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Friday, February 10, 2006

Genealogy Scammer Avoids the Slammer

Maxwell MacMaster will no longer be selling his $45 "Family Yearbooks." Well . . . actually, maybe he will, but he can no longer claim that they're worth the paper they're printed on.

Here's how the books worked: If you were a customer named John Smith, MacMaster would send you a letter identifying himself as your distant relative. He would promise to sell you a yearbook authored by someone in the Smith clan and containing jokes and recipes from the Smith family. [Link]
Of course, he was lying through his teeth. The yearbooks were not published yearly, were not individually researched, and MacMaster knows no one by the name of "Smith."

A settlement with the state of Colorado requires that MacMaster pay a $30,000 fine, $25,000 in legal fees, and desist from promoting his books as even slightly useful.

Strangely, MacMaster's website seems to have disappeared in the last week (here's a recent cached copy from Google). He's probably too busy to maintain it, figuring out how to convert stacks of unsold yearbooks into America's next alternative energy source.

Looking through the other cached MorphCorp pages on Google, I found something curious. Consider this one—"The boot to the groin Family Website." And is there really an "Ass Hat Family Newsletter"? It seems that someone was having fun at poor Maxwell's expense.

If you were duped by MorphCorp's pitch, call them for a refund. If your request is turned down, give the Colorado Consumer Line a jingle at 1-800-222-4444.
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Tor

I am so glad to see that guy's been finally put out of business. I used to work at Picton Press, and people would ask me about those mailings they got all the time.

Peace,

Tor

Chris

Picton Press would be my dream job. Quality books in quality bindings, published in my favorite spot on the coast of Maine. I'd pay them to work there.

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