Con artists working on national television.

For the last few days I’ve seen #psychiclive and #psychicwayne hashtags floating around Twitter but didn’t take much notice of them until last night when curiosity got the better of me and I tuned into TV3 to see what everyone was talking about. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Here was Psychic Wayne “talking directly to” me, telling me to call in. I “had to dial now”. I was apparently watching because I couldn’t sleep due to issues in my life that only he could help with. I wondered who actually called in and believed his tripe. Then the phone rang and I actually became worried.

A young woman called in, who was unemployed and looking for work asking about her future and sounded dejected. Psychic Wayne (how his name is printed everywhere) of course said that she had been submitting applications, which most unemployed people seeking work do. Then he refined that to submitting two applications, she hesitated and stated she had heard back from two. Content with this he continued saying that she would get the job and be hugely successful at it. “Oh Jesus…” she said the relief clear in her voice. “Oh Jesus” she repeated, ”I hope so”. He restates her success and then moves on to trying to get others to call in by say he has changed her life tonight and he can do the same for anyone else who calls in. Of course talking to a psychic is a privilege that demands a premium, €2.44/min to be exact with an maximum call time of 24.6 minutes costing €60.

I was horrified. Here was a man preying on some very vulnerable people struggling with hardship in their life who are desperately seeking hope, and charging then €2.44/min to do so. I wondered how TV3 thought it was ok to broadcast this, starting a few days ago. I also wondered how many people were calling in, see there is the main presenter, Psychic Wayne last night, and then many other psychics that viewers can call privately, who specialised in certain psychic areas. Calls were about 3 minutes apart to Wayne himself and during those minutes he’d say that tonight was busy and that some of the other psychics were free right now but would soon be taken again. To me their photos looked like stock photos online and after several more minutes I decided to take a screenshot and reverse image search one of the psychics. Guess what? It’s not often, but I was right! You can see Pyschic Pat here.

Psychic Pat was in fact a bought stock photo! I quickly tweeted about this and from that I was pointed to the boards.ie thread about the show where I posted the same photos. Things certainly took off from there and some wonderful people there started finding pretty much all the psychics listed on their website from various places around the internet including, from what I gather, a personal Flickr photo. It really raises the question who are you talking to? And in some cases from what I’ve read you only get through to a hold message.
Not only are these “psychics” giving out random pieces of information based on any detail they get from a caller they are exploiting some really vulnerable people who are desperately seeking hope for their current situation. In the brief time I watched last night there was even a call about a missing son for Christ’s sake!

How on earth can TV3 let this deplorable scam be aired and stand over this? It must be stopped from broadcasting and the money (€60 in some cases) returned to the callers.

I plan on contacting TV3, BAI and ASAI this week in the hope of getting this crap removed.

To TV3 I will be suggesting programming about mental health issues, relationship and budgeting advice, CV and interview coaching, etc. You know, something that is actually useful and will help all the callers I seen last night progress in their situations.

EDIT: Some of the calls which exploit people (thanks to Spookwoman for the videos):

 

List of “psychics” and online photos links
————————-

Spirit –  http://www.harmonyhealthbms.com.au/services/womens-health (scroll down)

Mistique - Happy Old Woman

Donald - https://www.facebook.com/ExploreDNL (Cover photo)

Isabelle - Enthusiastic blogger

Leohttp://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/creole-ethnicity.html

James –  http://www.hairrestorationchicago.com/ , http://byrondentalgroup.com/Testimonies.html

Markhttp://www.shutterstock.com/s/average/search.html#id=49989685

Lawanda - http://www.123rf.com/photo_10611888_cheesy-fortune-teller.html CHEESY FORTUNE TELLER INDEED!

Sean - http://delayingejaculationx.com/index.php/about/  Poor Sean…

Ameerah - http://www.chessmanwealth.com/ Wait 3 seconds…

Bella - http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/vision.aspx

Sandy - http://www.cinemagia.ro/actori/simona-ghita-36574/poze/

Mystical Jenahttp://www.123rf.com/photo_1015339_pretty-gypsy-woman-protectively-holding-her-arms-around-her-crystal-ball.html

Fawn Leahttp://www.123rf.com/photo_5573174_beautiful-mature-woman-smiling.html

Charlottehttp://www.soydalish.com/socorro–t9010.html Loves her Soya our Charlotte does…

Mercedes - http://us.fotolia.com/id/33044673

Jessica - http://www.platinnetz.de/magazin/gesundheit/wechseljahre

Shannon - http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-384027-contented-middle-aged-woman.php 

Maggiehttp://familyfuneral.org/ 

Cherylhttp://www.123rf.com/photo_6053472_a-beautiful-african-american-woman-isolated-on-grass.html

Tomhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/30/book-publishing-predictio_n_407295.html

Ethelhttps://www.myducks.org/testimonials

Kymbalhttp://cel-styles.blogspot.ie/2012/05/short-hairstyles-for-older-women.html

Angelicahttps://www.facebook.com/janet.cleveland.54

Zandalee - http://www.flickr.com/photos/like_shipwrecks/2813162079/

Credit to Duggy747 on boards.ie

20 Responses to “Con artists working on national television.”

  1. Julia Smith

    How is this not illegal? Isn’t this clear-cut fraud? Aside from the morally inexcusable decision of a broadcaster to allow these transparently ridiculous people to have programs, is it not illegal to misrepresent yourself and outright lie about your services and who is providing them? Both from a moral and a legal standpoint I’m amazed a major broadcaster would do something so potentially disastrous for themselves, let alone for the callers who are, as you rightly say, vulnerable people being preyed upon. Disgusting. This is so far from ‘all in good fun’ palm reading at a fair, or similarly recreational acts… this man is claiming to have exclusive information to help potentially suicidal or at-risk people out of their situations. It’s incredible the people who come out of the woodwork in difficult times… wars, recessions, depressions, etc. Great to see someone shining the light on it!

  2. Great post…shocking television…and in these times…desperate people being taken advantage of…needs to be stopped…very interested in the outcome of your endeavours…Advise: remove the istock photo…had two clients done for 4 and 6 grand…god knows how they find them… but they do and you don’t need that…

    Regards RQ

  3. Alan Rice

    Thanks, and thanks for the advice! Would like to avoid that for sure! :)

  4. Paul M.

    Interesting that having had a look at a few of those mentioned above they seem to have chnaged the pics either to other people or to more generic mystic images (not the Zandalee one though – possibly as not a paid for image?!).

  5. photog

    I sell some pictures on these microstock sites, the false representation of people is usually against the license granted when you pay for the image. Also use on tv will usually require a more expensive extended license, it depends on which stock site was used.

    Perhaps bring this to the attention of the microstockgroup forum who might be able to bring this to the attention of the original photographers who can double check that the use is valid

  6. It’s a little-known fact that psychics have exactly the kinds of faces that stock photo bureaus are looking for.

    PS – Psychic Wayne told me that today, you, or someone you know, who has a friend or relative whose name starts with ‘j’ or maybe ‘r’, is going to come into some money. It might not be a lot of money, but then again it might. If it’s not money, it could be a job, or an opportunity. (Crikey that guy is good.)

    PPS – Psychic Wayne reminds me of someone who worked in a Stock Photo agency next to my studio.

    PPPs – What kind of name is ‘Wayne’ for a psychic? Seriously?

  7. magicka

    Even more embarrassingly, ‘Angelica’, a.k.a. Janet Cleveland, is actually a popular mature nude model! Maybe Angelica got confused, and thought she was a phone sex girl rather than a psychic :-)

  8. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  9. Psychic Wayne does online cam readings on a psychic community called Oranum.com and I can tell you from experience that many people within the community do not like him. When you go into his room, he charges anywhere from 4.99 – 9.99 per minute (the higher brackets) and when people complain about how highly priced he is, he comes back with a multitude of “oh well” and “Get over it” responses. He’s just an egotistical jerk trying to make himself into the next John Edwards and preys on people’s misfortunes for his own benefits. Now he has a book out about himself (no surprise) and is using his private readings to pretty much promote the book and gives you 20 seconds of a reading along with it.

    Scam artist indeed…and quite frankly it won’t last that long. Most famous TV psychics have a shelf life.

  10. Very interesting article and thank you for posting this. It is absolutely no surprise that this is going on. Both in respect to the unethical and fraudulent use of stock images, as well as what can at times simply amount to image theft from personal social media accounts of unsuspecting people. The other side of the issue is the people who believe in this sort of thing, and fall for it head over heels, and willingly pay just to hear something positive being told about them, to them. I think you’re more than right about replacing such crap, with informative television, and actual, practical advice on how to get people off their butts and into action.
    The problem is part laziness for some people, and sheer desperation for others, coming from either a traumatic event in their life, or a really long run of “bad luck” and this is always just the “easy” way to get something out of spending a lot of $$ for a tiny fraction of effort, and actually expecting results, when in reality, odds suggest that things would’ve either just worked out in the end, to some degree, or gotten worse, to any degree. What happens to those who are told that things WILL work out, but it doesn’t? Are they eligible for refunds? Are they allowed to sue the “psychic” and expose them for lying?
    Something HAS to be done about this, and it needs to be fixed from both ends. It is still supply AND demand, and we need to find out why there is demand for this, and how the demand can be stopped, only then can we really get rid of the supply.

  11. Nick Waddell

    Back in the day, well, back in 1998, I programmed a telephone system for some group called The Psychic Circle. Mugs, sorry customers, would phone a premium line number and be connected to various charlatans who would do a psychic reading for them on the phone. I used to test the system by called the number and saying “Hi, it’s the engineer here. But then, you already knew that.” Honestly, the language some of these people used …

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