Elisabeth “Eli” Leamy is the Consumer Correspondent for “Good Morning America” and also contributes consumer stories to “World News” and other ABC programs. Her specialty is advice on how to save money, keep your family safe and avoid scams and rip-offs, while her most popular stories are often on how to find unclaimed money that belongs to you. Leamy loves what she does because it’s not theoretical; her stories matter to people and their pocketbooks.
Since joining ABC in 2005, Leamy has reported on and investigated a wide range of topics. In 2001 she started the “Show Me the Money” series on “Good Morning America,” in which she helps reunite people with their own unclaimed money. In February 2012, she and her producer actually returned more than $1.1 million dollars to viewers – all in the course of one show! When the economy faltered, she looked at how the downturn was impacting real people, for example with a hidden camera investigation into whether the many going-out-of-business sales were really the bargain opportunities they seemed to be (they weren’t.) For another story Leamy went shopping for a used car with a hidden camera – not to uncover wrongdoing but to show, step by step, how to save thousands through skillful haggling. She has also investigated whether gold buying services really give you a fair price for your gold.
Leamy is known for finding visually arresting ways to impart important consumer information. To demonstrate which hand washing products work best, she put E Coli bacteria on her own hands, then experimented with different products. To demonstrate the dangers of leaving children in cars in the summertime, she locked herself in a hot car and monitored her own deteriorating vital signs. For a story on how flooding damages cars, she sank a car in the Baltimore harbor, then analyzed the corrosion.
Before joining “Good Morning America,” Leamy was senior investigative reporter for WTTG-TV Fox 5 in Washington, DC, from 1997 to 2005. From 1994 to 1997 she worked as a consumer reporter at WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida. Prior to that she was the weekend anchor at KERO in Bakersfield, CA. Many of her local news investigations resulted in new laws and congressional inquiries.
Leamy published her first book, The Savvy Consumer: How to Avoid Scams and Rip-offs That Cost You Time and Money, in April 2004. Her second book, SAVE BIG: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands, came out in January 2010. Instead of harping on small savings like giving up your daily latte, SAVE BIG shows readers how to save tens of thousands on houses, cars, credit, groceries and healthcare.
Leamy has been nominated three times for Business and Financial Reporting Emmys for stories on the internet underworld of identity theft and for her going-out-business and gold buying investigations. Regionally, she has received 13 Emmy Awards and four Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Leamy received her bachelor of arts from the University of California at Berkeley, and holds a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She tries to practice what she preaches, doing the homework required to be a savvy consumer and looking for ways to save. She grew up in the San Francisco area and now lives and works in Washington, DC.
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