PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
February 23, 2005
Subject: Fortune-Telling Scam Targets Hispanics
San Francisco police are alerting the Hispanic community to a fortune-telling scam that has resulted in a $5,000 loss for one victim. The victim responded to a flyer that was handed to him on the street in the Outer Mission/Geneva Avenue area advertising the psychic services of “Diana of Fatima,” listing an address on Madrid Street. The advertised charge for the service was $10 for the initial consultation. At the consultation, the psychic told the victim, a Hispanic man, that she would require $5,000 in cash, which would be returned to him after she performed a “purification” ritual on the money “to overcome bad luck.” The victim left the money with the suspect. When the victim returned for his money the psychic and the money had disappeared.
The suspect, who was last seen on January 27, is described as a Hispanic woman, 60 years old, 51 10”, 170 lbs., with black hair. Police urge other possible victims or persons with information to contact the Fraud Section, 553-1521. (Persons who have information may speak anonymously.) Police also urge that persons receiving a flyer advertising psychic services and who may be interested in the service check to see that a San Francisco Permit Bureau-issued number is printed on the flyer. A permit must also be displayed at the place where the services are provided. In addition, a psychic must issue a receipt for any money rendered. A potential client must always be suspicious if a psychic requires a large amount of cash in addition to the consultation fee.
For more information, please contact:
Inspector Greg Ovanessian
Public Affairs Office
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103
Tel (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415) 553-9229