How to Spot a Psychic Swindle

I received a heartbreaking telephone call for help from a young woman who’d been seeing a psychic for several years, one she trusted. She suspected her boyfriend of infidelity. The “trusted” psychic asked the woman for $300 to put a spell on the wayward boyfriend and bring him back. Well, she paid the $300 but the spell didn’t work, so the psychic said she needed the woman to pay another $600. Troubled by this, she called and asked me what to do.

I strongly advised her against giving the charlatan any more money. Any intuitive who demands more money than what the session costs is out to scam you. And in terms of casting spells, “We all have free will,” I said. “If it’s in his heart to walk a different path, then nothing you can do can force him to act against his will.”

Later, I thought about all the good people I’ve talked with who’d fallen for psychic swindles. Like Amber, who said a curse had been put on her, and the psychic she’d contacted for help wanted $1,500 to remove it. When I heard that, I almost swallowed my tongue. Amber hesitantly admitted that she’d paid the money and visited the quack (my word) three times – yet still felt bad luck was following her.

“Amber,” I told her, “there’s no such thing as a curse. What’s happening is you believe someone has power over you to make bad things happen, and your belief system is supporting your fears. So do this: whenever you have a negative thought or a depressing feeling about yourself, simply say, ‘I reject this.’ Take back your power. No one is stronger than you. And remember your family and friends who love and care about you.”

I didn’t charge Amber a cent for my advice. But when I hung up, I thought of the client who had come to me once because another psychic had told him that he had to buy three “special” candles from her at $62 each, and if he burned them, they’d get rid of his curse. Of course, the phony psychic sneakily added, if the curse doesn’t go away, you might need more candles…

Another woman who called me wanted to know how I felt about Madame X, another psychic she’d found on the Internet. Personally, I don’t like to compare myself to others; besides, I didn’t know Madame X.

“If I wanted to see you, Carolyn, how many sessions would I need to make? Madame X said I would need to see her five times next week to resolve all my issues.”

My jaw dropped. I didn’t know the extent of Lillian’s “issues,” but there’s a difference between a psychic and a psychiatrist. I can’t predict tomorrow’s lottery numbers and I can’t solve deep-seated emotional problems. I can offer you hope and support, but I can’t be your crutch.

So, let’s recap. Here’s the signs you’re dealing with a hocus-bogus psychic:

• The person says you’re cursed, and that only she/he can remove this curse.

• The person wants a ridiculous amount of money for a session.

• The person says you need more sessions to clear up your problem.

• The person says you must buy what I call “mystical trinkets.”

• The person tells you that you have no power.

And remember: There’s a world of difference between a $62 candle that’s supposed to make you feel better and a $2 vanilla-scented votive you can pick up just about anywhere.

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