Article by Charlie Wright
I’m thinking of becoming a newspaper man.
I like the idea of wearing a pork pie hat… loose tie… and working late on a breaking story over a bottle of scotch… exposing scandals and crimes that ‘go all the way to the top’. Taking heroic risks in the name of truth.
‘You’re a loose cannon, Wright!’ my boss would shout.
‘Yeah, go tell it to your mother,’ I would say, slamming the door behind me, wondering what ‘go tell it to your mother’
Hey, perhaps I should ask The Mail’s financial ‘watchdog’, Tim Hetherton, for a job.
After all, I beat him to a story at the end of last year.
Yep, I was first to finger ‘The Vet’
If you remember, back in the 8th of November, I broke a little story to you about ‘The Vet and His Magic Milkshake’.
This guy called Tim Eastman was promoting his racing tip service by claiming he was a vet. He claimed he knew the secret of boosting a horse’s chances of winning… with a special milkshake of horse vitamins.
His offer came with a watertight guarantee underwritten by Zurich Financial Services, Regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and approved by the office of fair trading.
At the time, I was doubtful.
‘BALLS!’ I said.
The Financial Mail caught up with the same story 4 days later than me. But being a paid journo, Tim Hetherington went so far as to call the REAL Tim Eastman in California.
Yes, he’s a vet, but he knows nothing of the fake Eastman.
‘We don’t even treat racehorses in our practice,’ he said.
Anyway, you can check out what those slowcoaches at The Mail said here
At the end of the article, Hetherton says:
‘ Given the number of lies and tricks used to part punters from their money, this is clearly criminal fraud and not some grey area like breach of contract. I shall wait for a phone call from Surrey police and I’ll be happy to fill them in on what I have found.’
Well, mate, CALL THE COPS, because I’ve got another one for you…
Mr King and the bent insiders
A reader wrote to me this week to say:
‘I fully understand your dislike of racing tipsters, but I have received a letter from one who seems to be actively promoting dishonesty.’
He goes on…
‘V.G. King of 75 St James Road Chichester West Sussex PO19 7 HR has written to say that the racing industry is full of bent people who are only to ready to fleece the punter!’
Okay, so he’s probably right. But there’s a twist…
‘Mr King wants to sell me info on bent races, which to my mind if I followed his advice, would make me complicit in a crime.’
I’m not sure about the legalities, but yes, I’d avoid any scheme where your tipster is likely to be arrested, or do a runner, at any time.
Thing is, as someone who knows about copywriting, I have a few suspicions. It sounds like this might just be a guy who tips horses, but who has decided to give his promotion a bit of edge. I mean, you have to admit that following the bent money is a unique and interesting angle.
In a sick way, I LIKE IT! Almost as much as I liked The Vet and his Magic Milkshakes.
Just resist the lure of riches. Keep your money in your pockets for now, eh?
Talking of scams and the like…
A free resource for you
While I’m on the subject of hanging onto your money… I don’t know if you invest or not, but this is worth checking out.
It’s a Financial Services Authority website. If you’ve not heard of them, The FSA are the hard core watchdogs who slam down on all those who mis-sell investments. You know, the guys who DIDN’T approve The Vet, despite his claims.
They’ve produced a list containing the names of unauthorised overseas firms known to be targeting UK investors.
They say: ‘Investors should be aware that if they put their money with unauthorised firms they will not get the benefit of the UK compensation and complaint schemes.’
Blimey, it’s all scams and crooks today isn’t it? Check out more on the website here.