BBB warns of scam psychics on social media

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 12:12 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - BBB is warning the public of social media scammers in the psychic services industry.

BBB Scam Tracker says they have received reports from people who have paid for psychic services such as astrology or tarot readings but never received what they paid for.

Customers often book and pay for a session with a content creator online. However, when the time comes for the session, the psychic is unreachable.

Complaints about no-show psychics are the most common version of the scam, according to BBB. Consumers also reported seeing fake reviews online or being pressured into paying for additional services.

“She gets you to come back by saying she will do healing meditation to get rid of the evil spirits,” the report said. “She pressures you that you need to give her cash/money to ‘cleanse’ the evil spirits or to use for the meditation.”

How to avoid social media psychic scams (as outlined by the BBB):

  • Evaluate the seller’s social media profile. Look for someone who posts frequently, responds quickly, and clearly displays and describes the services they provide.
  • Read the comments on their posts. Disgruntled customers sometimes comment on a seller’s posts to inform potential customers about their poor experiences. However, this is not a foolproof way to tell if you’re dealing with a phony seller since comments can be deleted or hidden.
  • Check for clear appointment protocols. A trustworthy professional will have a streamlined process dictating how they book appointments to ensure they do not overbook themselves.
  • Get everything in writing. Sellers should provide written confirmation of your purchase, the charges, relevant appointment details and instructions on what to do in event of a cancellation.
  • Look out for red flags when paying. For example, one consumer told BBB a seller insisted they pay via a digital transfer app, and they were required to label the charge as a friend and family payment. This circumvents safeguards in place that could otherwise protect consumers from scams.
  • Understand what you’re paying for. Look for a clear explanation of services and prices, so you know exactly what you’re getting as part of your service.

You can report scams to BBB online.

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