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>>I wouldn't use one of the TV hucksters on a bet.<<

Nor would I, especially the later at night their ads appear on TV. I have noticed a trend: the later at night the ad appears, the stupider the advertisers consider their audience. OP, try this: grab the full name of one of the TV hucksters (let's call her Sara Bunco for the sake of an example) and feed it to Google thus:

sara bunco scam
sara bunco fraud
sara bunco ripoff

With each Googing, read some of the results you find. A lot of them will be from people whose evident literacy will call their credibility into question, but a number of them will be pretty articulate. See if there's a common theme. Not a single one of them is decisive on its own. Several thousand, taken collectively, are something to give some thought to.

That's how I evaluated the publisher of the newsletter I get. I fed his name in, associated with every possible word for a charlatan I could think of. No matter what I did, I got only hits like 'highly respected Joe Straightplay will be at GreedFest 2005 to talk about ETFs', 'Joe Straightplay has won the MuchoMoola Award twice', etc.; in other words, only neutrally or favourably descriptive stuff. Sounded rather good to me.
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