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Evil spirit cleansing scam rakes in millions


Posted on Sunday, 7 July, 2013 | Comment icon 33 comments | News tip by: The world needs you


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
Scammers pretending to be spiritual healers have conned vulnerable people out of millions in New York.

The scam typically involves members of the public being approached by individuals claiming to be spiritualists or fortune tellers. Details vary, but most frequently the victim is told that a loved one is possessed by an evil spirit or is going to die. To safeguard them, the con-artist requests valuables such as jewelry or money which they then 'bless' and return to the victim in an envelope with instructions not to open it for a set time period. When the victim does finally open the envelope the valuables are missing - replaced instead with rocks or some other valueless object.

"They know the culture, they know how to talk to these victims to get them to listen," said New York police spokesman Paul Browne. "One person's spirituality is another's superstition, and they prey on that distinction."

"Detectives say there has been a rash in New York of what's known as an evil spirit or blessing scam, where older immigrant women, mostly Chinese, are swindled out of their valuables by clever scammers arriving from China who prey on superstition and fear."

  View: Full article |  Source: Huffington Post

  Discuss: View comments (33)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Avallaine on 12 September, 2013, 4:57
These sort of scams have been going on as long as there have been people. Sad but true. Oracles, seers, witches, psychics, roughly 99% of them are shills and cons. The remainder are genuine, and usually keep a low profile. In my experience, only 5% (usually the ones charging the most and getting the most attention) are shills and cons, and the rest are sincere. Of course, sincerity doesn't guarantee talent...nor does it guarantee a person can actually judge how much talent they, themselves, have. I think we all have moments of psychic awareness at times. I think we also all have moments of kee... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by Nik Xues on 12 September, 2013, 8:34
I believe all species already have a built in internet that psychics merely tap into. As for evil spirits could they not be perceived as a form of computer virus or glitch.
Comment icon #26 Posted by xFelix on 12 September, 2013, 21:30
So basically, a group of bandits pretend to be psychics and literally steal jewelry/money as well as scam some away.. This must mean that all psychics ever are scammers and frauds.. great logic UM, you never cease to amaze me. I hope the bandits get every single day in jail they deserve, but sitting there and discriminating against an entire belief system is no better than discriminating over a skin color or a gender. There are people with different beliefs than your own, get over it.. PS-Maybe it's time to stop discriminating against other groups all together as opposed to finding new groups ... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Avallaine on 12 September, 2013, 23:52
I think there's a distinction to be made between "discriminating against" and "taking advantage of." Not that they aren't both capable of doing terrible damage, of course...but they're still not exactly the same thing.
Comment icon #28 Posted by White Crane Feather on 20 September, 2013, 20:34
Two people engaging in commerce over a perceived good, with a voluntary exchange of money. This benefits both parties and the economy. Regulating something simply because you don't believe in it is wrong on so many levels. Cars kill more people than just about everything including children, so lets ban them, big pharm the same thing. Stay out people's lives please.
Comment icon #29 Posted by zenaryshort21 on 21 July, 2014, 11:40
Well, whenever a disaster strikes, scammers are sure to pop up shortly after. Apparently, storm Isaac ravaged the Gulf Coast a week ago. Unfortunately, he was just the start of the hurricane season. Sadly, these catastrophes also bring out a unique breed of rip-off artist that preys the traumatized and financially-strained victims of the tragedies.
Comment icon #30 Posted by JJ50 on 21 July, 2014, 15:01
One can't help feeling that if people are so gullible as to fall for evil spirit mumbo jumbo they are asking to be taken for a ride!
Comment icon #31 Posted by davros of skaro on 21 July, 2014, 15:19
One can't help feeling that if people are so gullible as to fall for evil spirit mumbo jumbo they are asking to be taken for a ride! Atleast when I have to cleanse my house of evil spirits, all I have to do is invite friends and bust out the Shot Glasses.
Comment icon #32 Posted by JJ50 on 21 July, 2014, 16:03
Atleast when I have to cleanse my house of evil spirits, all I have to do is invite friends and bust out the Shot Glasses. What are shot glasses?
Comment icon #33 Posted by Rafterman on 21 July, 2014, 16:20
I still can't work out how they're allowed to operate off baseless claims/nothing proven in the history of mankind etc. You know, there are a few that I'd like to ask that same question. At the top of that list would be the Pope.


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