Even though I moved a month ago, the broadcast mailer from Saint Matthew's Churches still finds me. Sadly, though, the Jesus-faced prayer rug has been downgraded to a mere prayer handkerchief.
Their shtick reminds me of a great scam I once read about (I promise, I only read about it). It's simple, brilliant, and effective. Oh, and criminal, so don't do it.
The con artist sends out a silly little newsletter called "Free Stock Advice" or some such nonsense, padding it with truisms about the market (investment is risky! you can make money if you pick the right stocks!), along with--and this is key--a prediction about where the DOW will go in the next week. Let's say he mails out, oh, 1800 copies.
Here's the trick: a third say it'll go up, a third say it'll stay flat, and the last third say it'll slide.
Next week, he mails a fresh batch of similar newsletters, but only to the six hundred who received the right prediction. He repeats the process--200, 66, 22--until he's whittled his client list down to true believers in his amazing supracognitive powers. Now they'll buy whatever he's selling.
There's a sucker added to a database every minute.