Thursday, May 8, 2014

Psychic and Pagans: Don't be Conned

Dear Psychic Friends and Pagans,
Please Read This:
I was contacted by a friend who copied and pasted a “HELP!” request from another “Wiccan”. The first red flag on this request was that a National and very liberal about what gets posted page had refused her request to post her plea for help. I can't imagine what tipped them off.
The fact that this plea of persecution arrived for this very ill person just days into one of our elders losing her fight with illness was suspect and I am sure the karma is going to crash on this person.
The hallmark of a con is that it is vague enough to allow you to draw conclusions without directly accusing or stating the party making them a target. In this case, the target was an institution I know well as I have been in their facilities several times. Any complaint immediately was addressed by the management and rectified when I made it.
There was no way to help this person as they were carefully allowing you to conclude where they were without saying where they were. The object here is to engage you in further communications so they can determine whether you have what they want. This is separating the easily duped from the smart ones who know a con when they see one. This is the one free question psychics trying to determine how desperate you are and then the next move is sympathy and then into your wallet.
A quick check of local pagan organizations revealed no one know this person. She was picking targets out of a national group via the target's general location.
Now you might say, aren't you a little hard on someone who might need help?
Really? I checked this person out and discovered except for a private Facebook page, she doesn't exist and I even recognize the location of the photo on her page as being a senior citizen condo and she looks about 30! Yup, I smell something really fishy.
It gets better.
Today I get a friend request from this person.
Okay, now let's do the logic thing. Can you view who viewed your page? I bet 90% of you will say no. Now here we have someone being persecuted, in a facility trying to regain their health who apparently has lot's of access to a computer and external programs to track visitors to their page and even manages to access the locations of members of groups with thousands of rotten is that barrel of fish right now???
So, before you fall for the help me message from anyone, start by asking how they got your number, Email or Facebook account information? That should immediately alert you to a scam. Then just google the name. Everyone leaves a foot print and if this person has none, red lights should start flashing. Then always stop and think how this person is getting information if you couldn't do it. If that starts pointing to someone who is computer savy, you probably have an experienced scam artist.
I don't care what the request is or how benign, you don't want to engage. They want to get access to your accounts and the only way they can go that is if you open an electronic door for them. The next thing you will know is your Facebook account is hacked and from there, your email account to your computer to your bank your phone.
If you are planning on making friends on these social sites and giving out your phone number, for the love of the Goddess, buy a cheap limited number refillable minutes phone that is untraceable. Just think about how much information is on your phone that is open to hackers that know how to get into it! Do you pay bills on it? Is your paypal account linked to it? How many in your address book? Oh, everyone on Facebook is your answer there.....
Be Wary. Be Safe.
As I have said before, there are real people in real jobs who take care of these things. It is their profession. Let them do their jobs and you stay safe.
This person carefully did not give enough information for any of us to call anyone to help her. There was a reason for that. It is a con.

When I worked in psychiatry I guarantee you anyone in that position is calling EVERYONE for help that they think they know. They are NOT calling STRANGERS. That is just human nature.

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