Avoiding Psychic Scams

What Tricks Do Psychics Use to Scam People?

  • Cindy Simpson
  • By Cindy Simpson
  • Published: 08/14/20 12:43 AM EDT
  • Updated: 08/13/20 11:48 PM EDT

The psychic industry is getting bigger while gaining popularity among different regions and societies. The development of various online platforms allows psychics and mediums to offer their services virtually. Of course, online psychic services make it easier for one to find a desirable service and receive psychic reading or guidance without leaving home. Still, the emergence of so many online psychic platforms is linked with even more psychic scam cases.

Although there are lots and lots of experienced and talented psychics with genuine abilities, some self-proclaimed advisors use various tricks to fool their customers and take advantage of their trust. Whether you are visiting a psychic or receiving an online reading, you are a potential victim of psychic fraud.

Before consulting a psychic, it essential to learn more about what a psychic might do to scam you during the session. Due to the importance of the issue, the article will provide information about some of the most common tricks involved in psychic frauds.

What Are the Most Common Techniques Used by Fake Psychics?

Like professional psychics use various tools to predict the future or guide their clients through hard times, fake psychics rely on different tricks and mentalist techniques.

The most widespread techniques used by fake psychics are discussed below.

Cold reading combines several techniques through which mentalists, psychics, and mediums get an insight into an individual’s characteristics and thoughts. Cold reading is based on the observations of body language, overall appearance, educational and cultural background, and other notable details. After forming a friendly and cooperative conversation with a client, a cold reader makes high-probability guesses and assumptions that are likely to apply to not only the specific subject but also to almost everyone else on our planet.

Several most frequently used cold reading techniques include shotgunning, Barnum statements, Jacques statements, rainbow ruse, vanishing negative, and observation of body language and physical characteristics.

Shotgunning – Shotgunning is a cold reading technique in which a cold reader talks about general issues that can be applied to the majority of the population. After observing the subject, the cold reader formulates more specific assumptions and makes you believe in his/her psychic abilities. For instance, a psychic might talk about some of the most common diseases, including heart disease and cancer. You will, most probably, know someone suffering from one of these conditions. While you might think that the psychic accurately interpreted the reading, he/she simply used a shotgunning technique to scam you.

Barnum Statements – The use of Barnum statements is another cold reading technique. It is commonly associated with the Forer Effect. Barnum statements are generalized statements that could be true for almost any individual. Some psychic scammers talk about hazy personality descriptions for you to attach your meaning while listening to the reading.

Jacques Statements – The use of Jacques statements in cold reading involves talking about generalized issues based on age. For instance, if you are a teenager and the psychic talks to you about depression, self-esteem, bullying, cyber addition, or underage sexual relationship, he/she is simply using Jacques statements. The psychic has just made some assumptions considering your age and the most common problems that teenagers face.

Rainbow Ruse – Psychics using the Rainbow Ruse combine two opposing phrases in a single sentence. The reason for using such statements is that one will associate his/her personality with one of the characteristics and believe that the description was accurate. For instance, if a psychic tells you that you are very generous but also act greedily sometimes, he/she is simply using the Rainbow Ruse technique.

Vanishing Negative – In some cases, psychics use negative words to ask questions or interpret the readings. Instead of saying “Do you have any financial problems?”, a psychic might say “You don’t have any financial problems, do you?”. In such cases, the subject thinks more about the context of the question rather than the exact wording.

Never Admitting the Wrongness of the Assumptions – Most of the psychic scammers never admit that their reading was wrong. Instead, they will reorganize and change the meanings of already stated predictions in a way that they get much more realistic.

Observations During the Reading Session – Last but not least, nearly every single fake scammer examines the client to find any visual clues talking about the subject’s personality, characteristics, thoughts, and values. This is done by observing body language and visual features.

  • Hot Reading

Hot reading is another widespread technique used by mentalists and fake mediums. The method involves the use of information that one has already obtained through background research or accidental occurrences. After scheduling a psychic reading session, the fake psychic will go through your social media to retrieve as much information about you as possible. Then, the psychic will even review your friends’ profiles to get even more details. Finally, the information obtained through background research will be used during the séance without you knowing about it.

In other cases, the fake psychic might accidentally overhear a conversation about your personality or life. For instance, if you are waiting for the psychic in the lobby while talking to your friend, the psychic might eavesdrop on your conversation and obtain some valuable information about you. Consequently, the fake psychic will rearrange the acquired facts and make you believe in his/her genuine supernatural power.

In both cases, the trick is to use the obtained information without the client knowing about it. Fake psychics will never admit that their readings were based on social media stalking and secretly listening to conversations. Rather, they will highlight their “psychic abilities.”

  • Hidden Fees

The most popular trick used by almost every psychic scammer is a fee that is hidden until the end of the reading session. For example, you might consult a psychic for a fixed rate and pay, let’s say, $50 for a reading. During the séance, the psychic will start interpreting the readings as usual. Then, he/she will talk about fake curses or negative energy surrounding you. Finally, the fake psychic will offer you to remove curses and cleanse your energy field for a particular amount of money.

While the fee might sometimes be not that huge, psychic scammers often ask for absurd amounts of money. They might even emotionally trigger you by talking about your parents, partner, children, or friends. When you become afraid of losing loved ones, you might agree to pay even ridiculous prices to save them.

And the cycle can continue for days, weeks, months, and even years. As soon as the psychic scammer notices that you believe in the presence of curses and dark energy around you, he/she will continue forcing you to pay money for additional cleansing sessions. They might even use your personal information to blackmail you and retrieve even more money. Dozens of scam cases in which psychics stole over hundreds of thousands of dollars have been reported worldwide.

You can learn more about some of the most famous psychic scams by following the link to our article listing 9 outrageous psychic frauds in history.

  • Fake Ratings and Reviews

While previous techniques are typically used during in-person psychic reading sessions, this one is characteristic of online séances. You might have already seen dozens of fake reviews and comments on mobile apps, e-commerce stores, YouTube videos, and Facebook posts. The fact is that lots of people simply hire individuals to generate reviews through which they can bring in new customers.

And this is what online psychic scammers do. They leave a bunch of positive reviews and 5-star ratings from fake accounts. When you go to their profile and see so many satisfied customers, you think that the psychic is actually talented and decide to pay money for a reading session. As a result, you end up receiving dozens of lies and generalized information that could have applied to anyone on the earth.

Even psychics offering in-person sessions might use fake reviews. Such reviews are either posted on review websites or communicated verbally. In the case of review websites, this is done similarly to what we have discussed above. If the reviews are communicated verbally, some local people are talking about the professionalism of a specific psychic. They might even direct individuals seeking a good psychic to their psychic scammer friend. The technique is especially common in small villages.

 

How to Spot a Psychic Scammer and Avoid Psychic Fraud?

If you have just decided to visit a psychic for the first time, keep in mind that you might end up being a victim of a psychic scam. To prevent this from happening, you should carefully select an advisor. Even after choosing one, you should be extremely attentive during the session.

Some of the tips that might help you spot a psychic scammer include the following:

  1. Always pay attention to what the psychic tells you during the session. He/she might be using one of the tricks discussed earlier in the article. To spot even mastered techniques of scamming, you should observe each sentence you hear. Frequently, psychics speak in a way that you accidentally fill in the gaps. Then they simply base the entire reading on what you have already told them.
  2. Often times, scammers base their predictions on the type of clothes and accessories you wear. If you notice that the psychic is staring at your outfit, he/she is certainly trying to obtain as much information as possible. The psychic will simply consider the colors dominating in your clothes and your overall style. It is believed that clothes convey some valuable information about one’s personality. Therefore, you should always try to wear clothes that do not talk about your character, mood, and other traits.
  3. Another way to spot a fake psychic is to check if the reading provided during the session includes the details that you have shared on one of your social media platforms. If so, you should just avoid consulting that specific psychic and find a new one. He/she just gathered information ahead of time through background research and social media stalking.
  4. Dozens of fake psychics share some information and then observe the subject’s reactions to get an idea of how close they are to the truth. If you see that the psychic pays too much attention to how you react to different statements, he/she is trying to reveal some valuable details about you. In any case, you should never uncover your emotions; Instead, try to be as calm as possible during the session.
  5. If an advisor tells you that you have been cursed and asks for a bizarre amount of money for cleansing your energy, you had better not trust the psychic. He/she will probably continue talking about various curses on you, your family, and friends to take advantage of your kindness and earn extra money for simply doing nothing.

While these were some quick tips for spotting scammers and avoiding psychic fraud, there are some other tricks you should also consider. Therefore, do not forget to check out our detailed guide on how to avoid psychic reading scams and protect yourself.

Final Thoughts

The article provided some valuable information about the widespread tricks that fake psychics, mediums, and fortune-tellers use to scam people. Generally, the tricks are linked with mentalist techniques that play with your mind. Besides, psychic scammers might also use some other methods specific to the industry. Some might even combine cold reading and hot reading techniques with other scamming tricks discussed in the article.

Under any circumstances, you should be very careful and attentive during the session. Try not to reveal any personal information and do not let the scammer fool you.

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