Once, I thought all psychics and mediums were con artists. Now, I realize there are truly gifted individuals, but scam artists lurk out there as well.

So, how do you figure out who’s playing you and who’s genuine? Consider the following:

Cold psychic reading

An observant individual can glean a great deal of information through body language  (i.e. leaning forward at a certain question or nodding), non-verbal cues (catching one’s breath in surprise or tone of voice), age, gender, clothing and more.

I witnessed a “seer” who picked out the oldest people in the room to read. Each time, he would say something general like, “I see a gentleman who is frail and has gray hair. He’s crossed over.” Then, he would go silent. The person being read—trying to be helpful or perhaps feeling the pressure of the silence or wishing her dad would come through—would reply, “Oh, that’s my father!” The phony then would figure out the era her father grew up in by the woman’s age. He’d guess something like, “I see him as a young man wearing a hat and standing next to a horse.”

Non-specific information

Let’s take that same scam a bit further. He saw the woman was thrilled that her father came through. She smiled and tears welled up in her eyes.  The fake psychic said, “Your father endured difficult times, but he endured. He’s telling me he loves you very much and that he’s proud of you.”

Leading questions

A gifted psychic/medium should only ask yes/no questions. And, someone being read should never volunteer information. A psychic is fishing for details if she poses an open-ended question, such as: “I see a person whose name starts with a J. Who would that be?” Note, the fake psychic doesn’t give any details—no gender, no age, no relationship, no physical description or intimate detail. Who doesn’t know someone whose first or last name started with a J?

Outright spying

I’ve heard of a person who hires actresses to play psychics for his business. He only schedules in-person readings and while setting up the appointment, he gets the person’s full name, address and land-line phone number. Then, he starts snooping. He Googles the person to mine as much personal information as possible. And, since he knows where they live, he calls when he knows that person is en route to meet the psychic. He can gain details from an answering machine, but he gets the most when a child answers the phone and he pretends to be a family friend. He then passes the information to the actress.

Tips to ensure a legitimate psychic reading

  • Record your psychic reading.
  • Be skeptical.
  • Review the recording to see what clues you provided.
  • Judge how specific the reading was to you and if it could’ve been applied to just about anyone in      your age range, gender and economic class.
  • Google yourself to see what information comes up on you.
  • If you see anything about a reading being for “entertainment purposes only,” beware.

Do you have additional tips on how to detect a fraud psychic? If so, please share them with us.