There’s a disturbing trend I am seeing on social media right now: People are creating ‘clone accounts’ from popular psychic and tarot readers’ profiles and using those advisors’ hard-earned reputations to rip people off. Many of these scammers use the same tactics, which I will share here so you can watch out and avoid being scammed.
How to tell you are being approached by a scam account
1) As mentioned above, scammers will clone a popular psychic, healer, medium, or tarot reader’s account. Because the name of the new profile on Instagram or Facebook can’t be the exact same as the real advisor’s account name, the scammer has to alter the name slightly. For example, if someone cloned my account, they might use Spiritual Business Spotlights as a name. Or, instead of Sue Ellis-Saller, they might choose Sue Ellis_Saller.
2) The fake account will be fairly new. Because the scammers are just setting up, they don’t have time to build a rich library of images and posts on their Facebook or Instagram accounts. When you click over to the person’s profile, you’ll notice that they may only have one or two posts that were created in the past day or two. This is a sure sign that the account is fake. Most readers and healers working online with a social media following have years’ worth of posts and pictures. (This is also something lonely hearts should watch out for. Unfortunately, there are people praying on others via Facebook and Instagram messenger in a variety of different ways.)
3) The scammer will send you a messenger message or direct message trying to sell you a reading or get you to click on their link (don’t click). This is one of the most telling signs that the person is a scammer. Most of the legitimate healers and readers online won’t reach out to you to sell you a reading. They will direct inquiries to their site to book an appointment.
Generally speaking, too, legitimate readers don’t direct message new followers and fans, encouraging them to get a reading. And they certainly aren’t pushy about it.
What should you do if a scam profile reaches out to you, offering you a service?
1) Don’t click on any links to outside sites. Personally, I am just leary of clicking on any link that comes from an unsolicited source. You never know what kind of malware might be attached.
2) Inform the real person that their account has been cloned. This will allow them to take the appropriate steps to get the scammer’s profile shut down.
If you are the reader who is being ripped off, take screenshots ASAP and report the fake profile to the platform ASAP. It’s also good to send your audience a quick heads up to let them know the scammer is NOT you.
3) Report the profile to Facebook or Instagram. There’s usually a button on the person’s profile that you can use to report them. You can find more details here: Reporting A Fake Facebook Account or here: Reporting a Fake Instagram Account
4) Block the user. Of course, you don’t have to do this, but some people just want that extra layer of security that blocking another profile would give them.
If you are a tarot reader, healer, or you have an online psychic business, it might be a good idea to do a quick scan from time to time on all of the platforms, seeing what comes up when you enter your name into the search.
This JUST happened to me within the last hour—I was approached through Facebook Messenger by a very insistent person who wanted me to get a reading with her. She was really insistent that I should go to her site, register, and get a free reading. Like now.
When I clicked over to the person’s profile, I noticed that the profile only had 2 pictures in it. I then looked up the name of the real advisor and let her know she had been cloned by a hacker.
I have also seen people in the tarot community mention it more often lately. It seems to be more and more of an issue these days.
Ultimately, if someone reaches out to you, offering you a reading, be cautious. As I noted above, most legitimate, popular readers do not reach out to new contacts via direct message and try to sell them a reading. They have enough clients to keep them busy. While someone might reach out to say hi and welcome to a new follower, they likely won’t be trying to sell you on a service right away.
Use your intuition when anyone approaches you online. Unfortunately, there are far too many Nigerian Kings who would love to swindle you out of all of your money online.
What do you think? Has anyone cloned your Facebook account? Or have you been phished by someone pretending to be someone else? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!