BAD LUCK IN GOOD LUCK SCAM
(Investigator No. 13, 1990 July)
Two gypsies who obtained a fortune of $407,000 in cash and jewellery through a forturne telling and palm reading racket faced charges in the Prahran (Victoria) Magistrates Court in April.
The scam which preyed mainly on immigrants throughout Australia was about to spread to Adelaide and to England.
The women claimed to have psychic powers. Clients were told they faced bad luck which could be prevented by handing over valuables that would then be blessed, so as to change the bad luck to good luck when returned.
The valuables, however, were not returned. The women's husbands were both charged with receiving and disposing of stolen goods. The women were arrested at Glenelg (Adelaide) on Tuesday April 10.
An Adelaide man, said to run a similar operation, was arrested in the same week.
Americans too are vulnerable to good fortune scams also. The Sunday Mail reported:
HARTFORD, Connecticut: A fortune teller and her daughter preyed on troubled people's fears in a fraud scheme which cheated victims out of $361,515 a judge said before imposing sentence…The women, members of a Gypsy community, were found guilty of cheating victims who paid large sums for rituals to rid homes of evil spirits. (May 27 p.21)An Adelaide skeptic stated: "Science knows of no physical forces or laws that control good or bad luck. Such fraudulent claims make money because there's a sucker born ever minute."