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The June 6 edition of the “Broward/Palm Beach NewTimes” contains an excellent long-read piece, “How Modern Fortunetellers Pull Off Their Scams”. Reporter Kyle Swenson recounts detailed and horrifying stories of four devastated victims of fortuneteller scam artists.
The article provides an excellent overview of sorts to the subject of psychic con artistry, including not only the stories of the four victims, but also looking at the law enforcement aspect of these moral and legal offenses, particularly as practiced by the criminal subculture elements of the American Romani, i.e., Gypsy, culture that specialize in a long tradition of such psychic fraud, and some current prosecutions taking place in South Florida (one of two “hotbeds” of such activity, the other being New York City).
The victims, all women, include a 27-year-old woman of Indian descent who grew up in England; a 42-year-old Indian woman with a husband and two children; a divorcee in her early 60s; and a young 19-year old woman. All were experiencing struggles in their lives and were emotionally vulnerable when they exposed themselves to heartless predators ready to take advantage of such wounded prey. This is one of the most important lessons for skeptics: rather than offer a haughty sneer at the poor decisions these victims made, rather try to find both empathy and insight as to who and why and how otherwise rational people become entrapped by professional con artists who possess an arsenal of finely honed skills of psychological manipulation, with which to ruthlessly take down anyone who, at a weak moment in their lives, makes the mistake of opening the door to a dangerous wolf in sheep’s clothing.
In the case of the 27-year old woman, “In swift succession, she lost her job, and her four-year marriage snapped.” In the course of three years after meeting the psychic, “She remortgaged her house, took out loans, borrowed from family.” And ended up handing over $140,000 before running out of resources.
Written By: Jamy Ian Swisscontinue to source article at randi.org