PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - They were expecting personalized psychic readings but instead, inspectors say they paid a fee for a worthless piece of paper.
"They were told they were going to get rich… they were going to have a big house, come into big fortune," said U.S. Postal Inspector Al Herzog.
That was the prediction the victims in this 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," added 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," he said.
The company also sent victims trinkets that it claimed had special powers.
"The items were reportedly sent to someone specifically picked out by astrologer somehow magical or unique whereas our investigation showed they were purchased in bulk from China," Herzog said.
He adds, the victims could have avoided getting ripped off had they done some research.
"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," explained Herzog.
He says there was another red flag, too.
"If receiving a letter in the mail can be an indication that you are somehow win good fortune that's probably something that is a little too good to be true, things don't generally come that easy," he warned.
The owner of the company involved… paid a hefty fine and was ordered to change his solicitations to more accurately reflect what he is really selling.
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