Two fortune-tellers in Chicago are in being held in jail in lieu of $750,000 bail each for defrauding customers by convincing them they were cursed, then selling them expensive curse-removal/protection services. Remember, folks, fortune tellers cannot curse you, see your future, turn you into a werewolf, or make you lose horrific amounts of weight. They can, however, take your money.
Police said the couple used the business to prey on the misfortune of people who came to get cards read.
“Tracy Tan would convince the customers that they had a curse on them, and that she was the only one who could fix their problems,” police said in a news release.
“During this ‘counseling,’ she would charge her victims thousands of dollars for her services and products, which provided them with a false sense of hope.”
Back in college, a friend interviewed for a job as a phone psychic. She met with the town’s local celebrity psychic for a brief interview, then was given a script that guided her through various ways to increase the amount of time the customer was on the phone. As far as psychic abilities, she was told to simply talk to the customers, as they usually just needed some advice, and otherwise to improvise any fortune-telling. What amused us was how the woman didn’t even pretend to make the job about the paranormal—it was explicitly a “keep them talking any way you can” business.
“2 Naperville-area tarot card readers accused of ‘curse’ fraud” [Chicago Tribune] (Thanks to Tim, who wrote, “Yeah, the ultimate blame the customer story. Enjoy.”)