TV's 10 scummiest get-rich-quick schemers

Categories: Lists

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Infomercial get-rich-quick schemes are a little like weight-loss scams: both of them take something that's relatively simple -- work more to make more money, eat less to lose weight -- and pretend that there's a magic path through all the time and effort and commitment it takes. It's all about the lure, all about the promises.

PT Barnum said that there was a sucker born every minute--but that number goes way up after 2:30 a.m. From grandfatherly to sleazy, here are some of the most notorious pitchmen, and the schemes they've employed to make themselves rich on the backs of the suckers who just want to be rich, too.

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10. Tom Bosley SMC
You'd think it would be hard to dislike Mr. Cunningham from Happy Days. But after seeing this mess of an internet-marketing plan that basically amounts to "sell cheap crap at high prices," it seems more possible. If Tom Bosley is just renting out his fatherly face to a company he knows nothing about, then he needs a good, stern, 50s era talking-to. If, on the other hand, he's consciously repping a company that he knows to be shady? Mr. C needs to sit on it.

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9. Anthony Morrison's Hidden Millionaires
The real secret to becoming a millionaire is to convince hundreds of thousands of people that you can make them a millionaire, and charge each one of those poor saps a few grand to hear your advice. That's what Anthony Morrison did! How? Well, for one, he lives with his parents--a piece of advice that can save you potentially tens of thousands every year!

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8. Dean Graziosi
Another buy-low-sell-high real estate foreclosure guru -- when will people stop buying information about this relatively simple idea that's in reality pretty tough to find and pull off? And anyway, wasn't this guy the geeky dude on Head of the Class back in the 80s? Step one to becoming a real-estate tycoon: make a few million on sitcom work. Now there's a solid strategy.

7. Jeff Paul's Shortcut to Internet Millions

The strange thing about Jeff Paul infomercials is that you really don't see much of Jeff Paul -- and if his telephoto golf-course appearances are any indication, that's probably a small mercy. Instead, you get overacting porn-star wannabes pretending to make money off websites that they admit they don't understand. So, the real shortcut to internet millions? Boobs.

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6. Russ Dalbey's CashFlow
Russ Dalbey might give seminars on making an easy buck with commissions on bank notes (no easy task in this economic climate). But his real gift is easy-listening jazz, as shown in this, his latest album entitled Winning in the Cash Flow Business. Check your local listings to catch Russ on an upcoming episode of the Lawrence Welk show.

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