Now more than ever, people are turning to social media psychics looking for answers and hoping for a better future.
The psychic services industry is worth an estimated $2 billion annually. Services include aura reading, cartomancy, palmistry, astrology and mediumship. We will probably never know how many psychics are legitimate, but we do know that many are con artists who try to scam their clients.
For example, in one case reported to BBB Scam Tracker, the victim reported losing $3,500 to a scammer who promised she would perform “healing meditation to get rid of the evil spirits.”
How the Scam Works
You follow an apparent psychic on a social media platform and enjoy their content. You notice they offer one-on-one sessions so you decide to book one. After booking a time and date, you have to pay in advance using an app such as CashApp or Zelle.
When it’s time for your private session, you can’t get hold of the psychic. If you ask about a refund or rescheduling, you get no response. And if you persist, you are blocked.
There are several variations of this scam.
For example, during your first one-on-one session, the psychic says you have an urgent and serious problem that can be detrimental to you or your family. They can help you, but it’s not easy to fix and will cost you $5,000 or more.
The psychic may also approach you directly on social media, saying they received a message from the spirit world to warn you about a dangerous event that’s about to unfold. They will pressure you to let them help you, at the right price, of course.
How to Avoid Social Media Psychic Scams
- Consider making a face-to-face appointment with a local psychic – Booking a virtual session with someone in another state or country isn’t ideal, especially if you have to pay in advance. If possible, try to find a local psychic you can visit in person.
- Be cautious when you have to pay a large amount of money – A typical virtual session with a psychic can cost anything between $1 and $5 per minute. So a 30 minute session should not cost more than $150. If a psychic wants to charge you thousands of dollars to solve a problem you didn’t even know about, it’s a red flag.
- Research the psychic – Look at their social media profile. Read their posts, watch their videos and read any comments. Search for them by name on Google and see what comes up. If they’ve scammed others, you might find information about it.
- Understand what you are paying for – Get a detailed explanation of what you’re getting as part of the service. A con artist will often only give you vague answers.
- Ask what happens if either of you has to cancel – If you have to pay in advance, you should know if you can cancel and reschedule. Ask if there is a refund guarantee if they can’t make it. Ask if you can pay after the session or pay a deposit upfront and the balance afterward.
- Beware of promises that they can solve your problems – Any psychic who guarantees they can improve your health, help you get rich or find the love of your life is a con artist.
If you’re a victim of a social media psychics scam or come across one, report it to the following organizations:
- The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center – ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint
- Federal Trade Commission – ReportFraud.ftc.gov
- BBB Scam Tracker – bbb.org/scamtracker
The Better Business Bureau has resources to help consumers and businesses. You can report a scam (whether you’ve lost money or not), file a complaint against a business, and leave a review of a business you’ve used.
Visit our blog for more tips and scam alerts.