An Ohio woman who called herself a psychic apparently didn’t see a criminal indictment with more than two dozen charges attached to it in the stars. She stands accused of convincing clients to fork over about $1.5 million in cash, gift cards, jewelry, and cars. [More]
We first wrote about the “Maria Duval psychic mailer” scheme, which used supposedly personalized mass mailings to trick people into paying money for Duval’s otherworldly insights, more than six years ago, and the internet is full of complaints from people who lost thousands of dollars to Duval and her related businesses. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement that permanently bars Duval and others from continuing to bilk consumers out of their money with false promises of psychic guidance. [More]
Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip “Dilbert,” wrote a blog post earlier this month where he compared investment advisors to palm readers. If there is no real science to stock-picking, he reasons, then telling people what to invest in should be for entertainment purposes only. Like palm readers. That raises an interesting question: what kind of investment advice can you get from a palm reader? [More]
The next time someone tells you that you will die and be reborn so you can reunite with your late child and marry Brad Pitt, don’t do it, and don’t pay a psychic millions for telling that fortune. A Florida psychic convicted of defrauding clients of her family fortune-telling business is heading to jail after bilking people out of at least $17.8 million in various schemes. [More]
We are not experts and any and all things paranormal, but perhaps auras are a thing, and perhaps it is possible for one person to repair another’s aura and prevent bad things from happening to them. However, it seems unlikely to us that it’s possible to do so by giving the “psychic” all of your savings and family heirlooms to watch over for you. And yet, someone tried this, and someone fell for it. [More]
There’s no word about what Tarot cards, life lines or crystal balls have to say about a Colorado psychic on trial for theft and tax evasion, but common sense says things don’t look good for the suspect. She’s accused of telling clients that their money was evil and she needed to cleanse it before returning it to them. She didn’t follow through with the promise to give it back and allegedly made off with $300,000.
Maybe you weren’t worried when you heard that Experian was adding rental payments to its credit reports because you’ve always paid your landlord on time. But now it’s time to look deep within your psyche and soul to ask yourself if you’d pass a psychic credit check.
A man in Portland, Oregon says he’s now bankrupt after giving cash, a Hummer, and lots of trust to a local psychic. In all, he says his payments totaled $150k and now he’s bankrupt, and that he wants to warn others not to fall for such things. So just to be clear: don’t give $150,000 in cash and autos to a psychic in exchange for removal-of-demon services. And if you want to buy a tabernacle from the Vatican, deal with the church yourself and don’t go through the local psychic.
Last week, Jon wrote to us asking how he can help protect his grandmother from falling for any more direct mail scams. She’d answered a piece from psychic Maria Duval, and subsequently her mailing address was sold to all sorts of scammers who thrive on easy marks. We suggested filing a prohibitory order via the USPS, but the core problem remains: how do you convince someone who wants to believe in psychics that she’s being lied to?
Jon needs help in getting out from under a pile of junk mail. He writes that after falling for a psychic scam, his grandparents have ended up on mailing lists advertising every scam imaginable. They receive about one hundred pieces of mail per week. He wants to stop the deluge, but isn’t sure how. Can the Consumerist hive mind help him?
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.