the next, and had quite the occult flair.
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