Picture this: Your client gets home and finds an unexpected letter in the mail. Inside, there’s a message from a psychic or clairvoyant. “I’ve had a vision of great fortune coming your way,” reads the letter. Your client thinks it sounds authentic because it’s personalized for him.
Read: CSA bans binary options
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 psychic will offer your client personalized readings and objects that will bring him good luck. All he has to do is pay a fee and provide some personal information.
If this sounds far-fetched, it’s because it is, warns the Competition Bureau. “[These] false promises are sent to thousands of people, many of whom are elderly Canadians. [The fraudsters] hope to hook [investors] in and continue to send [them] predictions of potential good or even bad things to come.”
Here are some tips to help protect clients.
- 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 money and personal information: Tell clients to never provide personal details or send money to someone they don’t know or trust.
- Do not respond to any psychic mailing: Throw it in the trash. These scammers want investors to respond so that they can hook them in and send more solicitations.
- Look out for elderly family members and friends: This type of fraud frequently targets the elderly, some of whom may be 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 clients have been the victim of a psychic mail scam or other types of mail fraud, tell them to report it to the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), the Competition Bureau (1‑800‑348‑5358), the RCMP or their local police.