Street 'psychic' scams woman in downtown Seattle

Fox News, Seattle/October 11, 2013

By John Hopperstad

Seattle -- Around Westlake Center in Seattle, some things are given — and plenty is sold. Mishka Hong, 21, found out there are also those who will take.

Hong admits she was feeling down this week when a woman approached her, wanting to give her a psychic reading.

“I felt kind of hopeless and I was like, sure, why not?” said Hong.

The so-called psychic told Hong she had a curse on her and that evil spirits were trying to possess her. She also told the young woman it would cost a lot of money to remove them.

“It would be $3,000,” Hong said. “But she said she’d give me a discount, for only $1,000.”

Hong was then led to an ATM, where she withdrew her last $60 and gave it to the “psychic” for her reading.

Hong works at the Harley Store downtown, and when her boss, Julie Hart, heard about what happened, she was convinced Hong had been scammed.

“She’s young, she’s new to the city, and they were very convincing,” said Hart. “They caught her at a time when she was vulnerable.”

Hart told Hong to call the psychic to the store, and she showed up, this time, with her two sisters. Hart said the trio seemed nervous when they noticed the surveillance cameras in the store. She also said the group had no business license or any credentials.

Once again, they pushed Hong for money, telling her she would need to pay $100 for each year of her life to remove the curse on her. But she had done some research online and now knew that cleansing a curse is a typical psychic scam.

She now feels lucky she only lost $60, but wants to warn others there are people downtown posing as psychics who want to take every last dollar you have.

“It’s definitely a lesson,” said Hong. “Don’t talk to strangers.”

Seattle police say they haven’t heard of psychic scams in the area, but a woman who owns her own psychic businesses downtown said the group has been in town for about a year. She also told Q13FOXNews that the scammers are from out of state, and that they are scaring away clients and hurting her business of 20 years.

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