I received a telephone call a few days ago from a distraught woman who fell prey to a psychic scammer. My blood boils whenever I hear about phoney psychics inventing new ways to cheat people. So, here’s lesson number one – never let a psychic or medium choose you. You must choose to consult a medium or a psychic.
Claire (not her real name) told me she received an intriguing message from a "psychic" through her Instagram account. The bogus intuitive sent Claire an email saying said she had seen Claire’s Instagram picture and felt such "strong vibes," she had to contact her.
The fraud said she felt Claire was surrounded by negative energy, and if she wanted to rid herself of this negativity, she needed to buy "special" crystals for $200. The crystals, the "psychic" said, would help her determine what was wrong about Claire’s picture. Claire ordered the crystals.
(Lesson number two – never buy anything to prepare for a professional reading. An honest psychic/medium will charge you for a session, and that’s it!)
During the next phone call, the shameful shaman told Claire that after examining her picture, she discovered that someone had put a curse on her because the person wanted Claire to be unhappy. However – if Claire bought "special" candles for $500, the psychic could begin "trying" to remove the curse. Unfortunately, Claire was scared into believing she needed help. She didn’t have the money readily available, and charged the purchase on her Visa.
(Lesson three – never give your credit card information over the phone!! Reputable workers use services like PayPal, or insist that clients make e-transfers through a bank.)
The scammer told Claire it would take a year to remove the curse, and she needed to pay $250 a week to ensure that the anti-curse kept working. When Claire said she didn’t have the money, the phoney said she’d help Claire out by arranging a convenient payment plan.
At that point, Claire got wise. She asked a friend who’d visited psychic mediums in the past, and gave Claire my phone number. Claire called in tears and after hearing her story, I gnashed my teeth so hard, I could’ve bitten though steel.
"I feel like I’m being scammed," Claire said. "But she talked to me on the phone for hours, and treated me like a friend."
Of course the con woman talked kindly like a friend, I thought. That’s how they get you to trust them.
Claire continued, "But I haven’t given her money yet to proceed with my cure."
"Claire, you don’t need any cures," I said. "This person you’re talking to isn’t a doctor, and you aren’t sick! No one can curse you – a ‘curse’ is nothing more than believing something outside of you is emotionally and spiritually stronger than you. Tell me – do you believe this so-called psychic is more powerful than you?"
After a moment’s hesitation, Claire said, "N-no…"
"Good girl." I then advised Claire to change her credit card number immediately.
We chatted awhile longer, and Claire seemed to feel better. After she hung up, I was saddened to realize that some people exist just to make others feel bad about themselves. I keep a little piece of newspaper clipping by my desk to remind me of this. It’s from the classified section, under "Astrologers/Psychics." Here are some of the ads:
"Mr. W— solves all problems quickly. Work, Love, Health, Depression, Enemies, Sexual Problem, Bad Luck. 100% Removal of Black Magic."
"Spiritualist Mr. K— solves problems related to love, court, business, family, money, enemy. Treats black magic 100%."
Lesson four – and probably the most important thing to remember – a reputable psychic or medium never promises to cure your problems. That’s your job. Life can often be tough and, for sure, we encounter challenges. But we grow spiritually and emotionally when we learn self-empowerment, and are able to reject those who say they can cure our ills for a price of crystals and candles.