Millions of people have fallen victim to the Maria Duval scheme. Maria Duval was a small-town French psychic and owner of the organization Astroforce until 1997, when it was sold to a Hong Kong-based company, Health Tips Ltd.

The company sent mail targeting the elderly and the sick. The fraudulent letters are from a fake “Maria Duval” psychic. The letters, printed out to look hand-written, tell the recipient that the psychic woman could change the recipient’s life for the better. The victims are charged $20 to $100 for transactions. In return, “Maria Duval” will send them a cheap talisman or crystal. The letters claim the objects are charged with positive energy.
The sick and the elderly, unfortunately, believed the claims of good fortune. It is estimated around $150 million was taken from U.S. victims alone.

Flags and Prevention:

One word: Psychic. Step away.

Consequences:

Emotional Upset, Disappointment. Theft of money.

Name:

Maria Duval Fraud. “Religious fraud without any religion in it”

Category:

Mail Fraud. Psychic Fraud.

Crime(s):

Fraudulent Misrepresentation. Theft

Hunting Ground:

Mail, Poorest communities. Anywhere superstitious or pious people gather.