ATLANTA, GA - People with below average intelligence, whether it be from heredity, birth defect, or brain injury, are now targets of yet another scam in which the perpetrators claim to be able to raise the IQ of an affected person by as much as 50 points.
The scam artists boast these results in so-called tests administered before and after subjects used an advertised device for a period of an hour a day for two consecutive weeks.
The device, called a "smart helmet", is nothing more than a construction hardhat, sold at any home improvement store for around ten dollars, and attached to it is an array of wires with metal ball bearings at the end of each wire, supposedly to "harness smart waves" out of the air like a transistor radio captures radio waves. These smart waves enter the user's brain through the hat and immediately make him or her more intelligent, on the order of 50 points on the IQ scale. The price for this intelligence quotient booster is a cool thousand bucks, but with free shipping.
"This means that a garden-variety imbecile with a natural IQ of 60 points can possibly improve to 110 and function quite well in a normal environment." Stuart Shipley, CEO of CoolGadgets, Inc., claims in the brochure sent out upon request in response to television commercials.
"Even a minimally functional retard with a 35 point IQ can still benefit from this device, bringing him up to just above minimal standards for mainstream social function."
When asked to speak to us about his claims, Mr. Shipley was unavailable for comment.
Several complaints have recently been filed with the BBB regarding the effectiveness of the smart helment, and even a few concerning saftey.
For instance, a couple in Rome, Georgia, whose 16 year-old mentally challenged boy with Downe's Syndrome had hoped the device would improve his IQ from 55 to at least 90 points so that he could fuction normally in school and later in life. They were very dissatisfied with the results they got.
"The thing's a piece of shit if you ask me." Charles Fuller, the father of the boy, declared. "It didn't do a damn thing to help my boy. I'm suing the fuck out of that company!"
Another couple who has a girl, 17, with brain damage since birth and is barely more than a vegetable, are outraged that this device is allowed to be sold legally.
"We wanted to at least bring our daughter's intelligence quotient up to the minimum level, but this helmet did nothing to contribute to any noticeable improvement. She still stares into space and plays with her excrement. We want our $1000 back plus damages."
Even some self-admitted dummies with supposedly average IQs wanted to try out the helmet to find out if they could "suddenly become geniuses", but to no avail. They're unfortunately still dummies, only a little poorer now. "We got ripped off, and we would like our money back. There's definitely something fishy going on here, but we can't put our fingers on it." an unidentified but confirmed dummy remarked.
The massive dissatisfaction conveyed by almost everyone who ordered one of these devices has offered yet another opportunity to the legal profession to make an obscene profit. Robin, Cheatam, and Fleece, LLC, an attorney firm in Birmingham up the road, has brought forth a class-action suit against CoolGadgets, Inc. to the tune of $20 million. They hope to bring their substantial clientele in this case, about 200 members, at least a portion of the money they paid out for the worthless helmets.
"We believe that, considering the grave injustice this company has perpetrated upon these poor, innocent dimwits, we have an excellent shot of recouping almost all of the 200 thousand dollars our clients sent them." Chase Cheatam, attorney at law, stated when announcing the suit. "As for the remainder of the expected settlement money, approximately $19 million, we at our firm have many employees on our payroll to take care of, but the simpleminded folks we're representing here will of course be considered foremost, so they'll definitely get their $200 grand before we get what remains."
Gerald Pincelleti, Professor Emeritus of Business Law at the South Georgia School of Law, points out something important that bears considering by anyone who is related to or personally knows people with a mental deficiency. "The ironic and unfortunate thing that is most shameful about scams such as this is that those who fall prey to them are the very ones who really would benefit the most from devices like this helmet, if it truly worked."
Pincelleti also offered some sage advice for anyone who might fall victim to something fraudulent such as this. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always do your homework before committing to purchasing something questionable not to mention expensive like this stupid thing. But as the saying goes, stupid is is stupid does!" Pincelletti grimmaces and rethinks his words. "Well, maybe that wasn't the best example of that particular axiom. My apologies."
What is for certain is that this case is just beginning, so it might be years before the victims and their families see their money again. In the meantime, the legal team representing them are drawing a retainer fee to keep the case open. At least somebody is getting paid.