Psychic scams: the worst of the worst

Psychic scams and phony psychics are everywhere. They mutate, replicate and spread poison like a blood-sucking insect. They disappear then reappear and are very difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate or treat. You’ll find them in a little house on the corner, a storefront on a busy metropolitan street or numbering in the hundreds on the internet.

This easily portrays a malicious virus or an infestation of rats and either one of these would accurately describe them.

They seem normal, very supportive, empathetic and often kind. They are young, hip and full of superlatives or softly aged like a grandma or grandpa; appearing trustworthy, soothing and gentle. They might speak of their deep love for God and country or their families and friends. A religious icon might be prominently hanging from their neck or displayed on the wall.

Who are they?

They are people who can appear as though they are trustworthy and caring, yet operate from a less than honorable place; in that they lie, overcharge, take advantage, or con and defraud people in one way or another; sometimes for huge sums of money, sometimes less.

In addition, they could be anyone or working within any profession: charities, Wall Street, mechanics, financial advisers, plumbers, palm readers/psychics, contractors, CPA’s, jewelers, doctors, or mortgage brokers. The list is endless.

Regardless of the business type or whether regulated or licensed, if the person or people who operate them have an intent to defraud, even regulation or licensure will do little if anything to stop them. The need for a nationally known website such as Angie’s List is an example of just how prevalent a problem it can be to find honest and ethical businesses or the people who operate them.

This article focuses on psychic scams, con artists and fake palm readers; however, the information presented is good advice when dealing with any business.

Before you see ANY psychic or ANY palm readers

Psychic scams and phony psychics or palm readers prey on vulnerable people. Don’t try to find a psychic or palm reader if you are in a vulnerable state of mind; such as in the midst of a break-up, financial catastrophe or other major life changes. If you do, your chances of becoming a victim to an unscrupulous phony psychic or the victim of a psychic scam is extremely high.

Most individuals who seek out a psychic or palm reader are in a state of distress, depression, or confused about their life for one reason or another, therefore, they are in an extremely vulnerable position and all too willing to alleviate themselves of their pain. Who wouldn’t?

However, as it is with most things: there isn’t a miraculous pill that will cause one to lose weight without diet or exercise or a psychic/palm reader who possesses a magic wand that can make things appear or disappear and there is no one who can change or alter your life but you.

Individuals who are vulnerable, unsuspecting or looking for a quick fix are very exposed to a psychic scam or fraud and will likely give a great deal of power to a phony psychic or palm reader and what they have to say. These situations combined can be very unfortunate, especially since the fraud operator has no integrity and has less than honorable deeds in mind.

Psychic scams: cold-reading

At the onset of a meeting, one form of psychic scams or psychic fraud involves “cold readings” and these fake palm readers or psychics are very good at it. They can assess a lot of information about an individual based on body language, style of dress, level of education or other subtle cues. Additionally, they might ask leading or open-ended questions to ascertain more information about you or why you’re there, which you innocently or unintentionally provide.

Once armed with this information, it is relatively easy for them to convince you of their so-called “psychic” or “palm reading abilities”, and unfortunately, in the process, they have gained your trust as well.

Their next step is to instill fear or indulge your deepest hopes, both being forms of insidious manipulation and both geared toward the eventual fleecing of hundreds if not thousands of dollars from you.

Stay FAR AWAY from anyone who says or does one or more of the following. They are psychic scams or psychic frauds:

 

  • They claim you have: curses or spells placed upon you, evil entities surrounding you, karmic retribution, negative energy, closed chakras or past lives causing you harm in this life; all of which they can “remove, change, or free you from.”

 

  • They claim they can “reunite you with loved ones.”

 

  • They claim that you are in imminent danger, grievous harm will befall a family member/loved one or you won’t get the job or relationship you want, unless you follow their implicit instructions and of course, pay them more money.

 

  • They will insist that you purchase “specially anointed or blessed” candles, herbs or oils in which to bathe, which cost $100.00-$200.00 and upwards each. If less, it is still highly suspect!

 

  • They will perform strange rituals to prove curses exist or that they have some sort of special powers; such as, asking you to tie knots in thread, do some strange thing with eggs or show you blood in water. They may also insist that you perform purification rituals yourself, all of which will cost you.

 

  • They often insist that you call and/or see them regularly, as the evil spirit, curse, spells, or bad luck is still haunting you. Escalated fees are inevitable.

 

  • They claim that they do God’s work or are God gifted and are empowered to lift the curse, bring you that relationship you want or create the very happiness, which has eluded you. In order to do this, they need to prepare “special” prayers on your behalf; you need to purchase their “blessed” herbs or candles, or you must do the purification rituals. All of these will cost you a fortune.

 

  • They insist on cash or wire transfers, but may also accept checks. With these forms of payment, if the unsuspecting individual becomes aware of the fraud, it is nearly impossible for them to reclaim their money, or at that stage, extremely difficult to fight through normal consumer protection channels.

 

Offered via some psychic networks and private psychic sites, other forms of psychic scams or psychic fraud include having clients call an 800 or 900 number, which charges per minute and is staffed by pseudo-psychics who are completely untrained and lacking in skills−other than a phony sympathetic ear and the ability to talk, therefore, keep you on the phone for as long as possible. This could end up costing you hundreds.

Some enticements include; free trials, free psychic chats, or free psychic readings. Think about it, if they give out the service free, how are they able to stay in business? They do so by keeping you on the phone, coming back for more phone racking time later or selling you on something else. There is nothing FREE about it! Some will also offer the first few minutes free, in which case, since they actively have you, they will actively hook you for money too.

Past life readings are highly suspect, as under most circumstances, what do you have as a basis for comparison and/or how will you be able to verify the information provided?

Psychic scams: watch out for helpful advice, it might not be what it appears to be

In 2008, I published this article online to Google Knol (for knowledge) and Ezine, with the intent to educate and inform the public about psychic scams and phony psychics. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that many blogs or websites have since copied this premise, but it would appear that their intent for doing so is entirely different.

Their articles, which are eerily similar to mine, contain all kinds of helpful and legitimate information, written by what appears to be a well-intentioned person or persons. They might also relate how they were taken by psychic scams themselves or that they were vulnerable at one time; needing clarity in their life and after seeing one psychic after another, they were left bereft of any help at all.

In presenting themselves this way, they create an immediate sense of simpatico with you; therefore, infer “we are in this together” and “I can be trusted.” This is a form of smoke and mirrors, because now that they have established this implied sense of trust with you, they go in for the deception…

After you have read these so-called “helpful” articles, you’ll also find very pointed suggestions, such as; “I have found the psychics at Acme Psychic Services to be very honest and accurate and they have been in business for X years” or “all of the psychics at Acme Psychic Services have been thoroughly tested and approved.”

In wanting to share their “good fortune”, extensive research or personal experiences with you, these individuals, blogs or sites happily provide a link or phone number pointing you directly to Acme Psychic Services; a site staffed with phony psychics!

Since the article or articles appear as written by a person who is “looking out for you”, but more likely written, initiated, or hosted by Acme, this form of manipulation is very subtle and insidious.

Sometimes, these “helpful” folks have several websites with different names, but all run by the same person, persons or head company, so it can be harder to tell. Watch for any blog (or website) where the bulk of their posts continuously and overtly point you toward a particular site or sites that are similar in feel or scope.

One should always approach with a great deal of good common sense and vigilance.

To avoid being the victim of psychic scams, whenever possible, utilize word-of-mouth referrals from family, friends or co-workers who can attest to the accuracy, honesty, and legitimacy of your psychic, Tarot reader or palm reader. Ask for existing client referrals, which you should check, providing the client gives prior permission to the psychic for release.

Finally, knowledge is power. It brings awareness as to what to watch out for and vigilance so that you don’t become a victim of psychic scams or fraud.

Back