MD Psychic Easily Scams $65,400

I continue to be amazed at the gullibility of some people, although I shouldn't be. The fact that homeopathy is a booming business should be enough to tell me that modern day snake-oil salesmanship is alive and well only because there are enough fools to keep it going. This weakness in character is most recently (and remarkably) demonstrated by Jean Tate, an Ocean View, DE resident who gave a psychic over $60,000 to "cleanse" it and release her dead mother from limbo. According to the story in multiple local newspapers,
The victim told investigators on March 10 she was working at the Wal-Mart store in Salisbury when Stevens, a licensed fortune teller, approached her and allegedly gave the woman an advertisement claiming she was a psychic.

As the two conversed, Stevens began to tell the victim of some occurrences in the victim’s life.

Stevens allegedly told the victim she could help her more but she needed $30 and the money would go to a church. Stevens then asked for the victim’s full name, date of birth, and cell phone number, according to the police

The following day, the victim went to Stevens’ residence along the 27000 block of Ocean Gateway in Hebron, where Stevens told her that someone had put a curse on her family and that the victim’s sister and mother who both died in 2002 were in limbo, in neither hell nor heaven.

After this first visit, the victim went to see Stevens approximately six more times, the police report said.

During these visits, Stevens talked about the victim’s finances and she told the fortune teller she recently inherited more than $100,000 from her mother and money was in trust fund at a local bank.

According to the victim, Stevens told her the bank was evil and that she should transfer $75,000 from her bank to a new account in a different bank. Stevens claimed the name “Chase” came to her so she transferred the money to a new account at the Chevy Chase Bank in Rehoboth Beach, police said.

After the transfer was complete, Stevens told the victim to withdraw $9,000. However she could only withdraw $3,000 a day because of limits on cash withdrawals and from March 28 to 31, the victim told police she withdrew $3,000 each day.

Stevens allegedly told the victim to put the cash between her mattresses and sleep on it. She did that and the next day the victim told Stevens she could not sleep. Stevens then told her it was because the money was evil and she was to put the money in a dark room, so the victim put it in a closet, the police report said.

Stevens then had the victim bring her the $6,000 so she could “cleanse” it of the evil. The victim took Stevens the money and thought she was going to get it back, which she did not. Stevens then told the victim she needed to wire $59,400 from her bank account to Stevens’ bank account.

On Friday, April 4, the victim went to the Chevy Chase Bank in Rehoboth and transferred $59,400 to Stevens’ account. After transferring the money, the victim went to Stevens’ house. When she got there, Stevens told the victim her mother and sister are now free and everything was done, police said.

Normally they spoke or saw each other every day but since that day the contact stopped, the victim told police.
One report calls this an "elaborate ruse". Far from it. Boiled down, it was simply a huckster asking an idiot to give her money, and the idiot does. The Nigerian email scams are more elaborate than this. What this really shows is that some people are easily taken in by paranormal nonsense. Ms. Tate happens to be more susceptible than others. However, given a truly elaborate scheme, more people will succumb. Companies know this and advertisers are paid big bucks to capitalize on this human flaw.

So, why am I amazed by the gullibility of people? I shouldn't be. People will fall for anything.

No comments: