Women Arrested in Dr. Phil Scam

Three Texas women were arrested this week after allegedly promising people counseling with TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw, then keeping the money for themselves, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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The three are accused of setting up toll-free phone numbers for “The Dr. Phil Show” and for TV psychic Silvia Brown and asking for $375, $750 or more as payment.

On his Web site, McGraw claims he came to Houston himself last fall with a private investigator and undercover staff. He visited a fortuneteller's establishment where he believed the toll-free number given out was being answered. McGraw's staff invited the women they met to a faux bachelorette party in a Houston hotel, where the talk show host then confronted the women he believed were hoaxing his fans.

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"I don't appreciate you ripping off my viewers!" McGraw said to the women, according to his Web site. "I don't appreciate you people saying that you produce the Dr. Phil show."

The indictment claims losses of between $1,500 and $20,000 from 13 complainants.