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The Differences Between Legitimate Psychic Mediums And Scam Artists

The Differences Between Legitimate Psychic Mediums And Scam Artists

The Differences Between Legitimate Psychic Mediums And Scam Artists

By Bob Olson

Not all people claiming to be psychics or mediums are legitimate. There are phonies, frauds, and scam artists just as in any practice, which is why I have tested hundreds of psychics and mediums since 1999 to determine who is and who is not legitimate. But there are many legitimately gifted psychics and mediums in the world, including many whom I have not yet tested.

A legitimate medium is one who has a genuine ability to communicate with spirits. A legitimate psychic is one has a genuine ability to read energy. People sometimes refer to these abilities as gifts. I’ve come to realize that we all have some degree of these abilities that can be improved with training and experience. However, some people tend to be more naturally gifted than others, just like some people are more naturally gifted at singing, painting, or athletics.

I used to test psychic and mediums for legitimacy alone but have come to test for other standards as well, such as ethics, integrity, professionalism, and responsibility in the delivery of messages. As a result, and as the years have passed, it’s become much more difficult to pass my test. So if a psychic or medium fails my test today, it doesn’t mean he is a fake, necessarily; it might just mean that he lacks in professionalism or doesn’t deliver messages responsibly.

So how can you tell if a psychic or medium is real or a fake? Sadly, the average person is going to have a difficult time telling the difference between a legitimate psychic or medium and a fake. Phonies, frauds, and scam artists can be quite convincing. They can be good at deceiving people, especially people who are grieving or going through a desperate time in life as these people are often more susceptible to suggestion. Yet even legitimate psychics and mediums will show some of the signs I’ll list below. So you can’t assume that a psychic or medium is a fake just because they do. This is why it’s difficult for the average person to spot a phony.

Here are the telltale signs to help you spot a phony or scam artist. You can usually spot one by looking for the following signs:

1. Fake psychics and mediums and scam artists ask a lot of leading questions.

Some people call this a cold reading. For the most part, scam artists giving a cold reading are fishing around for clues so they can improve their guessing ratio when giving you messages. Yet not every psychic or medium who asks a lot of questions is a fake. There are many legitimate psychics and mediums who have developed poor habits of asking you a question about what they’re seeing, hearing, or feeling instead of just presenting it as a statement.

“Who died in a car accident?” the medium might ask when what he should have said was

“I have someone in spirit here who died in a car accident.”

Or the medium might be given a message by the spirit to talk about a nurse, which will lead to information about the client’s sister who is a nurse. But the medium might say, “Do you know someone who is a nurse?” or “Who is the nurse?”

What the psychic medium should have said was “They are talking to me about a nurse. Does that make any sense to you?” If the client says yes, the medium can then get more information from the spirit that might lead to the next piece of information: “They are showing me that this nurse is a sibling of yours. I believe they’re saying she’s your sister.”

So to sum up, phony psychics and mediums are known to ask a lot of questions. In fact, they have to ask questions in order to get anything right. Unfortunately, some legitimate psychics and mediums ask a lot of questions too, which is why it’s so difficult for the average person to know if someone is real or not.

2. Fake psychics and mediums and scam artists present vague, general messages rather than accurate evidence.

Spirit communication (mediumship) should always begin with messages that identify the spirit who is communicating with the psychic medium. What is their name? What are the circumstances of their passing? How old were they when they died? How long ago did they die? What was their physical appearance, and what were the characteristics of their personality? If the medium is unable to give you any identifying evidence of this type, that’s a red flag that they might be a fake. Otherwise, it’s merely a sign that the medium is inexperienced or poorly gifted.

Psychic and intuitive readings should begin with messages that identify information about you, such as your personality characteristics, issues that are weighing on your mind at that moment, relationship dynamics between you and your family members or friends, health concerns you might have, or financial and/or work themes. If the psychic or intuitive is unable to identify these types of matters with accuracy, this too is a red flag that they might be a fake. Or it’s a sign that the psychic is inexperienced or poorly gifted.

3. Fake psychics and mediums and scam artists claim that you are cursed.

You should never give money to any psychic or medium who promises to remove a curse or spell for a fee. There is never any curse or spell, and this is the most common scam in this field. These criminals are merely using fear to manipulate people. And scam artists who promise to remove a curse for a fee have been known to charge (and get) thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars from people by using this common scam.

Sometimes they’ll say that they can remove the curse for you—for a fee. They might tell you that they can remove the curse in one session or tell you it will take multiple sessions to remove it (and you have to pay them each session). Sometimes they’ll say you have to purchase a high-priced crystal (or some other object) in order to remove the curse—and buy it from them, of course. These are typical scams that take place all the time.

Since the scam artist pretending to be a legitimate medium (or psychic) usually knows a lot about the client by this point in their relationship (because she’s encouraged a codependent relationship), she likely knows how much money the client has in the bank. And lo and behold, she’ll tell the client that it will cost approximately that same amount to remove the curse. Wow, what a coincidence!

“But don’t worry,” the psychic will say, “because once this curse is removed, you’ll have all sorts of new money coming your way.” Once they’ve instilled fear in the client, they motivate them further by promising how wonderful the client’s life will be once the curse is gone.

I’ve heard tragic stories where people have lost $12,000 to $27,000 due to this scam. It’s not the amount that makes these scams especially tragic; it’s that the amount is often the person’s entire life savings. And even if the attorney general’s office catches these scam artists and puts them in jail, the victims of these psychic scams rarely ever get their money back.

4. Fake psychics and mediums and scam artists ask you for personal information like your social security number, driver’s license number, bank account numbers, and passwords.

Never give out your social security number, driver’s license number, bank account numbers, or passwords to a psychic or medium. If one asks you for this information, it’s a strong sign that something suspicious is up. Hang up and report them to your state attorney general’s office.

For every 100 or so gifted, legitimate psychics and mediums out there, there is a fraud in the shadows. So use the above signs as guidelines when you decide you want to talk with one. If you are looking for a legitimate and credible psychic or medium, you’ll want to check out my two websites: and

This article is an excerpt from Bob Olson’s book, Answers About The Afterlife.

©2014 Written by Bob Olson

A former skeptic & private investigator, and the author of ANSWERS ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE: A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR'S 15-YEAR RESEARCH UNLOCKS THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE AFTER DEATH, Bob Olson has been an Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher since 1999. In his search for evidence of life after death, Bob has tested hundreds of psychics, mediums & other afterlife-related practitioners. Bob is the host of AFTERLIFE TV, founder of BEST PSYCHIC DIRECTORY and BEST PSYCHIC MEDIUMS, and offers his PSYCHIC MEDIUM WORKSHOP to help psychics and mediums improve their abilities and business. Visit Bob on AFTERLIFE TV's FACEBOOK page & on TWITTER.