If anyone asked me how to spot a fake psychic, I’d probably say “Go find me a psychic.”
Easy enough, right?
Well, Daily Mail Australia asked self-described psychic and real-name-user Sharina Star the same question… and she had a somewhat longer answer.
She told the paper that she’s been “open to the spiritual world” since she survived a horrible abduction at the age of 10 that left her beaten and left to die. Sad stuff, and she has my deepest sympathy for what she went through… but it doesn’t mean we can’t criticize the fact that she’s chosen to manipulate and scam who-knows-how-many people.
Star offered some advice to make sure people don’t get *ahem* scammed by *ahem* fake psychics.
Star says to do your homework on the person you are going to see or take recommendations through word of mouth.
“Hey, my friend told me about this great business where you burn money for good luck. She had a great experience!”
‘Beware of someone who is actually out there that you’ve never heard of and they make all of these ridiculous claims,’ Star advises.
Right. We wouldn’t want a psychic who makes ridiculous claims. That would be… ridiculous.
Speaking of which, Star also warns the public to beware of anyone who tells you you’re cursed.
‘I think the worst thing is the spells. I’ve got so many people say they have got these evil curses and they are convinced they have these curses on them.’
To her credit, she does give one decent piece of advice: Keep away from psychics when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable.
‘Be careful when are you are in time of grief because you can really get ripped off.’
‘A good psychic would send someone to a counsellor — but say you’ve got someone who wants to speak to a dead person everyday — there are people trying to milk them for money all of the time.’
Frauds will prey on those who are feeling at their most vulnerable, Star warns.
‘If you see them once and you feel good that’s OK, but if they keep wanting to see you and keep taking your money that’s a bad sign.’
Hotlines can also be a trap for those who feel that they have nowhere else to turn.
‘People just keep ringing the 1800 numbers — they get on the line because they just split up with their boyfriend — they will end up spending a lot of money.’
This is an uncanny moment of self-awareness by Star — these are all pieces of advice I’d give anyone who insists on seeing a psychic — any psychic. If you want to go for a kick to see if you’re going to meet a mysterious tall, handsome stranger sometime in the vague future, fine. Would I prefer people kept their money firmly in their own pocket? Yes. But my blood really boils when frauds (and by that, I certainly mean anyone claiming to have psychic powers) pretend they can speak to a grieving father’s late son or give questionable-at-best financial advice. So, I give credit where it’s due, I suppose.
And with this final tip, Star dips into the pool of common sense where we’ve all been hanging out for sometime:
Don’t believe everything you are told:
Star met a 40-year-old woman who was told when she was just 14-years-old that she would never have children.
‘Nobody should says things like that — if you’re wrong that plants a seed,’ Star says.
And then, just as quickly, she springs back out into the realm of bullshit in which she is undoubtedly more comfortable:
‘I looked at her palm and told her it looked like she would have two children then I went and had my baby — it does make you psychic having your own baby — any woman will tell you that.’
Um, wut? Readers with children, please share stores re: Psychic Pregnancy. I’m working on a book and I’ll totally give you a cut.
‘Then I went back to the job a few months later and the woman was pregnant. I don’t know if she ended up having two but it gives me a lot of joy to see that.’
Listen, it’s beyond sick that whether a woman had children hinged on an encounter with a fraudster when she was a teenager. What bothers me is that she acknowledges that fact and, in the same breath, pats herself on the back for doing basically the same thing.
I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of people about the difference between someone who sincerely believes they have psychic abilities and someone who is intentionally deceiving others, and I kind of don’t care anymore. It’s wrong to take money from people under false pretenses. It’s wrong to give people bad advice with absolutely no context. It’s wrong to deceive people, period.
So, to bring this full circle: All psychics are fakes. And Star is no different, no matter how many celebrity clients she has.
(Image via Shutterstock)