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Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Psychic Readings Alert

CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- They put their faith in a fortuneteller but didn't get good news.

People were expecting personalized psychic readings but it turns out although they paid a fee, they just got a worthless piece of paper.
Al Herzog, a U.S. Postal Inspector, said, "They were told they were going to get rich.  They were going to have a big house, come into a big fortune."
That was the prediction the victims in the case received in a letter from someone they thought was a real astrologer or fortune teller.
"Some of these people were otherwise pretty down on their luck and they got a letter in the mail telling them that all the things going on in their life would turn around," said Herzog.
For a monthly fee, victims expected personalized astrological readings.  But that's not what they got.
"Each potential victim received the letter because their name appeared on the mailing list, whereas they were led to believe the astrologer or psychic had a 'vision' about them," Herzog explained.
The company also sent victims trinkets that it claimed had special powers.
Herzog said, "The items were reportedly sent to someone specifically picked out by an astrologer; somehow magical or unique.  Whereas our investigation showed they were purchased in bulk from china."
How could the victims have avoided getting ripped off?
Herzog advised, "In this case if people would have done some very simple Internet searches, they would have seen people posting on various consumer blogs on the Internet, complaints about these companies."
Another red flag Herzog identified, "If receiving a letter in the mail can be an indication that you will somehow win good fortune that's probably something that is a little too good to be true.  Things don't generally come that easy."

The owner of the company involved was fined and ordered to change his advertising so it was no longer misleading.

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