Positive pregnancy tests being sold on Craigslist?

Michelle Singletary
Columnist September 5, 2013

I know times are hard but it never ceases to amaze me what people will do to make money.

Michelle Singletary writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column, “The Color of Money.” View Archive

On Craigslist, people can find positive pregnancy tests for sale from $20 to $40, reports the New York Daily News.

According to examples from Lee Moran’s report, one Los Angeles teacher wanted a “positive” result to make a video for her students about teen pregnancy. A jilted girlfriend wanted to purchase the test to get back at her cheating ex-boyfriend. She wrote in her Craigslist ad: “I am so done with him an[d] angry and don’t want him back but would like the last laugh out of this. I will give some girl $40,” the article said.

Reporting on the ads, the Daily Dot found this on Craigslist: “Wanna get your boyfriend to finally pop the question? Play a trick on mom, dad or one of your friends? I really don’t care what you use it for.” This person was selling positive sticks for $25 each.

A woman from Texas selling her sticks for $30 wrote: “I’m 34 weeks pregnant. I’ll take any test. Don’t care what you use it for. That’s your business. Don’t be afraid to ask, they’ve already been lots of other women asking for my help, so don’t think you’d be the first;)” the Dot reported.

I also found some fake (for pranks) andsupposedly real positive pregnancy tests for sale on eBay.

Some things you just shouldn’t do for money.

Color of Money Question of the Week

What do you think of the online market for positive pregnancy (real and fake)? Send your responses to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Include your full name, city and state, and put “Profiting from Positive Pregnancy Test” in the subject line.

Chat Today

Join me today at noon ET for my live online discussion.

My guest is Robert L. Deitz, author of “Congratulations, You Just Got Hired: Don’t Screw It Up.” Deitz is a professor of public policy at George Mason University. His book was the Color of Money Book club selection for August.

You Are Sued!

Former students of Donald Trump’s real estate institute are complaining that they paid thousands of dollars for information they could easily get off the Internet and for the pleasure of taking a picture with a life-size cardboard cutout of the “The Apprentice” star, the Associated Press reports.

Complaints from former students of Trump’s real estate school have prompted a $40 million lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, “who says Trump helped run a phony university that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and largely useless seminars,” the AP says.

Schneiderman’s office filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, The Trump Entrepreneur Institute -- formerly Trump University -- and Michael Sexton, former president of Trump University, for “fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct in connection with the operation of Trump University.”

From 2005 through 2011, Trump University operated as an unlicensed educational institute that promised to teach Trump’s real estate investing techniques but instead misled students into paying for a series of expensive courses that did not deliver on their promises, the attorney general’s office said. A three-day seminar ran $1,495, and a “Trump elite” package was priced at $10,000. For $35,000, students were promised a personal mentorship.

“More than 5,000 people across the country who paid Donald Trump $40 million to teach them his hard sell tactics got a hard lesson in bait-and-switch,” Schneiderman said in a release about the lawsuit. “Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got.”

In an interview with “Today” host Savannah Guthrie, Schneiderman said that the institute pushed students to purchase pricier courses.

“Probably the most despicable thing, and this is documented, told students to raise their credit limits,’’ Schneiderman told Guthrie. “Call up your credit card companies; get more credit; and then use that extra credit to buy more Trump programs. There’s people who had to move out of their homes. There’s people who went heavily into debt for this. This is just disgraceful conduct.”

In a phone call to “Today,” Trump called Schneiderman “a total lightweight.” Trump claims the lawsuit is politically motivated.

To Weave or Not to Weave?

A Texas pastor supposedly told female staffers and parishioners recently to stop getting hair weaves because they were spending too much on that personal expense, reported AmericaPreachers.com.

“I lead a church where our members are struggling financially,” AmericanPreachers quoted the pastor as saying. “I mean really struggling. Yet, a 26-year-old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. NO. I will not be quiet about this.”

So for last week’s Color of Money Question, I asked: “Do you think the pastor was right to pick on weave wearers?

“The pastor was WRONG to pick on women who spend money on hair weaves. How dare he,” wrote Patricia Dolan of Kenosha, Wis. “Some women were born with thin hair, and some have lost hair due to chemotherapy or other health-related issues. Historically, hair has been termed a woman’s crown of glory. If a weave makes a woman feel better about herself, she’ll feel more confident and be more likely to contribute more to her family, friends, and society. Such an expense is more justifiable than alcohol, drugs, or any self-indulgence.

Mark Filzen from Texas, posting on Facebook, agreed with the pastor. He wrote: “A $300 weave is nonsense.”

Maurina Rachuba also wrote on Facebook: “It’s not that message that his parishioners are making financially risky decisions. It’s that he chose to couch his message in terms of the decisions that only women make. His message would have made more sense if he had only stated, and from the pulpit, that humans can make bad decisions, and that there are consequences. And he should have invited Michelle to come set up her program for them!”

Tia Lewis contributed to this report.

Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071, or michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to www.postbusiness.com.

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