Scammers have used Oprah Winfrey's name to try and con fans out of thousands of dollars. 500 people turned up at Recreation Hall in Grahamstown, South Africa, on Friday (25.08.06) after being told that if they paid just $1.40 Oprah Winfrey would pay them $168 a month for 10 years. The organization named on contracts handed out at the venue - The Sebenza Women's Empowerment Cooperative Ltd - asked for participants' bank details and other "requirements for the improvements of the applicant's life". South African police explained: "This process is believed to have started earlier this week. "By word of mouth, the community were informed of this easy way of making money." Officers have so far questioned eight people in connection with the scam, however, no one has been arrested or charged. It appears the con artists used a visit by the talk show host, renowned for her generosity, to the region to prey on locals.
Meanwhile, last Friday (25.08.06) Oprah interviewed prospective students for the newly built Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which she has helped set up south of Johannesburg.
She admitted all 73 applicants to the school, to which her Leadership Academy Foundation has already contributed $40 million.