Unexpected letters from a psychic: all signs point to fraud

News Release

Consumer alerts

October 31, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

You arrive home and find an unexpected letter in the mail. Inside, you find a message from a renowned psychic or clairvoyant that reads: “I’ve had a vision of great fortune coming your way.” The letter sounds authentic. It’s even personalized, making it look like it’s been written specifically for you.

The vision is often a promise of riches, such as winning millions of dollars in the lottery. To make sure this vision comes true, the supposed psychic is ready to offer you personalized readings and “mystical” or “divine” objects that will bring you good luck. All you have to do is pay a fee and provide some personal information!

Make no mistake; this self-described psychic is not interested in your good fortune. The only fortune they care about is the money that can be made by deceiving you or your loved ones.

The fraudsters behind these schemes can’t see your future. In fact, the same letters, with the same false promises are sent to thousands of people, many of whom are elderly Canadians. And, though these letters may be addressed to you and offer some special insight into your life or provide information that you believe is personal, don’t be fooled. They hope to hook you in and continue to send you predictions of potential good or even bad things to come.

If you send money, you can predict with a high degree of certainty that you will get little or nothing back… just more letters asking for more of your money in exchange for offerings of good luck.

You may not be able to predict the future, but these tips can help protect you from these scammers:

  • Be skeptical: Some psychics may make seemingly accurate predictions about future events, however the fraudsters behind psychic mail scams can’t predict your future.
  • Safeguard your money and personal information: Never provide your personal details or send money to someone you don’t know or trust.
  • Do not respond to any psychic mailing: Throw it in the trash. These scammers want you to respond so that they can hook you in and send you more solicitations.
  • Look out for elderly family members and friends: This type of fraud frequently targets the elderly, some of whom may be your loved ones or friends.
  • Recognize that psychic scams come in many forms: Though psychic scams tend to use traditional mail, they can also take place through email, telephone or face-to-face.

If you have been the victim of a psychic mail scam or other types of mail fraud, report it to the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), the Competition Bureau (1‑800‑348‑5358), the RCMP or your local police.

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