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Anatomy of a Psychic Scam

gypsyIn a previous article, Avoid This Common Psychic Scam, I wrote about how some people will try to scam innocent folks out of their money by claiming there is a negative entity or curse on you that only they can fix and it will cost you tons of money. They reel you in by giving you some free information so you trust them, and then they hit you with the dreaded “you are cursed” claim and tell you about all the bad things that will happen to you if you don’t let them remove the curse.

Still, I continue to get emails from people asking me for advice and whether or not they should pony up the money to have their curse removed. It pains me. It actually pains me that people are falling victim to this scam. This is one area where James Randi and I totally agree. These frauds, charlatans, and tricksters are criminal! Preying on the gullible, invoking fear to control you, these are horrible people.

In an effort to continue to make people aware of this scam, I got permission from one of victims of this con to share the email she sent me. I want to take you through it and point out what’s happening and how to protect yourself. For the sake of her anonymity, I’ll call this person Rebecca, which is not her real name.

Here are snippets from the email she recently sent me:

“Last Saturday, I was approached by a “spiritual reader and advisor”. She approached me and told me that she “needed” to give me her business card because something in my aura, my spirit was calling out for help and she wanted to make an appointment with me. I initially thought she was being preposterous, but I smiled anyways accepting the card. She stopped me in my tracks when she proceeded to tell me that while I was smiling on the outside, inside I was not. She told me she saw me struggling between 2 men in my life. She saw the initial J surrounding me. I was shocked with how accurate she was, but told her I did not have any cash on me and would have to go to the bank (her card read $20 consultation). She said she didn’t care and really wanted to make an appointment with me right away so she could help me.”

This is how it begins. Someone will accost you on the street, out of the blue, and insist they have a message for you. They either give you the message for a small fee, like $10 or $20 or they will give it to you for free. Now you trust them because they were accurate and seemed sincerely to want to help you. As far as the initial “J”, I believe that the letter “J” is the most popular first letter for first names in the alphabet, so she had a good chance of getting that right just because of statistics. People who run this scam are sometimes just excellent cold readers, or they actually have some intuitive ability but use their abilities unethically. Let’s see what happened next.

“During the appointment, she made observations about me that made me feel like she had known me for so long.”

Again this is done by either cold reading or making general observations that are largely true for everyone. The “psychic” could also have been using empathy to draw conclusions about Rebecca just based on body language.

“Then, she made me write down my name, birthday and think of 2 wishes, 1 of which she wanted to hear out loud. After a long talk with her during which I cried, I decided to trust her and she brought up that she saw an old negativity with me that most likely stayed with me from a past life.”

Here she is laying the trap. Rebecca has opened up and given this woman her trust. Now is the time the “psychic” will strike.

“She wanted to get rid of it and told me I needed to cleanse myself first and the materials needed would cost $390 and that she would need time to research. I agreed and went to the bank immediately.”

Usually the cost for this “service” will be $200 to $400. Not so much that alarm bells are going off, but enough so that if this is all the fraudster gets, they are happy.

“She gave me a container with bath salt and a small bottle of oil, for cleansing and positivity. She told me to put 2 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil in a hot bath and then write down a list of positives and negatives, sign it and put it under my pillow.”

How much do bath salts and oil cost the “psychic?” A few bucks? This is the ritual part that makes the charlatan seem magical and wise.

“She also told me not to tell anyone because she didn’t want this spirit of negativity to affect anyone else.”

Does this sound like what pedophiles say to young children? “Don’t tell or bad things will happen to you and your parents.” You are at the mercy of the “psychic” now because your friends can’t talk any sense into you if they don’t know what’s happening to you.

“The next meeting which was also the most recent one, she told me all about my past life and even described some current personality traits of mine like my moods of despair and the temper I display only at home and attributed them to my past life. I never revealed to her any of those traits, but again she seems to know me so well.”

Cold reading, or Rebecca inadvertently gave her this information. We’re also not sure what the “psychic” got wrong. Rebecca may only be remembering the info she got right.

“She told me that the materials to put my “negativity” into a tabernacle and lock it away from everyone I love, the price was $1850. I told her I did not have the money and she said I could pay it little by little and to give her whatever I could now, which was $200. She happened to know that I had other funds “intuitively” I guess. However, I explained I could not touch those funds because they were designated for college and only my guardian could access them. What should I do? Please help me.”

Once a person pays the initial amount to have the curse or negative energy removed, the fraudster loses nothing by going for a higher amount. That was the end of the email I received from Rebecca. I immediately explained to her how she was being ripped off and encouraged her to avoid contact with this woman in the future and to, of course, refrain from giving her any money.

Rebecca wrote back to me with more information:

“Thank you so much for alerting me. And yes, please warn others. I really trusted her because she introduced me to her family and she listened to what I had to say. She told me ahead of time that I would start doubting her because of the negative spirit possessing me. I guess I just really wanted to trust her, but my better senses kicked in when I noticed that she seems to have a particular trend in “picking” clients. From phone convos she had with other clients in front of me, which she would never continue in depth, but always reschedule – I noticed that they were all single Asian females. I do not know if that was just me being hypersensitive, but it’s just something I made a mental note of. And then $1850 was a lot to ask, especially when her flyer read $20 consultation. Would you happen to have any advice on how I should deal with her? She calls me occasionally to check up on me. I do not want to offend her especially because I am superstitious and I would not want her to put a hex on me, if that exists.”

Control, doubt, fear, and threats. That’s what this “psychic” offered Rebecca. If this is happening to you right now and you are being harassed or contacted repeatedly by someone like this, you must be firm. Tell them you believe they are a fraud and if they contact you again you’ll report them to the authorities. They cannot hex you or put a curse on you. You may even want to go ahead and report them so they don’t do the same scam on other unsuspecting people.

I get probably 10 of these emails per month from people who are the victims of this scam. I want to educate people so they can avoid this scam. Please share this article with anyone in your life who you think might succumb to this. It’s insidious because they gain your trust first and seem extremely psychic. Before you know it, you’re parting with your money.

As I mentioned in my previous article, an ethical psychic charges a fair price for his or her service and doesn’t use fear to trick you into spending more money with them for curse removal. In my travels I have come across people who really do have a negative entity attachment, but I have always helped them remove it at no charge whatsoever. The truth is, even though a psychic or medium can help you remove a negative entity attachment, you’re the one who must do the work or the entity comes back. It won’t be through a magic potion or charm that you release the negative entity, but through raising your vibration and becoming an unwelcome environment for such a creature.

I hope none of you fall victim to this scam. It’s people like this “psychic” who give the industry a bad name. If you want to find an ethical psychic do your own research. Get referrals from friends. Go online and get to know the psychic through her articles or programs. And use your own intuition. If warning bells are going off in your head, heed them.

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