‘Psychic’ Phone Network Gets Punked

The term “schadenfreude” was created just for situations like this. A “psychic” network of “clairvoyant mediums” was punked when people took advantage of their offer of a free 5-minute reading by calling over and over again pretending to be different people.

Fraudulent activity on a website offering psychic readings by “clairvoyant psychic mediums” has caused the company to close their doors to new members looking for their free psychic reading offer.

The network of psychics, clairvoyants, mediums and tarot card readers called Oracle Avenue opened for business in 2012 with a “proprietary phone platform system”. The system allows a person to connect with one of their online psychics by phone from anywhere in the world using their “click to call button”. Since opening, the psychics network presented an offer to new members which promised a free psychic reading without having to input a credit card number…

New psychic network, Oracle Avenue, found that their free psychic reading offer was “a successful campaign until recent changes”; and recently decided to end their offer. A representative for the company states that the network owner decided to close their free psychic reading campaign effective immediately, due to a recent spike in fraudulent activity affecting the network of psychics directly.

According to their representative, shortly after the start of their summer marketing campaign, an influx of new customers prompted the network of psychics and mediums to provide a large portion of their psychic readings for free with the offer running at the time. Analytics determined however, that a large portion of the new customers were actually the same people creating multiple accounts in order to take advantage of the free psychic offer. The offer gave a free 5 minute psychic reading by phone; and at rates between $2.99 to $5.99 per minute, a 5 minute psychic reading phone call with an expert psychic can cost anywhere from $15 to $30. The company experienced a loss in revenue and an increase in expenses over the course of the campaign and decided to exit the strategy immediately.

I won’t make the obvious “they should have seen it coming” joke, but I will laugh my ass off at the idea of these frauds getting defrauded.

According to their representative, psychic advisors certified by Oracle Avenue have begun to enjoy a new marketing campaign which “…is attracting customers with a different level of integrity (who are) genuinely interested in an exchange for the common good. This means that they have no problem in paying for the service that someone else provides.”

Yeah, because who better to judge someone else’s integrity than someone bilking the credulous for huge amounts of money with their fake “psychic” abilities?

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  • John Pieret

    I won’t make the obvious “they should have seen it coming” joke

    I think you just did … but that’s ok, it is well deserved.

  • Too bad they stopped it. Cheapest phone sex available, and of better quality than 411.

  • Sastra

    I kinda hope the “pranksters” kept good records on the content and accuracy of the readings — just because I think it will make an interesting skeptic article.

  • caseloweraz

    And of course this post gets an ad from “California Psychics” — “Get Your Next Reading Now!” with the obligatory babe smiling out at you. I directed an uncharitable thought at the ad, but it failed to disappear.

  • marcus

    MO @ 2 I know, right? Whenever I make a simple request, like, just say 910-555-0432 “lower and slower” I just get this embarrassed silence.

  • brianwestley

    If anyone isn’t sure how to pronounce “schadenfreude”, there’s a pronunciation guide here.

  • Larry

    Why do psychics need phones?

  • coragyps

    Why would a psychic need you to enter your credit card number??

  • coragyps “Why would a psychic need you to enter your credit card number??”

    Where do you think the spirits from beyond get your lucky numbers from?

  • tbp1

    There’s a possibly apocryphal story of a newspaper editor who fires a “psychic” columnist with a note starting, “As you no doubt have foreseen…”

  • I kind of feel bad for them for having lost so much money.

    They’re scam artists and crooks, yes, but basically thievery is not a way to get back at them, I feel.

  • @11:

    Hurting them financially is about the only to hurt them–and they need to feel the pain. OTOH, it’s not likely that they will be able to push a “Theft of services” lawsuit very far.

  • matty1

    @12 “it’s not likely that they will be able to push a “Theft of services” lawsuit very far.”

    That depends on what they define as their ‘services’ in legal documents, if they are stupid enough to say they are selling actual predictions then yes nowhere to go. However I suspect they have the nous to say in the small print that people are paying for time on the phone to their employees. That clearly did happen and wasn’t paid for as their terms said it should be.

    These people are not stupid, they tend to word their scams in such a way that the marks think they are buying psychic services but in technical legal terms they are buying a conversation with someone who might or might not be a psychic.

  • Michael Heath

    It’s my understanding these frauds note in their disclaimers they’re selling entertainment; not psychic services nor mere conversation.

    The person above who thinks it’s wrong to scam the scammers, in order to suppress these self-proclaimed psychics from harming actual marks, needs a heavy dose of ethics training.

  • tfkreference

    I’m disappointed that it’s just petty theft of services. It would have been a great opportunity to show the irreproducibility of the readings.

  • matty1

    Michael Heath @ 14. I stand corrected, however I think my broader point that they are careful not to make actually being psychic part of any contract they could be sued for breaching still works.

  • I still remember when the Psychic Friends Network went bankrupt. Their press release claimed “unforeseen financial difficulties.”

  • Doug Little

    is attracting customers with a different level of integrity (who are) genuinely interested in an exchange for the common good.

    A different level indeed. You pay me money I’ll tell you what you want to hear.

  • scienceavenger

    Years ago (before cell phones) a buddy’s car broke down, and he wandered over to the nearest business to use their phone to call me for a lift. It happened to be a psychic reading place. He walked in and asked if he could please use their phone. They asked if he had an emergency. He quipped “Don’t you already know ?”.

  • scienceavenger

    When James Randi used to test psychics, he would make them sign a statement that the test conditions were a fair test of their abilities, and that basically they would not make excuses if they lost. He’d also often hand them a sealed envelope. When the inevitable test failure came, and the even more inevitable excuses followed, he’d ask them to open the envelope and read the note inside, which would say something like “You said you would not make excuses. Yet you have made excuses. I claim the power of foreknowledge.”

  • freehand

    I have heard that some of the psychics exposed by Randi have claimed that he is psychic himself, and very powerful, yet because he is [evil | greedy | a poopy head] he sabotages the test. This actually sounds like it would be an effective excuse, considering their clientele.

  • James Randi is magical. Nobody is naturally that adorable.

  • parratonisha

    Actual Psychic Readings are not base on possibility or blessed guess. A skilled psychic’s approach to the understanding is an answerable one and type one, as you will find in the middle of other professional people.