The Subtle Trick Psychics and Shysters Use To Tease Information From People

And how to recognize it and combat it

Grant Piper

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Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

Psychics and conmen have been confusing and entrapping people since the dawn of time. From historic characters like Rasputin and Bernie Madoff to modern scam artists who convince people to send money halfway around the world, there have always been people able to woo others and build credibility against all odds. It is easy to read stories about others’ misfortune and wonder how people fall for such cons. But it is actually easier than you think. There is a reason that scam artists manage to swindle billions of dollars out of people every year.

One of the ways that people manage to hook others into dubious schemes is by building credibility. In order to do so, these unscrupulous people often use a simple trick that is subtle and effective. They tease information out of people by asking seemingly innocuous questions.

There is a big difference between making a definitive statement and asking a question. If done correctly, most people won’t even know that a question was asked in the first place. This is how people like psychics make a living.

Here is how to recognize this tactic and a foolproof way to try and avoid it.

The Question

It is possible to ask a question in an authoritative way that makes it sound like a statement rather than a question. For example, if you are getting a tarot card reading and the reader says something along the lines of “I’m getting a familial feeling, do you have a brother?” they are trying to tease information out of you. They never said that you do have a brother, but there is a good chance you do. If you do happen to have a brother, you are going to say, “Wow, how did they know that?” but the trick is, they didn’t know. They asked you if you had a brother. And if you say yes, you’ve given them a solid base of information to work from.

Scam artists do a similar thing where they will work seemingly innocuous questions into their routine to gain information from you. They will then use this information down the line to build trust by seeming like they care about you (How is your brother doing?) or to build credibility by making it seem like they know…

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Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.