The Edmonton Police Service has received numerous reports of fraudsters posing as astrologers and psychic readers.
It is reported that some vulnerable persons were lead to believe they were cursed with black magic and/or witchcraft.
The EPS has been receiving complaints and information about this scam since April 2015.
“It is difficult to track these alleged fraudsters,” explains Const. Harpreet Jhinjar with the Edmonton Police Service. “Often, these individuals are on a visitor’s visa and quickly disappear when they believe they could be caught.”
Many people seek the services of astrologers and psychics to help solve family and business issues.
Victims that have experienced this fraud come from all across Canada, including: Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver.
Investigations reveal that clients have paid between $2,000 and $15,000 to these self-proclaimed fortune tellers. In one incident, a family paid $85,000 however the fraudsters left the country and no arrests were made.
The Edmonton Police Service and the Canadian Border Service Agency are working together to remove these individuals from Canada and them from any future visits to our country.
“You do not have to feel embarrassed. These fraudsters are experienced and have stolen money from a lot of people,” says Const. Jhinjar. “If you have been scammed, it’s important to report the incident to police immediately so there is a higher chance of locating the suspects.”
Signs of astrology and psychic fraud:
- Unrealistic promises to solve personal and financial problems.
Request for a small amount of money upfront 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 with information about this fraud is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm