Every year millions of people will seek the help of a psychic, and while most people will have a positive experience, there are the less fortunate group of people who are scammed by fakes.
There has been no shortage of fraudulent psychics over the years, and many that were brought to justice. Maria Thanos and Phillip Lett made an incredible $180 million in a mail fraud scam.
Posing as psychics Maria Duval and Patrick Guerin the pair sent letters in the post claiming to have had visions of the recipient experiencing fabulous wealth. The recipient would be encouraged to buy products or services to ensure they received their good fortune. Most of their victims were the elderly, infirm or desperate.
We seek the help of psychics or clairvoyants for many reasons, but generally what it boils down to is a quest for hope, inspiration or reassurance. Predatory clairvoyants manipulate emotionally vulnerable clients, offering their help in exchange in exchange for money.
There’s no shame in being scammed by a fake clairvoyant as they are professionals. Some people can even fall into toxic a relationship with a scammer during a low point in their lives, just like Ruth, an American woman who was taken for $700,000. Ruth was going through a devastating divorce when she met Psychic Zoe, who leeched onto Ruth’s misfortune using it to con her money.
Psychic Zoe claimed that there were curses on Ruth which only she could fix. In exchange for money, the psychic would ‘go to battle’ with the spiritual forces holding back Ruth’s happiness. Zoe asked Ruth to buy gold for the psychics alter, money that would be returned after the curse was cleared. But that day never came. Instead, the victim was pushed for increasingly more substantial sums of money.
Ruths experience describes a common warning sign of a fraudulent psychic. If the clairvoyant makes you feel stressed, pessimistic or asks you to pay a large amount of money for a product which they promise to return at a later date (some will even offer you a contract) you can be sure your not in the presence of an authentic psychic.
Psychic and spiritual practices are challenging to regulate as there is no way to verify the efficacy of a reading or a product scientifically. As a result, there is the potential for abuse by fraudulent psychics who take advantage of the naive or desperate.
October is particularly challenging as Halloween piques the interest of the public in psychic phenomena, consequently leading to a rise of scammers who pop up to take advantage of the season.
However, if you feel that a clairvoyant has scammed you, there are a few things you can do. If you have given credit card or account information contact your financial institution immediately to make them aware of the situation, put a hold on your account or issue a new credit card.
Depending on the institution if you can prove fraudulent activity, they may be able to stop the transaction or reverse the charge to credit cards if they have been billed inappropriately.
Consult a lawyer and contact the local police for advice on how to proceed. In the States, some municipalities have begun imposing regulations on psychics, mediums and spiritualists. Annapolis requires a psychic to obtain a police check and a special licence before starting their practice. Discuss with your local police relevant regulations that can help you seek justice.
Minimise the damage by advising friends and family and posting reviews. There is nothing to be embarrassed about if this person has taken advantage of you, then they have likely done it to others. Many people are taken in by ill-intentioned fraudsters, shining a light on them will spare others in the future.
If you are in a complimentary industry such as crystal healing, wellness where people may seek referrals or be more open to trying a reading, create awareness by sharing your experience with that specific individual.
Report what happened to the relevant authorities. You can also report their pages to Facebook or Instagram if they have them. Find your local consumer rights agency for help. In the UK for example, as a result of the repeal of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1957 psychics, mediums and spiritualists are subject to consumer rights protection.
If you used an online clairvoyant, it might be appropriate to get in touch with cybercrime bodies or communications agencies, for example, those who are in Australia can report to ACMA.
In the States, if you were defrauded through the mail as in the Maria Duval and Phillip Guerin case, contact the United States Postal Inspection Service to advise them of potential mail fraud.
You may also wish to seek a counselling or therapy service to deal with any emotional damage, particularly if you became involved in a long term toxic relationship with a predator posing as a psychic. There are also debt management services available online that can help you get back on your feet.