Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Psychic Scam 101

A student from my “How to Avoid Scams and Hoaxes” course gave me a package that she had received in the mail.  It was from the International Spiritual Society and Lowell McAdam.  This could be from an ad stating that you get a “free reading” that the student responded to, but sometimes an online presence in a specific webgroup (“liking” a Facebook page about psychics for example) may spawn a totally unsolicited mailing.

The enclosed letters are made to look like someone (the psychic) took the time to personally add some notes with a pen over top of the form letter.  Of course it is not so.  No pen actually touched this paper.  The “pen ink” is printed.  This type of scam often is targeted at seniors who likely don't have 20/20 vision.  Add in one's willingness to believe and the blinding of reason multiplies.

At this point of the game, the info has been free.  The psychic offers some lotto numbers to play.   The will “spiritually activate”, but one must reply in order for him to do so.  I guess he isn't psychic enough to know that the person did????  For this service of releasing the “spiritual blockade”, he will charge $19.

The claimed winning numbers printed are:   2-16-27-29-34-42 for Jan 2nd 2016 Lotto 6/49 in Ontario.
The actual winning numbers according to OLG were:  10-12-16-20-27-36.  http://www.olg.ca/lotteries/viewPastNumbers.do

He tries to cover himself in the letter, again by saying it would be impossible to win with any of the numbers due to the “spiritual blockade” (jeez that sounds more like a ransom type of deal).  I guess his powers are not 100% because the numbers 16 and 27 got through the blockade!  To note though, matching 2 numbers is not a big feat.  The odds of that happening are 2 in 8.3 approximately, according to the OLG (so don't go thinking that the 2 numbers are a show of predictive ability).

A search online shows that the PO Box address in Fort Erie Ontario is used by various agencies and businesses including Carta Engorius Society and Pegasus Services.  Further delving shows that the PO Box is linked to another address in Buffalo NY among others across both countries.  

This “company” is also reported to send out amulets (unsolicited) to responders and to begin charging ($30-$50).  They also seem to increase the bills and try to coerce payment by threatening that non-payment will mess up one's credit rating.    Many reports of the scam are available online.

Psychic's are frauds plain and simple.  They prey on people's hopes and emotions in various ways.  All they truly offer is false hope and lifting a burden...of money in your wallet...from people.  Be smart and do not fall into any psychic's traps.  Avoid them.


  1. I did receive one of these mailings and for the life of me could not figure out the scam but based on the principle " If it sounds too good to be true etc.."
    However, there is no harm in playing the numbers.

    1. Here's an article explaining so of the math behind playing the lottery