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Police warn of astrology and psychic fraud
Published Thursday, September 3, 2015 10:19AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 3, 2015 7:33PM MDT
Edmonton police have issued a warning about a cross-Canada scam involving fraudulent astrologers and psychics.
Citing complaints and information received by investigators since April 2015, police say that vulnerable persons in the Edmonton area were lead to believe they were cursed with black magic and/or witchcraft and asked to pay for healing rituals.
The fraudsters are difficult to track down, say police, as they are often in Canada on a visitor visa and quickly disappear when they believe they could get caught.
There have been incidents of this type of fraud reported across the country includingg: Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Toronto and Vancouver
Police investigations have revealed people who have paid fraudsters between $2,000 and $15,000, and in one incident a family paid $85,000 to a self-proclaimed fortune teller.
In a news release, Edmonton Police suggest ways you can spot astrology and psychic fraud:
- Unrealistic promises to solve personal and financial problems.
- Request for a small amount of money up front for performing healing rituals.
- Gain your confidence and present a plan requiring thousands of dollars as offerings (for prayers, chain of rituals etc.).
- Claim to remove "black magic and/or witchcraft."
Anyone who has been a victim of this type of fraud or who has any information, is asked to contact Edmonton police at 780-423-4567. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.