The Atlantic chronicles those scammed by fortune-tellers.
One, whose real identity is concealed, has a law degree. She is out almost $56,000. Yet this crime is rarely prosecuted.
For one thing, most psychics post terms and conditions that the service is for entertainment purposes only. Don't like the entertainment? Too bad, buster.
In addtion, the rogue psychics can easily up and leave their location. And, what middle-class person wants to risk the smirk on the police's faces when reporting getting caught in the force field of voodoo.
At the Smoking Gun, a paranormal group previously based in Orange, Connecticut, I had learned that most people contact psychics when they are stressed. They could be in high angst about their jobs, relationships with significant others, inability to emerge from grief, and mounting debt. That distressed emotional state trumped all other mental states such as the usual sense of caution someone might have. That was one reason why the Smoking Gun recommended first getting a referral to a psychic from a trusted source. No, just don't pop into any store-front where a sign hangs, "Your Love Problems Solved."
There are many ways to be bilked. The most common is just wasting the cost of the "consultation," which could be $55 for 15 minutes with a brandname psychic. Another way is the tendency to get hooked. Agita can make us sitting ducks for dependency. We "need" that psychic. Our bill could run into the hundreds a week or month. Also, professionals off their center might start contributing pro bono their professional expertise to the psychic in order to build the service-provider's business.
However, most often this temporary sanctuary from reality is harmless. Overwhelmed with pet grief after my trusty animal companion Molly Mittens died, I got through the following holiday season reaching out to her through pet mediums. Think about it. That was a less costly way of navigating emotional darkness than getting drunk and winding up with a DUI. And it was no-hassle. I didn't have to apply to my primary care physician for a referral to a psychiatrist and gain a ton of weight taking antidepressants.