ScamWow

Scammers, swindlers, and con-artists: they’re all woven into the fabric of what it means to be an American. We even live in a time where a reality TV star can scam his way into the White House!

ScamWow is the gripping podcast about infamous cons that will make you angry and awestruck at the same time. Comedians Sue Smith and Caitlin Brodnick walk you through the best scams ever, from current events to historic mobsters, and everything in between. Above all, the podcast focuses on great storytelling, with a fascination on fraud that might be… unhealthy?

Follow Scam Wow on Instagram and Twitter @scamwowpodcast

Follow the hosts @suesmith666 and @caitybrodnick

Audrey Kitching, The Myspace Energy Scammer w/ Nayomi Reghay

Wow. We all occasionally suspect that energy healers and new age stuff is kind of BS, but investigative journalist for the Daily Dot, Nayomi Reghay, proved that our suspicions are sometimes correct, unfortunately. Nayomi went down a rabbit hole (or a 5D portal, if you prefer) to uncover the truth behind the proprietor of Crystal Cactus, Audrey Kitching. Kitching runs an online store selling spiritual goods like candles, butterfly pins, and crystal dildos that are possibly cheap products repurposed from AliExpress. She also used to be big on Myspace and dated Brendon Urie from Panic! At The Disco, which may or may not be how she started scamming people? Caitlin and Sue don’t know! But they do have insider text messages sharing a scammy experience where Kitching burped at our source to align their chakras and heal their energy. Also, this turns into a conversation about spirituality and feminism. Because sometimes there’s truth in this unclear territory. They laugh and cry and as a whole so you’re gonna want to tune in!

Nayomi’s article for The Daily Dot

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Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Scams of The Real Housewives: Part 2

Sue & Caitlin are joined in the studio by comedian and writer, Caitlin Bitzegaio once more for the second half of Scams of The Real Housewives! Their coverage of The Housewives franchise continues with a deep dive into the historic “Fake Cancer”  scheme that poisoned the RHOC cast against Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers. Then it’s time to break down the gambling addiction that created and can possibly destroy one Beverly Hills power couple. Will Dorit and PK Kemsley be able to maintain their millionaire status among their RHOBH castmates?

Today’s guest, Caitlin Bitzegaio, has written for shows on BET, Bravo, ESPN, MTV, CMT, truTV, A&E Lifetime, Nickelodeon, PBS, and The Travel Channel, so she’s a television connoisseur, and is quickly becoming a ScamWow fan favorite!

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Scams of The Real Housewives: Part 1

Sue & Caitlin are joined in the studio by comedian and writer, Caitlin Bitzegaio. Caitlin has written for shows on BET, Bravo, ESPN, MTV, CMT, truTV, A&E Lifetime, Nickelodeon, PBS, and The Travel Channel, so she’s a television connoisseur. And yes, Sue is surrounded by Caitlins in this episode. Three of them at once! They break down their favorite scams from that wonderful piece of pop culture bestowed upon the land by Bravo: the Real Housewives. This week, they’re discussing the fabulicious family of Joe & Teresa (Tree) Giudice in New Jersey. Stay tuned for Part 2 to see who’s next!

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Felicity Huffman, Aunt Becky Are Going to Jail?! Emergency Episode!

*BREAKING NEWS* We interrupt your regularly scheduled scam to discuss COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-GATE 2019! Sue & Caity dropped everything for a bi-coastal skype to talk about Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, and their dirty college entrance schemes.

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

H.H. Holmes w/ JiJi Lee: Don’t Get Trunked!

This week, Caitlin and Sue welcome JiJi Lee, whose writing has appeared in Reductress, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. JiJi comes to the studio bearing significant research and brought extensive notes on the mysterious scam artist and serial killer, H.H. Holmes. They discuss his twisted murder hotel and his many victims in Chicago during the World’s Fair. JiJi gets after it, Sue gets into it, and  Caitlin gets nightmares!

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

DoTerra, Young Living & Caitlin’s Infomercial Scam: I Love the Boom Boom!

Listen, if an MLM (multi-level marketing) company thinks that they are going to get by Caitlin and Sue without being ridiculed, then they have another thing coming. These two girls will mock them all! Today, Sue and Caitlin discuss the essential oil multi-level marketing companies, Young Living and DoTerra. And also, go to the doctor! Use science and medicine to cure your ailments. Oh yeah, trigger warning: Sue and Caity talk about anti-vax stuff and eating disorders in this episode. Then, Caitlin discusses getting roped into doing an infomercial right before her wedding. It wasn’t a great experience and she kinda got an eating disorder from it, but hopefully her story will empower you to to not get scammed.

 

Resources for disordered eating:

 

http://americannutritionassociation.org/professionaldirectory
https://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert
https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/related/eating-disorder-hotlines/
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline


Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!


Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

The Government Won’t Tell You to Get A Cab: An Awful Telephone Scam w/ Abby Holland

Sue and Caitlin are joined in the studio by comedian and Lady Parts Justice League activist, Abby Holland. You may also recognize Abby from a popular gif that was once retweeted by none other than Lin Manuel Miranda himself! She was also a producer on VH1’s Best Week Ever. Just warning you right now, though: as Lady Parts Justice League is a non-profit dedicated to fighting for abortion and women’s health rights, Sue, Caity, and Abby talk about politics. DON’T SAY THEY DIDN’T WARN YOU! Then, Abby reveals a traumatizing scam that happened to her over the phone. It’s so fresh and raw that she hasn’t even told to her own mother about yet. (Sorry, Abby’s mom!) After receiving a mysterious phone call possibly concerning her parents’ safety, Abby embarks on an epic journey that involves the IRS, a Mexican drug cartel, graphic designers, and one extremely helpful Apple store guy. Pro-tip: there are undercover cops at the Apple store!

Abby Holland’s Famous GIF
Donate to Lady Parts Justice League

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!


Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Isaac Newton & 90 Day Fiancé : The Real Valentines

Hello, scammers! In honor of Valentine’s Day, Caitlin and Sue are talking about the cons that they’re truly in love with: Sir Isaac Newton and 90 Day Fiancé. Did you know that, in addition to proving the existence of gravity, Isaac Newton also busted a bunch of bad dudes? It’s the truth! Also, 90 Day Fiance: is that a scam or not? Yes, it’s a hit reality show on TLC, but who is really getting scammed? Sue and Caitlin have a lot of love and a lot of feelings! And, as always, call the Hot Tip Hotline and share your Valentine’s Day scam stories!!!


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Caity’s story about Isaac Newton


Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

FYRE Festival : Part 2

“I need you to take one for the team.” This is a directive from con-artist Billy McFarland to his loyal employee, Andy King. At the time, Billy was asking Andy to go to the Bahamian Customs Office and suck the official’s dick so he would release cases of Evian for the Fyre Festival. And Andy was going to do it. Now THAT’s the kind of loyalty all bosses must demand from their employees.

Poor Andy King, though. Caitlin’s not a fan but Sue has a lot of compassion for him because she has been in that situation before. Not that exact situation, to be fair, but she has done some weird shit for her bosses. One time, when she was a receptionist at an ad agency, she had to go to the Manhattan Mall and pick out some birthday presents for her boss’s daughter. That maybe isn’t super weird. BUT her last workplace had Terry Richardson photos all over the walls, which definitely created a hostile work environment. (HWE.) Eventually, they got taken down and replaced by a gigantic print of Kate Moss smoking. So.

Anyway, Sue Smith and Caitlin Brodnick are back with Episode 2 of their coverage of the Fyre Festival, the trash fire brainchild of scammers Billy McFarland and Ja Rule.

In this episode, they finish talking about the execution of the “festival” (a word used verrrry loosely) and then discuss all the thematic elements at play, just like this was a literature class or something, but way more fun because literature is boring. And Sue can authoritatively say that because she has a B.A. in English. Imagine paying that much money to study a language you already speak? Her younger self truly did not understand how the world worked.

Speaking of not understanding the world, yeah the main themes in these documentaries are racism and substance abuse..

Also, they would love for rich people to weigh in on the logistics and mind fuckery of this all. When someone orders you to put $3,000 on a digital wristband the night before the festival, why do you do it. Also, HOW? How do you have so much money that it’s just a drop in the bucket for you. Again, no shade, but please call in because they truly can’t wrap our heads around it. And they are not judging you for being rich, at all. To the contrary, they both would like to be rich one day. They are, however, judging you for being suckers! Hahahaha jkjkjk

Here’s some further reading:
The New Yorker: The Fyre Festival Was A Luxury Nightmare

Marie Claire: Everything You Need to Know About the Summer of Scam

VICE: Let’s Just Do It and Be Legends, Man
The Fyre Festival’s Pitch Deck
Maryann Rolle’s GoFundMe

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!
Send us your scams!
scamwowpodcast@gmail.com
Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

FYRE Festival : Part 1

It’s HERE! The Fyre Festival. The entire reason Sue and Caitlin started this podcast.

Fyre – a legendary tale of white male arrogance, social media branding, and rich kids trapped on an island as the world laughed. Fyre – a music festival where no music was actually played; a luxury experience complete with FEMA tents and impoverished, unpaid day laborers; a Ponzi scheme mixed with a catfish rolling on Molly. It was somehow more disastrous than anyone could have predicted, and totally predictable.

Six months ago, overwhelmed by the injustice, absurdity, and outright BALLSINESS of the Fyre Festival, Sue Smith needed to talk to someone about it. How was this even possible? It turned out that Caitlin Brodnick held a love of historic scams, and ScamWow was born: two comedians, fascinated by cons and hypnotized by orange tiles on Instagram, tackling the world’s most effective grifters.

Hulu? Netflix? Which Fyre documentary was better? Well, Netflix obviously, but Caitlin and Sue watched both. They discuss all of the events leading up to the festival (and they use the term “festival” loosely). They dig deep on lead con artist Billy McFarland and his little henchman Ja Rule. Seriously, Ja Rule seems really not all there mentally. No shade, but is he ok? If he tells you to get in the water, run and get help.

They ponder models swimming with pigs, Instagram influencer shit, and Pablo Escobar’s alleged Island. The usual. And OMG that brilliant moment where all the influencers wax poetic about their personal brands?!?!  And they all agree that it’s…positivity? Because of course it is.

This epic scam – along with Anna Delvey (who they will soon cover!), Theranos, Caroline Calloway (they will get to her too), and that weird Instagram egg – show that despite our unlimited access to information, scams aren’t going away. As long as someone craves a quick buck or getting drunk on a yacht with models without possessing any redeeming qualities, there will be someone there promising to make those dreams real. And isn’t that what this story is about? If you throw enough booze, money, and promises of celebrity out there, even otherwise smart people become the posse thrown under the runaway train of a vicious scam.

Why didn’t they cover this sooner? There are just SO MANY scams. Sue and Caitlin sincerely apologize for not covering this sooner, but the time has now come to rip into this ridiculous historical moment.

They’ll also cover the very bad play Sue saw in Los Angeles last week. Linda Vista? We don’t recommend it unless you want to see schlubby white peen. Caitlin talks about her amazing topless dog-walking role in the Netflix movie Set It Up that was cut out! Sue would like to apologize for her sniffles. She has two cats that she’s allergic to. Whatever, they’re cute. And Caitlin will play you a clip of her singing child! So much cuteness! Thank you for diving into the epic trash abyss of this scam for two episodes! There’s so much good garbage!

Here’s some further reading:
The New Yorker: The Fyre Festival Was A Luxury Nightmare

Marie Claire: Everything You Need to Know About the Summer of Scam

VICE: Let’s Just Do It and Be Legends, Man
The Fyre Festival’s Pitch Deck

Maryann Rolle’s GoFundMe

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!
Send us your scams!
scamwowpodcast@gmail.com
Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Baby Scams at the Magic Castle

Sue and Caitlin do a bicoastal call for a mini-scamisode about Sue’s trip to the legendary Magic Castle in Hollywood. Yes, it’s a real place! And Caitlin lets go of a scam-struggle to give her family a happier home. Also, since the scam universe has summoned them, next week, your sleuths will cover the infamous Frye Festival. They’d love to hear from you about all the thoughts and feelings it evokes. Listeners, call in! 347-509-9414

Enjoy!

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

Send us your scams! scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Magical Scams w/ Mark Philip Lichtenstein

Wow, wow, wow. Who knew that magic could be so intense and controversial? We sure didn’t. That was until magician Mark Philip Lichtenstein joined us in the studio to explain some classic magic tricks to us. Big hint on where this podcast is headed: Caity does NOT like getting tricked.

Mark reached out to us when he heard about the premise of our show, yet when he arrived in our studio he was a bit hesitant to tell his secrets, which was a huge tease for us. Guess that old adage is true. Also, he wouldn’t admit that magic in general is a wholesale scam, even though HE was the one who reached out to US, a podcast about scams. Anyway, he teaches us some tricks and we look at a very outdated website together and make fun of one of the guys and perhaps that was maybe mean and we should have edited that out, but you know what? We think it paints a picture! We’re all about painting pictures. We’re like the Bob Ross of podcasting: Pod Ross.

CoINCIDENTALLY: Sue is visiting the Magic Castle in LA this week, which, unfortunately, will not happen before this podcast comes out, but it’s kind of a weird coincidence, don’t you think? It’s like magic. The Magic Castle is this 55 year-old club for magicians in the Hollywood Hills that is invite-only and has dinner, shows, and an extraordinarily strict dress code. Like, very strict. The website even goes as far as to specify that rompers are not permitted. Now, that’s kind of a sweeping generalization, don’t you think? Rompers have come a long way and, these days, can be incredibly formal. Just step into a Madewell!

We’re torn on the concept of a dress code. On one hand, it’s like: don’t you dare tell me what to do/wear/act because you’re part of the patriarchy, and, on the other hand, it’s like: people don’t act right and they certainly don’t dress right. Just go to your local mall and you’ll see dozens of teens in pajamas. …And now we’ve become crabby old men telling kids to get off their lawns. BUT SERIOUSLY. People need to dress right and then we won’t need dress codes! No flip-flops at work! No pajamas at the Magic Castle. How hard is that?

Also, something we learned from Mark is that there are very few female magicians. Ladies: this is an untapped market for you and possibly a wise career choice! But if you think about it, magic is super patriarchal. Like, a man stands on stage and tries to control your entire experience, including the way you think and feel. It’s designed to gaslight you and make you second-guess yourself. That’s probably why we got so fired up in the studio! The patriarchy really stinks! Bad!

 

Anyway, if you would like to experience some of Mark’s magic in person, you can find Mark Philip Lichtenstein at https://magician.nyc/ See ya next week!

 

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

 

Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

 

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Baron von F**k: Clark Rockefeller w/ Anna Drezen

Saturday Night Live writer and hilarious comedian, Anna Drezen, takes a break from 30 Rock to stop by the studio and talk to us about the amazing con-artist, Clark Rockefeller. aka Christopher Chichester. aka Christian Gerhartsreiter. aka Chip Smith. This guy has had so many names. And tinted glasses, and the audacity to give David Berkowitz’s social security number on a job application! (He’s the Son of Sam.) The balls! Anna, go put this in one of your skits for SNL. Anyway, we’ve got 17 aliases, 3 hilarious comedians, and 3 dogs in the More Banana podcast studio today. (Our producer, Cait, calls it Kill Room Studios. Should we be concerned?  If we go missing, check the Kill Room!) 

 

One of the common themes we see with all of these scammers is that they have a crazy amount of gusto and confidence and people just bow down to that without verifying stuff. Indeed, a scammer is also referred to as a con artist, or con-man, which is short for “confidence man.” The deeper we get into these scams, the more we realize this to be true! It’s crazy that every subject of our podcast, every person we focus on, is super, super super confident. That’s what it takes to be a good trickster, we guess! Clark Rockefeller was so confident that he deserved to live in that lady’s house in California that he killed her kids and buried them in the backyard! Call it delusional, call it crazy, but he was, over everything else, absolutely certain that no one else would call him out on his bullshit. And that’s exactly how he got hired on Wall Street, too. He just walked down to the Financial District with a sharp jawline and a fake name and the Son of Sam’s social security number and knew that no one would question him! It’s wild.  

 

As a woman, it’s much tougher to have that kind of confidence. We’re taught to second guess ourselves,and that something isn’t happening, even when it is. That’s what gaslighting is. When you call someone out on something and they’re like, “I’m not crazy, you’re crazy and here’s why!” Oh! We forgot to tell you this. We tweeted it from our account (@scamwowpodcast), but maybe you missed it because it seems like people don’t use Twitter anymore. Anyway, the New York Post reported over the weekend that Louis C.K. gave Sarma Melngailis an STD! Can you believe?! There were some emails leaked between the two of them and, MAN, were they gaslighty! Louis C.K. was like, “I never told you I was clean. No one is truly clean in this day and age.” Which is SOME BULLSHIT because, um, YES, you absolutely CAN be clean. All you have to is get a test and it will tell you and then get your ailments treated. Oh, in case you don’t recall, Sarma is the former vegan chef and owner of One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine who was sort of brainwashed (we think) into giving all her money to a random guy and her businesses eventually folded and she ended up in a hotel room eating pizza. It was wild. We have an episode on it. 

 

Anyway, things are a trash fire. Hope you enjoy the podcast!

 

 

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

 

Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

 

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

 

Bloody Scams! Theranos & MacGregor Island

We didn’t mean to get bloody and gruesome, but we couldn’t help it. First we dive into the billion dollar blood-testing company, Theranos, and get REAL personal about genetic testing. Then, we take a trip to MacGregor Island, which was made up by some Scottish guy and totally not real. Enjoy! (Oh, and btw, we do talk about politics a little in this episode, so WE WARNED YOU.)

Buy Caity’s book! Dangerous Boobies. Out now!

Here is more information about genetic counselors and how to find one near you.

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

DISCLAIMER: We are comedians and this is satire. C’mon.

Don’t Get Relished: Moviepass With Carolyn Bergier

Wow, wow, wow what a show! First, Sue and Caitlin receive an amazing anonymous tip from a caller who experienced personal chaos at the hands of self-help group, Life on Fire. Then, Carolyn Bergier is in the studio to talk about her relationship with MoviePass and a weird chicken pot cookware scam that burned her marriage. Fire, divorce, cookery: it’s all here!

 

Our Patreon, social media channels, and more!

 

Send us your scams!
scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

Or call: 347-509-9414

Caitlin Brodnick’s Website

Sue Smith’s Website

The Vegan Pizza Fiend: One Lucky Duck w/ Allen Arthur

Sue and Caitlin are joined by criminal justice reporter Allen Arthur (USA Today, Documented, The Tennessean), who brings them delicious details about the vegan chef who was swindled out of her fortune by a cunning conman. Allen’s in-depth research uncovers the awful details in the case against Sarma Melngailis, the owner of Pure Food and Wine and One Lucky Duck. Also, she has a cute dog named Leon. Enjoy!

Follow Allen Arthur on Twitter: @LissomeLight

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Send us your scams!

scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

The Funky Internet Boys: Baby Scams w/ Adrienne Cooper

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s time for a tasty little baby scam. Adrienne Cooper tells us about the time she was scammed via email. If you even THINK of dark-webbing her, she’ll sic the FBI on ya. Plus, a few more yummy baby scams to complement your Thanksgiving feast. Enjoy!

Find out more about Adrienne’s food tours! http://www.funfoodienyc.com/

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Send us your scams!
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Scammed by Leggings & The First Feminist Gangster : LulaRoe and Marm Mandelbaum with Sue Smith and Caitlin Brodnick

Caitlin Brodnick and Sue Smith are obsessed with scams. Caitlin confesses she was a child con artist and Sue gets scammed by leggings! They could be getting scammed during this podcast! Who knows!?

Sue reports on the thousands of stay-at-home moms trapped into a leggings-peddling pyramid scheme. This multi level marketing scam is leaving women broke with a garages full of paper-thin leggins, unfortunate tunics, with a side of fat shaming. Caitlin shares an old-timey pick-pocketing lesson from Fredricka “Marm” Mandelbaum. Marm is considered one of America’s first feminist by helping to bing women and children out of squalor. She invented the fence scam, created the first school for thieves, and is Caitlin’s new hero.

More on the LulaRoe scam
LulaRoe Fails!
Mama Marm Mendelbaum, the Queen of Fences

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Send us your scams!
scamwowpodcast@gmail.com

ScamWow – Nov 14th! – with Caitlin Brodnick & Sue Smith

Scammers, swindlers, and con-artists: they’re all woven into the fabric of what it means to be an American. We even live in a time where a reality TV star can scam his way into the White House!

ScamWow is the gripping podcast about infamous cons that will make you angry and awestruck at the same time. Comedians Sue Smith and Caitlin Brodnick walk you through the best scams ever, from current events to historic mobsters, and everything in between. Above all, the podcast focuses on great storytelling, with a fascination on fraud that might be… unhealthy?

Follow Scam Wow on Instagram and Twitter  @scamwowpodcast

Follow the hosts  @suesmith666  and @caitybrodnick