Online Psychics No Longer Even Bothering To Scam People The Old-Fashioned Way

Snake Oil And General Woo
Village Psychic | Eden, Janine and Jim | Flickr

I'm getting a feeling right now. Does someone reading this know someone whose name begins with the letter J? Or M? Well J (or M) wants you to know that the thing you are looking for, you'll find it near a body of water. Also too, what I am getting from you is that you are really great with people but you enjoy your alone time as well. You are an independent thinker, but are not always as sure of yourself as you project to the outside world. I'm also getting a feeling that you want something, that you are maybe hoping to get a promotion at work or find the love of your life.

Being a psychic is pretty easy work. Generally speaking, there's almost no way you can screw that up, so long as suckers are willing to go along with you. Sylvia Browne went on television and told the families of Amanda Berry and Shawn Hornbeck that their missing kids were dead — both of them turned out to be alive — and she continued appearing on television and going on tour after that, and right up until she died. In fact, she had several tour dates scheduled after her death. There are no quality standards when it comes to this nonsense.

But some online psychics are just too lazy to even bother scamming people the traditional way. The Better Business Bureau has issued a Scam Warning after having received a number of complaints from customers who gave their money to online psychics, only to not even get the bullshit they paid for.


Via Better Business Bureau:

You follow a social media account that posts frequently about astrology, tarot, or a similar topic. You notice the content creator offers personal astrology and psychic readings, so you book a session. After selecting a time and date, you're directed to pay using a digital wallet app, such as CashApp. When the time comes for your session, the psychic is unreachable. Unfortunately, when you ask about a refund, they block you or simply disappear.

One consumer reported their experience booking a tarot reading on social media. "[The psychic] takes payment up front and frequently misses readings," they wrote. After requesting a refund, the psychic, "yells at you, claims to not know you, tells you [they] have too many emails to respond to and eventually blocks you without refunding."

Complaints about no-show psychics are the most common version of this scam reported to BBB Scam Tracker, but watch out for variations. Consumers also reported seeing phony reviews or being pressured into paying additional services. For example, one victim reported losing $3,500 to one such scammer. "She gets you to come back by saying she will do healing meditation to get rid of the evil spirits," the report read. "She pressures you that you need to give her cash/money to 'cleanse' the evil spirits or to use for the meditation."

Well that's just rude. Someone gives you $3,500, you should at least tell them you cleansed their damn evil spirits. What effort does that even take?

I was pretty curious about this, so I looked up the actual complaint, and the "psychic" seems even worse than advertised.

This person preys on vulnerable people. She gives you a "psychic" reading and tells you that you are "cursed" and asks for a 5 star review on google or yelp immediately after your first session with her because she gives you a "discount". She also says you are not allowed to speak to anyone about the meditation or the reading, "or else". She gets you to come back by saying she will do healing meditation to get rid of the evil spirits. She pressures you that you need to give her cash/money to "cleanse" the evil spirits or to use for the meditation. In cash i gave her over 1500, credit card around the same. This is very confusing to report as she says shes not taking a fee and is doing it as a service from "god" to help people heal. She also asked me for an additional 12k that i didn't have access to. Anyways, i went to her home after a day of realizing I am getting scammed. She screams at me and threatens that if I were to speak about this to anyone, google it, yelp it, I will be cursed 3 times worse. She threatened and used intimidation to keep me quiet. I feel there are many others that have been scammed and they are too afraid or embarrassed to come forward. I paid half in cash and half in credit card.

It's easy to say, you know, "Bitch you paid $3500 for what? There's no such thing as evil spirits! Of course it's a scam!" but they're right. Psychics do prey on vulnerable people, and that's not okay. That's why they always prey on families with missing children.

Another person reported another psychic to the BBB for giving them spiritual guidance that did not work, after they paid her $3,600.

Basically, Ivy scammed me out of $3600 for "Spiritual guidance" which did not work and I was told I would get a full refund which I did not. She has given me the run around in receiving my money. She has now blocked me and I can't get my money back. She said the reason why she couldn't give me my money back was that she had to "close the work" because of the negative energy. Huge scammer.

Another person lost $30,000, if you can believe that.

Psychic Jennifer Mitchell has stolen over $30,000 dollars in the last 6 months from me. She said my life is in danger and convinced me if I didn't take her help that would never get better. I believed her because in fact I've been struggling all my life. At that time I just found out my mother and father were very sick. I lost my mother recently so imagine my state of mind through this whole thing. Please do not fall for this woman's stories. When you say no to her she gets super aggressive and demands finances. Don't do it!

That is beyond cruel.

This person paid $7,000 to a psychic who said she could find their soulmate or make someone propose.

This woman called herself love specialist and born with a gift of a clairvoyant. Which I don't even know f that even exists. She would tell you stuff like I will bring a soul mate to you or if you have a man in mind . I will make him propose. Gina would also ask for you to pay her upfront and she would light some candles . Those candles would cost 3 dollars at a grocery store and she will tell you it's 600dollars. Please investigate.

This person paid $3500 for ... I'm not even sure what.

In January I was contacted by a Psychic Savana on Instagram. She messaged me saying she would like to do a reading etc. I agreed because sometimes these things could be fun. Well this turned into my worst nightmare, after that first contact I was out $500 from my vacation fund, and as time progressed into March I was out $3500. Savana works with someone called Nicole, she's the one who demands the money, saying I needed to put in $XX so she can place on the alter and they're creating a candle for me and once the candle is done I'll get the bracelet. Never got anything, it clicked when she told me if I don't get closer to the number she gave me which was $14K I would never find love. She also kept demanding I get her an iPhone 11plus with the new AirPods and kept insisting on a promotion that didn't exist. I already got her a iPhone 11, I just don't know how to get it off my bill, or get the phone back. She also always demanded cash, however if I did pay through Venmo or Zelle it was always a new number associated to the account.

I can't stop reading these stories. I will be here all night, probably.

There is absolutely zero regulation of the "psychic" industry, and these con artists are able to get away with incredible scams simply by claiming they were for "entertainment purposes only." It's understandable to a degree. No psychic has ever actually been able to prove their ability under scientific conditions, so it's not like they can actually guarantee results. But there needs to be something. There ought to be some kind of recourse for people who are scammed to this degree, and what should definitely be illegal is psychics actually contacting people who haven't sought out their services themselves.

I do not personally think anyone has magic powers — but if you do, that's fine. Just make sure that they cleanse your evil spirits before you give them thousands of dollars.

[Better Business Bureau]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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