Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

Man Behind Decadeslong 'Psychic' Scam Learns His Fate

Patrice Runner was behind mailing of 56M letters promising personal fortunes, for a fee

(Newser) - The Canadian man who defrauded victims of $175 million via "a massive psychic mass-mailing fraud scheme" that spanned two decades was on Monday sentenced to 10 years behind bars, the Guardian reports. Patrice Runner, 57, was convicted in June after being extradited to the US to face charges. "...

After Losing Cat, Airline Calls in Psychic

State-owned Bolivian airline lost passenger's beloved pet more than a month ago

(Newser) - Bolivia's national airline has called in a pet psychic in the ongoing search for Tito, a cat that went missing from a flight more than a month ago. Owner Andrea Iturre says Boliviana de Aviacion—BoA—wouldn't allow her to bring a pet carrier into the cabin on...

Cops: Woman Scammed Own Mom in $140M Psychic Ruse

Sabine Boghici, 48, and accomplices are accused of conning her 82-year-old mother for years

(Newser) - A Brazilian woman was arrested this week and accused of recruiting a group of fake psychics to scam her own 82-year-old mother out of about $140 million in cash, artwork, and jewelry, reports the Washington Post . The alleged scheme began in January 2020, when Genevieve Boghici, the wealthy widow of...

The Multimillionaire Suddenly Couldn't Pay Her Electric Bill

The reason? Vera Pratt, in her 70s, gave her fortune to a psychic over several years

(Newser) - The first real sign of trouble came in 2013, when Vera Pratt asked her goddaughter for help paying the electric bill. As Alexander Huls writes in the Boston Globe , this made no sense. Pratt, then in her 70s, lived on Martha's Vineyard in a $2 million home and came...

Suit: 'Psychic' Was Paid $1K, Still Didn't Lift Witch's Curse

Mauro Restrepo now wants $25K from 'psychic love specialist' Sophia Adams

(Newser) - A California man is suing a self-proclaimed psychic who he says promised to remove a curse on his marriage, ordered by an ex-girlfriend. Mauro Restrepo says he was in the midst of some bad luck when he performed a Google search for psychics on Sept. 17 and came across Sophia...

Inside the World of Psychic Scams
How Psychic Scammers
Pull Off the Long Con

How Psychic Scammers Pull Off the Long Con

Vulnerable clients get suckered into years-long cons, explains story at 'GQ'

(Newser) - It's only 5 bucks, right? That's how much a psychic reading might go for, so even skeptics figure it can't hurt. But for some—usually someone in a particularly vulnerable state, looking for hope—that $5 is the entry point to financial ruin. A story by Sylvia...

Cops: 'Psychic' Charged Big Fee to Rid Girl of Her 'Demon'

Tracy Milanovich allegedly scammed a desperate mom out of more than $70K

(Newser) - A woman claiming to be a psychic stole more than $70,000 from a client by telling the woman her 10-year-old daughter was possessed by a demon and she needed the money to banish the spirit, police in Massachusetts said. Tracy (or Tracey) Milanovich, 37, of Somerset, is charged with...

Cops: Psychic's Big Scam Involved a Guy's House

Samantha Stevenson allegedly convinced a client to sell his house

(Newser) - Toronto police are dusting off a witchcraft-related law just in time for Halloween. After a year-long investigation, York Regional Police have charged fortune teller Samantha Stevenson, also known as Evanna Lopez, with fraud, possession of property obtained by crime, and pretending to practice witchcraft, reports the Toronto Star . The latter...

'Psychic' Convinced 5 Clients to Hand Over $341K

Gina Marie Marks sentenced to 6 years in prison

(Newser) - A purported psychic who conned her victims out of $341,000 was sentenced Friday to six years in prison. Gina Marie Marks, 45, operated "Readings by Natalie" out of a home in Bethesda, Md., but the $100 tarot card readings she offered were just the beginning, the Washington Post...

Cops: Psychic Charged Old Man $147K to 'Cleanse His Soul'

Psychic and son charged with theft and conspiracy

(Newser) - New Jersey authorities say a psychic and her son cheated an elderly man out of more than $147,000 for treatment they said would rid him of evil spirits. Galloway police say Sally "Kim" Wando and her son, Frank Marco, face theft and conspiracy charges. Authorities say the pair...

Why Hearing 'Voices' May Not Necessarily Be a Bad Thing

Scientists: Psychics may be able to harness coping mechanisms to help others

(Newser) - When people say they hear voices no one else can, it can be an indication of mental illness, such as schizophrenia, or it could be some sort of auditory hallucination—and per Joseph Frankel's examination in the Atlantic , some scientists think such a sensory glitch might not always be...

Charges: Psychic Cons $200K From Lacoste Heir

She allegedly told the victim 'evil spirits' would get her

(Newser) - A professional psychic is accused of conning more than $200,000 out of a wealthy University of Colorado student, the Longmont Times-Call reports. Victoria Lacoste—of the Lacoste clothing family—started getting tarot card readings and spiritual advice from 32-year-old Becky Ann Lee, owner of Psychic Chakra Spa in Boulder,...

How a Man Blew $718K on Psychics

He allegedly spent $90K for a gold bridge in another realm

(Newser) - Niall Rice met Michelle while receiving treatment for acute anxiety at an Arizona rehab clinic. "We had such a strong connection, it was unbelievable," the 33-year-old Brit tells the New York Times . "I loved her deeply." The pair broke up weeks after leaving rehab, but Rice...

Psychic Sues NY for $100K: My 'Gifts' Helped Find Inmates

Texas man wants reward money for 'helping' in case of escaped inmates

(Newser) - On June 7, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted that the state of New York had $100,000 for anyone with info that would lead to the arrest of two escaped prison inmates. Now a Texas psychic wants Cuomo to pay up and has filed a lawsuit to demand the...

Airline Tweaks Flight Number After Psychic Predicts Doom

TAM not taking any chances

(Newser) - A psychic last week predicted that Brazilian airline TAM's flight JJ3720—a Sao Paulo-to-Brasilia flight set for Wednesday—would develop engine problems and crash. What's perhaps unusual about this story is TAM's response: Citing "indispensable information," the airline changed the flight's number to JJ4732,...

Oldest Man, 111, Spent Last Hours Talking to Spirits

Psychic researcher in NYC 'simply didn't die earlier'

(Newser) - A psychic researcher who became the world's oldest man in April spent his final hours trying to communicate in Polish and Russian with spirits he sensed around him, a friend says. Alexander Imich, 111, died yesterday at the seniors residence in Manhattan where he had lived since his wife'...

Fla. Psychic Gets 10 Years in Crazy $18M Fraud

Rose Marks apologizes for hurt caused

(Newser) - A 62-year-old psychic will spend some of her golden years in prison after what the Broward-Palm Beach New Times calls "the largest case of fortune-telling fraud ever to hit a courtroom." After decades operating in New York City and Fort Lauderdale, Rose Marks was sentenced to 10 years...

Psychic Found Guilty of $150K in Fraud

Sylvia Mitchell's clients say she never helped them

(Newser) - Soothsayers beware: A New York psychic was found guilty today of swindling her clients out of more than $150,000 with stories of past lives and "negative" energy, CBS News reports. Sylvia Mitchell, convicted of grand larceny and scheming to defraud, is stuck in jail without bail before her...

Psychic Must Pay $7M Over Very Bad Prediction

 Psychic Must 
 Pay $7M Over 
 Very Bad 

Psychic Must Pay $7M Over Very Bad Prediction

She told police that a couple had mass grave on their property

(Newser) - A psychic peering into the lives of a Houston couple a few years ago should have seen a future filled with riches. Instead, she labeled them as mass murderers—falsely, as it turns out—and now a judge has ordered her to pay them $7 million for defamation, reports the...

Shamans in Peru: Obama's Got It

But astrologers say Mercury Retrograde could make things messy

(Newser) - Forget the pundits and statisticians : To find out who's really going to win the election, some are turning to shamans and psychics. In Peru, shamans have called a winner: President Obama. They came to the conclusion after chewing coca leaves, drinking a hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca, and putting flower...

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>
Most Read on Newser