If you have ever turned your car radio to the AM dial, you will inevitably hear some sort of talk radio. There are sports shows, news shows, political shows, comedy shows, and financial shows. The male-dominated entertainment medium is listened to by millions of Americans and offers thousands of shows to listen to across North America. If you’ve listened to AM Radio for more than a few minutes, you’ve probably heard some commercials for financial services. You will hear all sorts of wild claims about how they can make you very rich for little work, or eliminate all of your debts. We all know it’s too good to be true, but there’s always the wonder of what these companies are up to and what kind of wild-eyed programs are they trying to push?
A lot of AM talk radio shows are a bit strapped for cash, so they’ll accept radio advertisements from less than reputable sources. For example, on the Howard Stern show you will hear an advertisement for PAS or the Prosperity Automation System. Some pyramid schemes such as Quixtar and Amway at least have products they market or some semblance of a legitimate business model. With the Prosperity Automation Service, they do not even pretend to be selling any products. In essence earlier members will be paid by the sign-up fees of the new members, and inevitably the bottom will fall out. If anything meets the definition of „pyramid scheme“ this is definitely it. It will most likel be shut down by the FTC in just a matter of months if not weeks.
Another advertisement you will hear is the Smith & Merritt Institute. They are not as crazy as the PAS people, but are definitely walking in the world of get rich quick. They have a lot of interesting catch phrases which draw people into the system and make it seem like they have some hidden secret about money. It appears that they do not offer any real products except a free report and consultation which is probably a way to get you to buy into some more expensive financial product.
There are some talk radio advertisements which offer „debt elimination“ services. Some of these are legitimate companies which will negotiate your interest rates and get you on a payment plan. There are others which will teach you to do what you already know, work hard and just get rid of that stupid debt. But there are also scam artists in this area that claim they can eliminate your past debts without any repayment. These are scams. They will offer a „debt elimination letter“ which you can send to your creditors to tell them that you no longer owe the debt. Of course they will laugh at you when you show it to them. Others will tell you to establish a new social security number, which is illegal under federal law.
There are just a lot of bad products for sale on talk radio show programs, so be very wary when listening to commercials on talk radio.