Telling real from fake: Medium John Edward reveals how to spot psychic scams

John Edward shared his warning signs to watch out for fake psychic mediums. Source: Getty.

Making the decision to visit a psychic medium isn’t for everyone, especially with reports right around the world of scammers conning grieving family members out of their money at the worst possible time.

But celebrity medium John Edward, who has done readings for some of the world’s biggest stars, has now shared a few key warning signs to look out for with Starts at 60 – and revealed the best ways to tell if the psychic you’re visiting is truly a professional.

The 49-year-old medium explained that he first built up his famous career through word of mouth, before expanding onto TV screens and appearing on everything from his own show Crossing Over with John Edward, to US talk shows Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dr Phil and even Oprah.

And after being widely praised for his seemingly accurate readings on stage and in person, John insisted he gets furious when he seems how many fake psychic mediums there are today.

“They do [anger me]. I find that part of my job is to educate people to what’s real,” he explained. “In any field, you want to make sure that people see what you do as being real, not like, ‘Oh you have a curse on you, give me $500 and I’ll take it off’.”

Asked for some key warning signs that people can watch for, he added that most professionals will have built up their business by word of mouth – just like him.

“I think it’s really important for people to go by word of mouth. I think you should be careful if somebody is advertising for readings, I always wonder why they are,” he said.

“I don’t mind somebody advertising a class or event, that’s a one off, but if you’re established you want to be referred to, you want somebody to come to you as a referral.”

Meanwhile, John insisted when it comes to having a reading, you need to let the psychic do the work and not help them by offering up information.

“You also want to make sure people aren’t asking you for information. You shouldn’t be giving people information, they should be giving you the information,” he explained. “You should be validating and confirming what’s coming through, not answering solicitations in that capacity.”

Explaining how he himself carries out a reading, John said he doesn’t necessarily need to be close to someone to feel their energy – and can, in some cases, even do one over the phone depending on the case at the time.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in person or over the phone. Energy is energy, it’s not bound by physicality. You could be in Japan and I could be in New York and it wouldn’t matter,” he said.

And while he can feel anyone’s energy when he’s out in public, he insisted he would only ever tap into that if he had their express permission.

“You have to put yourself in a position to be able to do it. I look at it like a surgeon, someone who’s a surgeon has the knowledge of how to do surgery, but there’s a time and place to do it – so you schedule your surgeries. You make sure that the surgery is done in an environment that’s going to be conducive for the patient and get the best possible outcome,” he said.

“For me to do a reading on a train, it’s not right. But can I do it? Sure. If I open myself up and allow myself to tune into someone’s energy, I can totally do that. But if that person hasn’t asked me to do it, it’s not appropriate for me to do that.

“I say this all the time, it’s not okay to engage in someone’s energy if they’ve not asked. But a medium can totally do that.”

According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, “psychic and clairvoyant scams are designed to trick you into giving away your money, usually offering ‘help’ in exchange for a fee”.

While some can practice independently, waiting for you to approach them, Scamwatch warned that many scammers can actually contact you by post, email, telephone or even face-to-face – with some claiming that you’re in trouble, while offering a solution.

“This solution could be winning lottery numbers, a lucky charm, the removal of a curse or jinx, or ongoing protection. The scammer will tell you that they will help you in return for a fee. If you refuse to pay, some scammers will threaten to invoke a curse or bad luck charm on you,” Scamwatch explained in a statement.

Issuing advice on how to avoid the scams, or even being added to a ‘contact list’ allowing other scammers to get in touch, Scamwatch added: “Remember, the psychic or clairvoyant may try to convince you that their insights are genuine by telling you something about yourself. Ask yourself if they are telling you something that is general and could be true about anyone.

“They may also tell you something about yourself that you mentioned previously or that they gathered from another source, such as personal details you posted on a social networking website.”

John will now return to Australia for his latest tour Down Under in October and November. See all the dates and buy tickets on his official website here.

Have you ever fallen victim to a fake scam when visiting a psychic or medium? Do you believe in psychic abilities like this?

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