How To Identify Psychic Scams and Protect Yourself

physic fraudsWith life having such an uncertain nature, it is understandable why some people seek answers to questions about their past or what might be in store for them in the future.  Many people feel the only solution to this problem is to speak with a psychic. They do this hoping that they will be able to find answers to the questions they have.

There are psychics who seem to have unexplained extrasensory powers. However, there are countless others who are just pulling psychic scams and engaging in fraudulent activity. The following information will help you better recognize the difference between a legitimate psychic and someone attempting to con. We’ll also cover ways to protect yourself in case you come across a fraud trying to scam you out of your money.

What Is a Psychic?

A true psychic is a person with extrasensory abilities that enable them to interpret or communicate with paranormal forces.  Some experts feel that everyone has some amount of psychic capabilities, usually referred to as a “sixth sense”, which really is just a finely tuned form of intuition.

A session with a psychic involves a reading where they analyze a person’s aura and tap into their spiritual life path.  Psychics interpret these auras to gain insight into specific events from a person’s past or provide a vision of what may happen in a person’s future.

Due to the amount of trust people place in psychics, there are many psychic frauds out there preying on those seeking answers.

Psychic and Clairvoyant Scams

fortune tellerThere is one basic con that fraudulent psychics have been performing in various ways: the fortune teller scam. 

This scam generally begins with the professed psychic approaching you through email, telephone, regular mail or in person. They will allude to a positive situation in your future or insinuate that you are facing some troubling event that they can provide a solution for. The solution they have might be a lucky charm, winning lottery numbers, or removing a jinx or curse that has been placed on you.

In all these scenarios, they are willing to help you out in exchange for some sort of fee. These scam artists might try convincing you to purchase some type of charm that will bring luck or offer a secret to gaining wealth. Once payment has been made, they usually will send some worthless item if they send anything at all.

In cases where payment is refused, some con artists will make threats. They will claim they can put a curse on you and cause you bad luck.

Another common variation is when a fraudulent psychic will claim that there is something in your future that you need to be warned about. They will say they can protect you—if you continue to pay them regularly.

Many of these scams can cause you to have your name and contact information put on a list of potential marks. This could lead to more scam artists trying to contact you, sending you into an endless cycle of betrayal, misleading information, and debt.

Telephone Psychic Service Fraud

gypsyOne of the more common types of psychic fraud involves telephone psychics. You may have seen ads in magazines or newspapers and on the radio or television advertising a phone number like 1-800 PSYCHIC that you can call to get a psychic reading.

The person you wind up speaking with could be a university student, housewife, or actor looking to make extra money by taking on the role of being a psychic. They tend to work from a prepared script that involves asking the client numerous questions and using the information to provide vague answers. These people operate despite having no paranormal abilities.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t genuine psychics who can do readings by telephone. However, the real psychics will have numerous online reviews from real users who can attest to the psychic’s abilities. Figuring out the difference between the frauds and the real deal requires taking the right steps when attending a reading.

What to Do When Visiting a Psychic

physic with tarot cardsIt is important to do your research when searching for a psychic.  Since there are no regulations governing the psychic industry, it is up to you to make sure you aren’t being scammed. Before parting with any money, you should be comfortable that the psychic can actually do what they claim.

Asking simple questions like where you were born or your mom’s maiden name are good ways to test a psychic.  If they refuse to answer or the answer isn’t satisfactory to you, then don’t make an appointment.  A psychic who can’t answer the simple questions about you is probably running a scam.

Make sure to always wear plain clothing when you visit a psychic.  A common trick among frauds is to observe the client before a reading to get any information they may be able to use. If you are wearing expensive clothes, a psychic can infer that you have money.  They might use that information to claim that you might come into financial difficulties in the future to scare you into paying for more services.

Fraudulent psychics will interpret your appearance and emotional reactions to craft your reading. It will appear they are getting this information from a paranormal ability when they are merely using intuition and the powers of observation.

These are some other ways to protect yourself from being conned by a fake psychic:

  • Bring a friend with you to your reading and compare your impressions afterwards.
  • Don’t pay outrageous amounts for a reading, especially if the reading was questionable.
  • Unless you think they truly will help, don’t buy items that they claim will help you like talismans or candles.
  • Keep what you say about yourself to a minimum in response to personal questions. Let the psychic do the majority of the talking.

Most of all follow your intuition. If you feel something is off, then trust your instincts.

How To Tell if Your Psychic Is A Scammer

It can be difficult to determine if a psychic is using inferred information to enhance your reading or if they are running a scam.  However, there are some common traits to the claims false psychics provide.  If a psychic does any of the following, they may be scamming you.  

Claiming a false past life.

Some false psychics will claim you were a historical figure in the past.  Women get told they were Cleopatra, Nefertiti or some other famous person regularly. Another common fake previous life is claiming you were a film star or that you were a Holocaust victim.

Make statements that leaving you needing more information.

Some scam artists will make bold statements and then say they can tell you more if you pay for an “enhanced” reading.  These are some of the things they may say to more money from you:

  • Insist they have never met someone with an aura as strong as yours.
  • Say you are under the influence of spells or black magic but that they can help you overcome this.
  • Claim they can feel the presence of someone dead trying to reach you.
  • Suggest they can make a past love return to you.
  • Claim to have seen you in a dream.
  • Tell you that money or love are in store for you and that they can steer you onto the right path.

Telling you what you want to hear.

Men tend to visits psychics concerning money and power while women are most likely to ask about love. False psychics know this and will tell you positive things about the topics that a person of your gender is most likely to care about.

Fear Tactics

Since a fake psychic wants to keep taking your money, they will often try to scare you into coming back for more readings.  They may claim you are on a precarious path and that you need guidance so that you keep coming to them for their services.

Family Curse

This scare tactic is common among psychic scammers but never from a real psychic. They may claim there is a black cloud over you or that your family is cursed before prodding you for more information.  They will then use this information to string you along, so you keep coming back and paying them.

Sometimes they will use props like candles or egg whites. They will claim these can help absorb the dark forces.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have Been Scammed

tarot reading scamIf you feel you have been scammed and you made the mistake of giving out any financial information, contact your bank immediately and make them aware of the situation. You should also contact groups like the Better Business Bureau and report the scam artist.

For a list of fake online psychics, visit websites like Scamwatch or Consumer Affairs. You also can simply search for the psychic online and look for any negative reviews.

Visiting a psychic can be highly illuminating.  However, being taken by a scam artist can be extremely frustrating and even dangerous. The main thing to remember is to follow your instincts and be on guard, so you don’t allow yourself to be conned.