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Watch Out For Astrology / Psychic Scams

Yep! The scam often starts off with an innocent enough sounding email entitled:

Open only if you wish to read a personal prediction about yourself

"ANTHONY, if you're insecure about turning a year older, don't be. Everything in your life will soon fit together, like a key in a lock of a door that's about to be opened. Beginning on February 26th, an incredible 72 Days of Good Fortune is going to wash over you like what the Japanese call a "Tsunami." (We call it a tidal wave.) You should start to feel a surge of energy soon after this date... It's five o'clock in the morning, and I'm sitting here on my bed typing away furiously, too excited to sleep... I'm sure you know the feeling. Now please listen to me carefully.
Money, romance and (this is the best part) security are all coming back into your life in a big way. And I mean in a really big way. I'm writing as fast as I can because I don't want to leave anything out, so please excuse any spelling errors. (Everyone knows how terrible I am at spelling.) "

72 Days of Good Fortune
Imagine (what could have easily been) my excitement at receiving the above email in my inbox. 72 days of good fortune that will sweep over me like a tidal wave! Beyond belief, this “world famous” astrologer\psychic had been up at 5 o’clock in the morning, too excited to sleep, all because she was doing a personal reading on me, on a total stranger.

According to the email, this psychic has previously predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the end of the Gulf War in March 1991, the death of Princess Caroline of Monaco's husband, and the wedding of Michael Jackson!

The psychic then goes on to explain that she was glancing “at a list” when my name practically flew off the sheet? Better yet, as the letter continues… we’re in this together… apparently, very few people ever experience this special period of luck. She feels my pain and wants to offer me free weekly personal forecasts to help strengthen that tidal wave of good fortune.

5 O’clock in the Morning
It's time for a reality check! You see... the only reason why I hadn’t automatically deleted this email, without reading it, is that the title of email seemed to be more than a wee bit familiar. It appears this psychic spends a quite a bit of time excitedly writing emails at 5 o’clock in the morning.

You see… a visitor to my site, Christine, had recently sent me a copy of a similar email that she had received from this same psychic.

Christine's email from the same scamming psychic had started out like this:

"Open only if you wish to read a personal prediction about yourself

Christine, if you're insecure about turning a year older, don't be. Everything in your life will soon fit together, like a key in a lock of a door that's about to be opened. Beginning on December 30th, an incredible 72 Days of Good Fortune is going to wash over you like what the Japanese call a "Tsunami." (We call it a tidal wave.) "

Incredible Luck
Did that sound a wee bit familiar to you, too? Apparently… my new friend Christine, that lives in Australia, and I, living in the USA, are a couple of the luckiest people on the planet.

Even more fascinating is that this psychic had the same exact vision for both of us.

“I see a quiet tree-lined street. The sun is breaking through a cloud-filled sky on a beautifully, warm, autumn day. Fallen leaves shuffle across the lawns, and the people I see are smiling. A magnificent Tudor style house with a quaint English garden appears. In front of the house is a beautiful, new, dark blue sedan parked next to a cracked sidewalk. One of the car's windows is open, and I can smell the new leather. It's wonderful. In the garden there are numerous varieties of roses, daylilies, irises and zinnias with a sprinkling of newly fallen orange, gold and rust-colored leaves. It's as if God painted the picture. There's a backyard filled with a large group of people. There's laughing and happy conversation. I smell thick steaks cooking on a charcoal grill. The guests are all dressed in their Sunday best and children, lots of children, are happily playing. In the center of all this is a well dressed person holding up a small piece of paper as if it were incredibly valuable. This is why I'm so happy for you. Trust me, this was more than a daydream…”

The Vision
Unfortunately this vision didn’t seem to realize that I don’t much like Tudor style houses… instead of a sedan, I’d much rather keep my beautiful, dark blue pickup truck… I hate dressing up… and at my somewhat advanced age I have no desires of being surrounded by any new and unexpected offspring.

Other than that, (tongue in cheek) it all sounds rather lovely… and it would be incredibly lovely if this psychic were, out of the goodness of her heart, going to prepare a free personal weekly forecast just for me, with no strings attached.

It is, however, the never-ending strings attached that will part you from your money.

What's The Catch?
Wait a minute! If it truly is to be a miraculous life changing 72 days of good fortune, sweeping over me like a tidal wave - then don’t I already have all the information that I need to know?

Nope! Unfortunately, in the typical scam, if you sign up for the free email forecasts – but don’t order any of their overly priced "magical" items or readings that will help accentuate your good fortune – then in future emails your incredibly good fortune will suddenly take a turn for the worse and become incredibly bad. Then you'll need to purchase her overly priced "magical" items or readings to avoid great peril.

The problem is, for folks such as us who do believe that these sorts of things are within the realm of possibility; this email is a great hook! It preys on all of our greatest hopes and fears.

Scamming Technique
Christine told me in her email: "What has really gotten to me most recently is that a friend of mine - who has been told she has a short time to live - received a scam email from a online astrologer/psychic and ended up parting with $100 AUS in order to receive a lot of rubbish."

According to Christine: "It appears that this particular psychic’s scamming technique is – after getting you to sign up for free horoscope emails - tell you (for free) that she “feels” something really bad happened when you were 13.

Problem is that this astro/psychic tells everyone in her first free email to them that she “feels” something bad happened to them at 13."

Well… in Christine's friend’s case, this sadly struck home because she had been first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 13. Her friend subsequently recovered and is now in her 50s, but health problems - stemming from the radiation way back then - have caused her massive heart problems now. Christine's friend, fairly new to the internet, had been immediately sucked in. After parting with $100 AUS - she was then told that she would need to send even more money in order to hear more very important information."

False Hope Given
Christine finished: "As you say, Dr Z... there are countless scam merchants out there. What a sad reflection of humanity. I suppose the Net has become an easy vehicle for this garbage as so many people are in desperate situations. More important to me than the money these unfortunate people part with is the false hope that these scammers give their customers."

Desperate People In Desperate Situations
Yes, Christine, the false hope used as a hook for desperate people in desperate situations is perhaps the worst part of these sorts of scams.

It's difficult for most of us to understand these scammers and how they could be so absolutely devoid of a conscience. It's hard to fathom that these merciless scammers specifically choose to prey on and target the very folks among us who are the most vulnerable - but these scammers do exist and they are definitely out there and waiting.

Warning: It appears that one of the most prevalent astrology advertising scammers goes by several different pseudonyms, two of which are allegedly Sara Freder and Pasqualina. Allegedly, this person is actually a male living in France, Jean Christopher Maires.

Dr Z's Must Read Red Flags that You're Entering the Astro/Psychic Danger Scamming Zone.

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