900 Numbers

Advance Fee Fraud

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ATM Grab

Au Pair Scam

Bail Bond Scam

Black Money Scam

Bunco

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Bank Examiner

Broken Bottle Scam

Business Opportunities

Caller ID Spoof

Charitable Solicitations

C.O.D. Scam

Confidence Crime & the Banking Industry

Construction Fraud

Counterfeiting

Country Boy

Credit Repair

Distraction Theft

Diversion Burglary

Door-To-Door Solicitor

Equity Skimming and Real Estate Schemes

Exploitation of the Elderly

Fortune Telling Fraud/Psychic Fraud

Gemstones

Government Service

Grandchild in Distress

Grand Theft

Handkerchief Switch

Help Needed

Home Improvement

Identity Theft

Imposter Burglars

Insurance Fraud

Internet E-Mail Scam

Investment Scams

IRS Energy Rebate, Phishing and Other IRS Related Scams

Jamaican Lottery Scam

Jury Duty Scam

Land Sale

Latin Lotto

Living Trusts

Lottery Scams

Magazine Subscriptions

Medical

Metal Theft

Neighbor Assistance

Nigerian Advanced Fee

Obituary

Pickpocket Diversion

Pigeon Drop

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Police Follow-up Scam

Product Demonstration

Pyramid Scheme

Quick Change Artist

Recovery Rooms

Retirement Estates

Ruse Entry

Rock in a Box

Sealcoating Scam

Service Technician

Store Diversion

Sweetheart Swindle Con

Sweepstakes

Texas Twist

Texas Tornado

Theft

Three Card Monte

Till Tap

Toner Rooms

Travel Scams

Truck Stop Three Card Monte

Trust Game

Work at Home Plans

Yellow Page Advertising


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Fortune Telling Fraud


A crime designed to financially exploit a victim under of the guise of providing assistance. It involves gaining the victim's complete trust and, then through carefully managed manipulation, convincing the victim to give valuables to the suspect(s).

Victims of these cases are of any age and background and share a common trait of seeking help in solving a problem in their life. Problems generally fall into three major categories: Love, Money and Health.

The offense starts off innocently with a 'reading' for a nominal fee. The suspect may use a method and props such as: Religious icons, Tarot Cards, Crystal Ball, Palm Reading, Tea Leaves Reading, Coffee Grind Reading, Sand Reading, ESP Psychic Reading, and Dice etc.

During the reading, the reader elicits information from the victim, using both verbal and non-verbal clues, and then repeats it back in such a way as to reinforce the fact that the reader does, in fact, have certain powers.

In subsequent sessions, the victim is most often convinced that their 'problem' is the result of a curse that has been placed on them or their family.

The reader convinces the victim that through spiritual or physic powers she/he alone is able to remove this curse.

To prove that a curse exists, many different ploys are used. The reader performs a ritual, (using common magic tricks) which is designed to convince the victim that the evil of the curse has manifested itself in the item. For instance, a devils head that appears when an egg is broken, needles that come out of a tomato, water that turns red, a live chicken dies, a small snake or worm appears to come out of an item or the victim's body.

The reader convinces the victim that she/he 'has the gift' and can remove the curse. The curse removal sometimes entails the destruction of the cause of the curse, which invariably is money or jewelry.

In some cases the suspect takes the valuables, with a promise to return them, to have them blessed or prayed over.

In other cases, the reader convinces the victims that the valuables must be destroyed or buried with an accompanying ritual to remove the curse.

The curse removal can be carried out in one short operation or more generally is carried out over a period of months and sometimes years, taking all of the victim's liquid assets. When these assets are used up, some offenses continue by having the victim obtain more money though the use of their credit.

A long-term offense results in the total psychological manipulation of the victim, which isolates them from any independent support from family or friends and keeps them vulnerable to any suggestions given by the reader.

Also called Psychic Fraud.

 

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