Alerts & Newsletters

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

How to Tell if You’re Working With a Real or Fake Psychic—8 Ways to Spot a Scammer

Don't give your time & money to a fraud.
StyleCaster | How to Tell If Your Psychic Is Real or Fake

As a professional psychic based in Salem, Massachusetts, I am extremely passionate about finding and working with real psychics. Unfortunately, fake psychics can be found everywhere, even in Salem, Massachusetts, otherwise known as the “Witch City”! Since it can be challenging to know if you’re working with a real or fake psychic, it’s important to keep your eye out for a few red flags. 

Finding a real psychic is like finding a needle in a haystack. Real psychics may seem rare because of how prevalent fake psychics are in the spiritual community. However, having a better understanding of what a psychic is can help you figure out if you’re working with the real deal or another charlatan.

“Psychic” is defined as someone who has paranormal or spiritual powers that can tap into information from the spiritual realm. A psychic can retrieve such knowledge in various ways, like through spiritual gifts and divination. Plus, there’s a difference between a psychic and a psychic medium. A psychic is someone who can tap into the information through their gifts whereas a psychic medium can retrieve direct messages by acting as the bridge between the living and the dead. These two types of psychic gifts are not the same thing and it’s important to know the difference in case you want to work with a psychic medium who can connect with your late loved one. Regardless of what type of psychic you choose to work with, most psychics and psychic mediums will use their spiritual gifts called the four “clairs”. The most common “clairs” include clairvoyance, claircognizance, clairaudience, clairtangency and clairsentience.

Weekly Tarot Horoscope
Photo: Pexels

How Do Real Psychics Work?

Clairvoyant psychics can visualize information in their mind’s eye, so a clairvoyant psychic would be able to tell you that your missing item is under a bed or that you will meet the love of your life at a local beach. Claircognizant psychics can know something before it happens without having to see or hear anything, so the information goes through as an unfiltered channel. This means that a claircognizant psychic may speak fast and without pause while channeling in a reading. Clairaudient psychics will be able to hear, so this is an excellent gift that psychic mediums can use to hear and speak to the dead. Clairtangent psychics can intuitively read physical items since touching is their way of knowing, so this would be another gift that a psychic medium may rely on to connect with the dead by using a deceased person’s belongings to connect. For example, a psychic medium may use a wedding ring to connect with someone’s late spouse. Then clairsentience would refer to a clear feeling, so the psychic would be attuned to another’s bodily sensations and emotions because the psychic would be able to feel whatever the person is feeling. Plus, all of these spiritual gifts can be further enhanced or channeled through divination.

There are various methods of divination that could be used in a psychic reading. The most popular would arguably include tarot cards, oracle cards, tea leaves, coffee grounds, astrology and scrying. Each method of divining can help the psychic pinpoint information while giving the client a physical glance at what’s going on spiritually. It might also be easier to convey certain intuitive messages through divination since it can help a client grasp the information. With this being said, divination isn’t typically necessary for a psychic to be psychic. Some psychics prefer to use divination in their readings and some prefer to not use any tools. There’s no right or wrong way. However, if you want to see a specific divination, then it would be best to find a credible psychic who uses your preferred divination so that you know what to anticipate in the reading.

Unfortunately, most fake psychics will still find ways to fabricate readings by pretending to receive intuitive messages or incorrectly using divination methods to create a false narrative in a reading. So, how do you know if you have found a real psychic who can demonstrate their gifts through their medium of choice? Finding a credible psychic isn’t easy no matter if it’s your first time seeking a reading or if you’re a pro who knows how a psychic reading should go. Luckily, I have a few tips and tricks that you can use to find a reputable psychic.

8 Ways to Spot a Fake Psychic

StyleCaster | Weekly Tarot Horoscope
Photo: Getty Images.

1. They ask too many questions

Fake psychics will always fish for information! If you’re ever curious to see if you’re working with a fake psychic, think about the questions the psychic is asking you. Is the psychic asking you clarifying questions or fishing for information questions? Clarifying questions are ways for the psychic to determine if their phrasing is appropriate in the reading whereas fishing questions are meant to provide the key details that the psychic should already know. It might sound a little challenging to determine what kind of questions are being asked, so ask yourself this: Do I, the client, have to provide a ton of personal information for the psychic to connect? If the answer is yes, then the psychic is likely fake and heavily relying on fishing for information to execute the reading.

However, not all fake psychics will be so obvious. Some fake psychics are trained to watch for body language, so a fake psychic may fish for information based on how you are physically reacting to them. Meanwhile, a real psychic only needs the bare minimum from a client to execute a reading. A real psychic may use clarifying questions to ensure that their verbiage is correct, such as asking if a client is romantically connected to a man, woman or non-binary person to use the correct pronouns in a love reading. But other than that, the real psychic will be able to tell you things that they wouldn’t necessarily know, so a real psychic doesn’t need to do a Q&A throughout the reading. Unlike a fake psychic, a real psychic will also be on a roll during the reading. This means that a real psychic will not pause after every comment to gauge how a client is physically reacting or to fish for information to “connect” with a client.

2. They never mention specific details

The whole point of going to a psychic is because the psychic knows specific things about the client that they wouldn’t otherwise know. Determining a fake or real psychic is literally in the details. A fake psychic will make overarching, general statements that could literally apply to anyone whereas a real psychic will say something exceptionally specific to the client.

For example, a fake psychic may say something like, “You’re strong because you’ve always had to be”, whereas a real psychic would say something like, “You’re strong because you have an emotionally absent mother and it looks like a father with a drinking problem, so you had to take on all of the household duties as a kid which is why you can handle a lot now as an adult”. The overarching difference in both statements is that the fake psychic won’t specify anything that they have come up with while the real psychic can pinpoint exactly why they are saying something to you. A real psychic will always know the specific information that they simply wouldn’t know unless they were, well, psychic! 

3. “You’re cursed and only I can help!”

A fake psychic may say intentionally incorrect things to keep a client coming back for more. One of the major ongoing scams is when a fake psychic tells the client that they are cursed and that psychic happens to have the magickal cure for the said curse. Granted, everyone has a bad day or a stroke of bad luck. But the chances of actually being cursed are unlikely. In this case, the fake psychic is likely trying to extort more money from the client by creating a false narrative by playing upon the client’s fears and anxieties.

4. The reading is full of pessimism & negativity

A psychic reading should be a healing space, but a fake psychic will make it more of a trauma dump than anything. The best way to determine if you’re with a fake psychic is if the fake psychic purposefully says triggering, harmful things to elicit a negative reaction from the client. A fake psychic may say something like: “You’re a broken person”, “You’re surrounded by a dark energy”, or “Love isn’t important in your life”. Comments like those may seem far-fetched, but fake psychics won’t hesitate to say something like that or worse if it means creating a trauma bond with a client.

Granted, it’s worth noting that even real psychic readings can be emotionally intense. However, the difference between a fake and a real psychic is that the fake psychic will go straight for the jugular whereas the real psychic will respond to a client’s stress with empathy. A fake psychic won’t hesitate to hurt a client if it means creating a trauma bond with someone who will keep spending money on readings. However, a real psychic will be honest but tactful in relaying information as well as opportunities to turn the situation around.

STYLECASTER | Weekly Tarot Horoscope
Photo: Getty Images.

5. They have a “God complex”

Another difference between a fake and a real psychic is whether or not the psychic has a God complex. It’s important to be confident, but a fake psychic will take it to the next level. A fake psychic may be pompous since their bravado and ego will take the stage. Fake psychics may come across as a know-it-all, so fake psychics may not admit when they are wrong. Some fake psychics will even go so far as to say that they are god-like or are a god. Unlike a fake psychic, a real psychic will admit their limitations while remaining confident in their magickal capabilities and what they can do in a reading. When in doubt, a lack of humility is usually a sign that you’re dealing with a fake psychic!

6. They say the TikTok algorithm is psychic

Have the Tik Tok tarot readers been all over your FYP lately? Between all the social media platforms, there are endless possibilities to watch or read a psychic’s predictions. While most of this is done for entertainment, some fake psychics will use certain key phrases. “This message was meant for you if you’re seeing this video today” is a classic hook, line and sinker to get potential clients interested. The catch to the videos is taking it with a grain of salt. Most of these psychic videos tend to be quite general since these videos are produced to hopefully reach a large group of people, so the messages may not be special or specific to anyone in particular. The fake psychic may also relay false messages in these videos, which might be more evident if they’re not reading their divination correctly. Whenever the psychic videos come across your FYP, it might be best to remember that this sort of video is for entertainment and not necessarily a genuine psychic reading meant specifically for you.

Also, keep in mind that a real psychic would never message you and ask if you want a reading! Most of the time, these are managed by scammers posing as a popular psychic, hoping to trick you into paying for a reading that will never happen. Don’t fall for this age-old ruse.

7. They never admit to mistakes

Like all humans, even the magickal ones still make mistakes. But is it totally okay if a psychic accidentally says the wrong thing? There will be a significant difference between a slip of the tongue versus something that’s outright wrong. The difference is that the real psychic will admit when they made a mistake whereas the fake psychic will double down instead of admitting their mistake. 

8. They convince you that you’re psychic too

Now, this won’t be the case for every client-fake psychic interaction, but it is worth noting that a fake psychic may default the reading back to the client. Given that divination has become increasingly popular over the past few years, it’s not unlikely that some clients also dabble in divination. If the fake psychic knows that the client is versed in divination, then the fake psychic may tell the client to read for themselves in so many words. I know this sounds weird, but I witnessed an interaction like this very recently at a group reading. Myself and a few friends attended a group reading where the psychic refused to connect to one of my friend’s late loved ones and then told my friend that she can connect to her late loved one herself since my friend is a psychic medium. While this may sound initially supportive, it’s actually quite lazy, unprofessional and simply inappropriate. Whenever a client pays for a psychic reading, it is the psychic’s literal job to execute the reading and not expect the client to read for themselves in a paid reading. Just because a client can read for themselves doesn’t mean they have to if they pay for a reading with a professional psychic.

How to Pick the Right Psychic

Weekly Tarot Horoscope
Photo: Pexels. Courtesy of Cottonbro.

1. Research your options

Finding a psychic may mean that you have to find the right kind of reading first. It might be initially daunting to dive into the world of divination, but my #1 suggestion to all potential clients is to do your research on the type of reading you’re interested in before booking. For example, if you’re a visual person, then it might be best to book a psychic reading that incorporates a visual aspect like tarot, runes or tea leaves. But if you’re more of an auditory person, then a psychic that doesn’t use any physical tools might be your best option. Knowing what kind of reading you want based on your needs can help you narrow your options, which can lead you to your psychic!

There’s no right or wrong way to find a psychic. Some clients come to a psychic through word of mouth while other clients may have done an online search. Regardless of how you find a potential psychic to work with, consider how you found the psychic. Did you hear about a crazily accurate reading from someone that you trust? Did you read extensive reviews and testimonials? Is this psychic well-known in their area for what they do? Keep your sources in mind when you’re looking for a psychic since this could help you determine if the psychic is someone you feel confident booking a reading with.

2. Make sure they’re credible

After considering what kind of reading you want and how you found your potential psychic, it’s time to dive into the psychic’s credibility. Depending on the psychic’s background, they may have an educational aspect to their profession. Some psychics might have a reputable mentor to reference or may come from a line of hereditary psychics. If there’s an educational link, this would further enhance your potential psychic’s credibility. But if not, your best bet is to review the testimonials. Comb through the testimonials to see what others say about the reading you want to book or the psychic that you want to book with. There should be a paper trail to back up the psychic’s credibility to prove that they are the real deal! However, there are some cases where a great psychic may not have reviews to prove their skills since they might just be starting their career. If this is the case, then it’s your choice if you want to take a chance with a psychic who may not have the testimonials to back up their gifts.

3. Ask questions before booking

A real psychic will always be open to questions since a real psychic will want to assist you with the booking process. The psychic should be able to explain their divination or medium of choice to a potential client. If the psychic cannot explain what a tarot card reading would entail or the gifts the psychic has that they will use in the reading, then you should avoid booking with them. Like any professional in any field or industry, the psychic should know how to explain what a reading with them would entail while conveying this information in a friendly, non-intimidating manner. There shouldn’t be any haggling or pressure to book since a real psychic will want the potential client to feel comfortable going into a psychic reading.

4. Listen to your intuition

Now that you’ve done your homework to find a potential psychic, think about if the psychic feels like a good fit. Get out of your head and into your heart. Does this psychic feel genuine? Does this psychic seem to encapsulate what you’re looking for? Do you feel like this is someone you can connect with intuitively? Listening to your intuition is the final test to see if you’ve found a real psychic to work with. If you feel any hesitancy, then trust your feelings since this may not be the psychic or the time to book your reading. But if you feel fully confident and comfortable, then book your reading!

5. Check in with yourself after the reading

Ideally, you should leave a real psychic reading feeling clear-minded and lighter. A psychic reading can be a healing space, especially if the psychic handles any concern or stressful topic with care. Some clients may leave a psychic reading feeling excited for what is to come, whereas other clients may feel like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. Regardless, the client should leave feeling empowered by the knowledge that the real psychic passed along in the reading.

newsletter banner

PMC Logo
StyleCaster is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 SheMedia, LLC. All Rights Reserved.