Spotting Fortune Telling Scams

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The English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelly puts it aptly –

“We look before and after, and pine for what is not”

This is a natural tendency among us humans. We look into the past to see how far we’ve come and look into the future to get a glimpse of where life will take us. More than living in the present, we are concerned about the future. There’s nothing wrong in it. However, there are many conmen taking advantage of our desperateness.

A large number of cases registered with private investigation firms are of those scammed by fortune tellers. A few were coaxed into buying Rolex watches while many others were robbed of their life savings. This is not to say that all fortune tellers and psychics out there are frauds. Here are tips to tell if a fortune teller is taking you for a ride.

  1. There are fortune tellers who line the roads during festivals and special events and those who practice from their offices. A license or a registration is a proof of credibility and accountability. Thus, the fortune teller should have legal permission to do business in your town. Most states do not allow fortune tellers to practice without a license. A licensed psychic with a well-established office is less likely to wrap up his business and leave every time he cheats a client.
  2. Fraudulent soothsayers often demand money to perform special work or prayers to resurrect your troubled life or to keep your loved one’s from suffering. They extract money from you claiming that they have the power to turn your life upside down.
  3. Fortune tellers are skilled at playing with people’s minds. They hold you in a trance-like state and make you accept things you wouldn’t otherwise approve of. Con artists threaten clients that their life will be ruined or tragedy will strike if they do not obey their instructions.
  4. A fortune teller tells a client to purchase Rolex watches as the timepieces would turn the tide for her. You need to watch out for such fortune tellers. Buying items in not restricted to valuables but can also include simple items such as a blessed candle, crystal or some additional, expensive reading. You might also be asked to buy supplies for the completion of a particular ritual.
  5. The nature of the person can give you hints about his integrity and honesty. They tend to be over-sympathetic and mothering. In reality, it is their excellent acting skills to get out more personal information that they will simply reword for you in the coming future and make you believe that they have some divine powers.
  6. Be cautious if the clairvoyant makes repeated demands for money. The demands are small initially, but being repeated it amounts to a few thousand dollars.

People have gone bankrupt getting caught in the traps laid out by such conmen. They lose their life savings and all their valuables. When they realize, it is often too late. If ever you run into a fraudulent fortune teller, hand them over to the police immediately.

Indonesia Private Investigation Agency (IPIA) and our sister agency Bali Eye Private Investigation Agency (BEPIA) are fully registered agencies offering investigation services to the private and business sectors throughout Indonesia and South East Asia.

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About the Author

IPIA's Director of Investigations is an Indonesian national with a Diploma in PI work (with distinction) from the UK and an Australian Government accredited Certificate in Investigative Services. She has worked on over 400 cases for private and business clients.
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