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How Romanian Fortune Tellers Used Google To Fleece Victims

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the hey-dad-take-this-as-a-free-lesson dept.

Crime 140

Hentes writes "The internet has made many things easier, but unfortunately this also includes crime: it seems that nowadays not even people wanting to know their future are safe from fraud. Two fortune tellers are being investigated, after the Romanian police uncovered that they have utilized some extraordinary help in their clairvoyant acts. The pair used information collected from internet search and social networks to gain the trust of their customers, claiming that they could see their personal data through their crystal ball. In some cases, they also used high-tech surveillance techniques such as hidden cameras and phone tapping. But they didn't stop at merely spying on their victims: their most bizarre case involved a scuba diver dressed as a monster." Nice to know that internet-based fraud isn't limited to motivational speakers with real-estate seminars and other get-rich-quick flim-flam.

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It's a foregone conclusion (5, Insightful)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906325)

"it seems that nowadays not even people wanting to know their future are safe from fraud"

If you pay someone money and expect them to tell your future, you will never be safe from fraud. In fact, as your palm reading crystal adviser, I sense...fraud...in your future.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906369)

That's the joke.

Suckers are born every second (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906535)

Ever since the dawn of time there have been suckers

And that's the only reason why con artists thrive all through the millennia

The Net is a tool, use by everyone, including the con artists - and the suckers?

Well ... suckers are _still_ falling into the Nigerian money transfer scam, don't they?

Re:Suckers are born every second (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907093)

"Well ... suckers are _still_ falling into the Nigerian money transfer scam, don't they?"

Not to mention talking snakes, virgin mothers and bearded men in the sky.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906381)

Not necessarily. It isn't impossible that the fortune teller really believes they can tell the future. If both the client and the fortune teller believe the magic, it isn't fraud.
That said, I doubt most fortune tellers believe they can see the future. Gypsies surely don't.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906507)

No fortune teller believes in their own powers any more than a stage magician does. To provide customers with a skillful illusion requires the awareness of building the illusion - the fortune teller has to cold-read their customer, provide vague hints and leading questions.

That said, a fortune teller doesn't have to be a fraud any more than a stage magician does; it can be a nice form of entertainment. The difference is that far less customers believe in stage illusions than in fortune telling, and fortune tellers - once they have stumbled across a gullible customer - will often proceed to fleece them for everything they own.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (4, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906519)

No fortune teller believes in their own powers...

You under estimate the power of self delusion.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907203)

No fortune teller believes in their own powers...

You under estimate the power of self delusion.

If you're using Google, Facebook, etc as an information source it's a pretty clear indication that your real power is lying to your victims.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907885)

Maybe in the cited case, but even then you encounter too many people who claim they're just filling in the gaps in their own very real powers, or just priming their special gift with some data they look up because they find "it works better then". Even in the clear ripoff cases the ripoff artists can have some very weird descriptions of what they're doing.

This isn't a situation where the smart people with a good understanding of what makes a scientific hypothesis, are fooling those who don't have this understanding.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (4, Interesting)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906911)

No fortune teller believes in their own powers any more than a stage magician does.

I actually know someone personally who does believe in her own future prediction power. How I can be sure? She makes financially obviously unsound decisions like selling her nearly-new car, etc. because of some calculations she did based on the current locations of some molten rocks in the sky. She actually has to run a special Win 3.1 program for that, because it's the only one which does the calculations she needs.

To provide customers with a skillful illusion requires the awareness of building the illusion - the fortune teller has to cold-read their customer, provide vague hints and leading questions.

Generally yes, but you can learn to do that unconsciously, to the point where you can do that successfully on yourself. You just have to really believe in it.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907053)

She actually has to run a special Win 3.1 program for that, because it's the only one which does the calculations she needs.

What's the program? Sounds like there might be some money in recoding those calculations into a nice shiny iPhone app...

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907073)

What's the program? Sounds like there might be some money in recoding those calculations into a nice shiny iPhone app...

I don't know, and I'm unable to ask (due to something unrelated to this). However, I guess the application isn't that popular even among astrologers, since otherwise the original programmer would likely have rewritten it using a more modern approach.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907153)

What's the program? Sounds like there might be some money in recoding those calculations into a nice shiny iPhone app...

I don't know, and I'm unable to ask (due to something unrelated to this). However, I guess the application isn't that popular even among astrologers, since otherwise the original programmer would likely have rewritten it using a more modern approach.

However, someone put a curse on his money and his computer.

--

Eight posts from now, this thread will be cursed with Michael Kristopeit.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907161)

since otherwise the original programmer would likely have rewritten it using a more modern approach

There are several good counter arguments for that.

The program is most likely fifteen years or more old - the original programmer may have long since moved on and no longer programs, are has had a change of mind/heart over the whole future prediction thing. Heck maybe they managed to predict the lottery results, if so why would they now need to work on that astrology stuff now?

The programmer may have released it for free, or shareware and never go much response in terms of payments or support requests. They may not know that their little program was (and perhaps still is) a sleeper hit.

Perhaps the program's creator was a "futurologist" (or what-ever people like that are calling themselves this year because last year's term is already attracting unwanted bad press regarding fraud) and originally intended the program to drive business but instead found it drew people away (if you can DIY, why pay for someone else to interpret the results?) so the project was abandoned.

If someone is going through the hassle of getting an old 16-bit Windows app to run in a modern environment then there is definitely demand and even if there are only a few people with that high drive to use the calcs there are most likely a great many who would take a more casual interest and pay a few $ for a novelty app for their smartphone or tablet. Of course anyone wrting such an app would have to skirt a moral question: while you know 99.99% of the apps users will consider it an amusing little distraction for 30 seconds of their day and nothing more, someone somewhere will make drastic life-changing decisions for the worse based upon the results. Personally I'd file that under "no my problem, get that person to an institute stat", but other people would not and you may have trouble getting it into Apple's app store, amongst others, for that reason.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907379)

Heck maybe they managed to predict the lottery results, if so why would they now need to work on that astrology stuff now?

Yeah, if someone really could predict the future, get an edge at gambling, et cetera - they wouldn't need to hustle people a few (or several) bucks at a time.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907705)

I always use Google Sky Map. Aha! Mercury is in the Ascendant on the Whale. Ooh and Neptune is close to Aquarius.

Here's my prediction based on Google Sky Map: avoid water. There is a Whale in your future together with Neptune, God of the Sea. There is also a light (Aquarius, enlightenment) in your future so you will probably light a match to see what's going on after being swallowed. This will explode the whale, killing you.

My advice: stay away from seas and aquariums. Now give me 50 bucks :)

(Yeah I know old school astrologists use a different set of signs. I'm modern though :))

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (3, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907663)

I actually know someone personally who does believe in her own future prediction power.

I know a whole industry that believes they can tell the future. How I can be sure? They makes financially obviously unsound decisions like buying/selling their stock, etc. because of some calculations they did based on an algorithm.
They actually has to run a special programs for that, because it's the only one which does the calculations they need.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906987)

No fortune teller believes in their own powers any more than a stage magician does.

Not true. I bet Steve Jobs actually believed in his powers equally firmly as his followers. It's only human. If you happen to hit several major successes, you can't help but feel you have superpowers.

A lot of powerful people have bullshitted their way to the top. I bet most of them started to believe in their self-fulfilling profecies somewhere along the way.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906437)

lol, i know, i read that and thought that is the stupidest thing i've read in a long, long time.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906499)

If you pay someone money and expect them to tell your future, you will never be safe from fraud.

Doctors, lawyers, bankers and politicians disagree strongly with you.

But that doesn't make you less right.

That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (5, Interesting)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906557)

I'm an engineer and been atheist my whole life, so I don't believe in horoscopes/crystals/palm reading/etc... However, I've found that I immensely enjoy occasional tarot sessions. I don't believe any of that outside those sessions but every once in a while, it's nice to meet someone more spiritual than I am, light a few candles, smoke a bit of tobacco from a bong, engage in the whole tarot ritual (sliding fingers on the deck, etc.), have her read the cards for me and then reflect on how to interpret that all based on my history and expectations for the future.

It's almost therapeutic to completely suspend your disbelief every once in a while and get in touch with the spiritual side (I think that there is a certain mental state that every human - no matter how skeptic, etc. - can achieve if they want to... and it's pretty pleasant, really). As long as you keep it at that and don't ever start to think that you could actually make important decisions based on all that, it's pretty much the most harmless source of enjoyment that there is.

So, if people want that and what they get is that someone wiretaps their phones, installs hidden cameras to their apartment, etc... it's not okay to say "Well, what did they expect? Of course they're going to get scammed!"

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906611)

"It's almost therapeutic to completely suspend your disbelief every once in a while..."

True, and I completely agree with the general sentiment of what you say.

But when someone says it's real, they (not a joke) imply a warranty, and fraud charges are the frequent result.

If it is clearly stated that the service is "for entertainment purposes only", and no other claims are made, then it's a perfectly legitimate operation. It's the others that run afoul of our standards of business.

If it * IS * labeled "for entertainment only", then you can decide for yourself at what level you prefer to be entertained. Anything else, and that decision is distorted or diluted. But THEN, they can claim all the reality they want, and say later it's just part of the act, for entertainment purposes.

And anybody who is taken in by that pretty much deserves to be taken in by that. The world -- and laws -- are and should be geared toward reasonably normal and reasonably reasonable people. Anything else has always resulted in problems.

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (1, Troll)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906735)

Let me guess...lonely geek has a crush on pretty tarrot reader, right?

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907171)

Let me guess... lonely geek hasn't learned how to leave neutral or otherwise nice comments towards people who say middle-of-the-lane things, right?

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908051)

It was a joke.

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907625)

that would be part of the entertainment value

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906801)

I just channeled a message for F69631, you have spiritually grown past all this now and need to go get your own Tarrot Deck $15, quit hassling the spiritual women and grow up, they are not your personal shrink, and they hate it when you smoke their shit up.

http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Rider-Waite-Tarot-Arthur-Edward/dp/tags-on-product/0880794747 [amazon.com]

Candles are available at your supermarket
Check weedmaps for your smoke
One extra Item.... A mirror.

Next time you want a tarrot session, you can look in the mirror and reflect on just how fucked up your own life has become. When you finally cry. Then you can layout your Tarrot deck to ask your own questions cast your own deck. Trust me when I say it's for your betterment.

If you feel this message has spiritually awaken you, and you want one final spiritual awaken, the great juju. just sell your house, and donate liberally to Sakawa Boyz in Ghana.

(sark all the way)

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906977)

You're an idiot.

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907223)

Really? Your predilection for therapeutic periods of willful ignorance do not equate to insight. Fortune-telling does not cease to be hokum because you find a hookah relaxing.

Re:That's a bit narrow-minded, I think (1)

RogL (608926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907397)

I'm an engineer and been atheist my whole life, so I don't believe in horoscopes/crystals/palm reading/etc... However, I've found that I immensely enjoy occasional tarot sessions. I don't believe any of that outside those sessions but every once in a while, it's nice to meet someone more spiritual than I am, light a few candles, smoke a bit of tobacco from a bong, engage in the whole tarot ritual (sliding fingers on the deck, etc.), have her read the cards for me and then reflect on how to interpret that all based on my history and expectations for the future.

It's almost therapeutic to completely suspend your disbelief every once in a while and get in touch with the spiritual side (I think that there is a certain mental state that every human - no matter how skeptic, etc. - can achieve if they want to... and it's pretty pleasant, really). As long as you keep it at that and don't ever start to think that you could actually make important decisions based on all that, it's pretty much the most harmless source of enjoyment that there is.

Sounds like you use tarot readings as a more-fun therapy session: reflecting on what's going on in your life, where you'd like to head, and what to do about it. As long as you treat it more like a campy discussion & less like mystical powers, you're in good shape.

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1, Troll)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906593)

No it's only a foregone conclusion for inebriated halfwits who'd choose their doctor from a police line up of serial killers.

The better ones are the ones that you get to know usually through a network of acquaintances. They've been practicing for at least a decade after apprenticing that long. They will have a business license. They have a fixed place of business and fixed prices.They will do standard horoscope and can do the base 12 math. They work with you on interpretation and the results get better as you learn to do the interpretations yourself though they are there to teach and advise. They are professionals and will have solid certificates in what is obtainable for most laypeople such as licensed physical therapist, licensed reflexologist and other certifications that may or may not have state licensing. Some will have counseling degrees and/or psychology degree. There are no formal requirements.

Having your fortune read is as much a journey as picking a psychologist or other doctor. The 'fortune teller' has as much ability to do you harm as any medical practitioner so chose them as wisely as you choose your doctors.

I would not have said that a few years ago. They were lumped in with all the other huckers, grifters and frauds. I've met a few people who are not that. I've run out of words.

People just don't care anymore (1)

freaker_TuC (7632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906695)

Is this even new?

When I tell some, they have to watch their PC better, against trojans and virusses, I get the reaction: "who cares? it's only data!" or "I don't got anything to hide" or "There is not that much important on my PC"; While it's THEIR privacy which is at stake and THEIR pc is getting (ab)used to breach the privacy/security of others.

Lots of people just don't care anymore about stuff which they don't understand; as long "as it works" it's allright for them ..

Re:It's a foregone conclusion (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906965)

If you pay someone money and expect them to tell your future, you will never be safe from fraud. In fact, as your palm reading crystal adviser, I sense...fraud...in your future.

Is it actually a fraud when any sane and reasonable person knows what is going on?

Yes. (1)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907135)

Defrauding mentally ill or retarded people is still fraud.

Re:Yes. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908307)

I was thinking more of people complaining that "How was I supposed to know that that man was a fraud? He said he wasn't." Since there is no chance of any claim to having supernatural powers being true, it must be an act, by definition. People don't seem to be suing theaters and TV stations for actors not being the characters they play too often, they just sit back and enjoy the show like everybody else does.

That's just terrible! (-1, Offtopic)

feasttoday (2632739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906327)

Return, return, return!
Return to gamemakerdom!
Return, return, return!
Return to gamemakerdom!

Return to gamemakerdom!
Return to gamemakerdom!
Return to gamemakerdom!
Return to gamemakerdom!

Yeah!

I'm a fuckin' buttnude.

Anyone really surprised by this? (2)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906333)

After finding out there are people buying spell casting services overy ebay in their thousands this is not surprising at all. A fool and his/her money is quickly seperated.

Re:Anyone really surprised by this? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906341)

You should always attribute your quotations. That's Steve Jobs, right?

Re:Anyone really surprised by this? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906609)

He never actually said it in public. Trade secret, see.

Re:Anyone really surprised by this? (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906657)

The trick is to make the fool happy with his choice and to inspire more fools to follow along his path.

Re:Anyone really surprised by this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906349)

We ought to start a business, we could cast a good luck spell on our clients for $20. It lasts for a month, after which, you need another $20 for the next month. But if you act now we'll bundle the deal and provide a one year promotional contract for half price. For an additional $5/mo we'll double the potency of good luck, instead of ten units of good luck you'll get twenty.

Re:Anyone really surprised by this? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906693)

Apple are working on this. It'll be integrated with a Feng-shui app, a subluxation detector & a method for ordering homeopathic medicines online[1].

It'll be called iCon.

[1] Apple will get 30% plus 30% of the rest plus 30% of the rest plus 30% of the rest plus 30% of the rest plus 30% of the rest plus 30% of the rest plus 30% of the rest plus 30% of the rest.

Surprising how old the techniques are (4, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906339)

Really it's just an update of what has been going on since at least the mid 1800s. Back then they would question friends and relatives and check newspapers and birth records. Even the diver isn't all that different from having some one dress up as a ghost or having a veil on a string dance around. People believe even lame gags because they want to believe. The internet like with most things just makes it quicker and easier.

Re:Surprising how old the techniques are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906613)

I don't have a source for it, but in one of my lectures a history professor told us about stuff like that happening in ancient Greece.

Re:Surprising how old the techniques are (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906703)

Wouldn't surprise me at all. Greece is right next to Romania and they're all lying thieving cunts too.

Re:Surprising how old the techniques are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906947)

Geography fail. There's Bulgaria in between them.

Re:Surprising how old the techniques are (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906953)

You must be American, right ?

"... a scuba diver dressed as a monster ..." (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906347)

And they would have got away with it too, if it wasn't for those darn meddling kids!

Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906351)

Let me be the first to say:
"Who the fuck cares?"

Seriously, why should we care about people stupid enough to go to a fortune teller?
They got exactly what they paid for.

superstition and religion (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906373)

Superstition and religion will always find a platform. Don't get "the Internet" involved in this please. If people want to believe something, it's their right and if they want to pay money to others to tell them what to believe, it's their right too. If some person or group is able to make a career out of that, fine. As long as they keep it private and don't change the law over it, or start wars, I don't see a problem with that.

Re:superstition and religion (4, Insightful)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906461)

There us no need to separate Superstition and religion, they are the same thing.

Re:superstition and religion (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906623)

Ridiculous.

I mean, you don't get a tax exemption for always putting your left shoe on first, do you?

Re:superstition and religion (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906733)

No they are not. A religion is an organisation based on superstition. Saying they are the same thing is like saying that corporations and capitalism are the same thing.

Am I the only one who did a double take... (3, Informative)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906391)

after first thinking the article was about Romulan fortune tellers.

I've been watching too much DS9 on Netflix (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906667)

...and thought exactly the same thing.

"Romulans. They're so predictably treacherous!"

Romania ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906395)

... has internet! Didn't Romania invent the trailer park? Sorry, mobile home community. Wasn't 'Borat' filmed in Glod, Romania. Not a mud hut but not much for the middle of Europe.

Re:Romania ... (2)

Atti K. (1169503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906503)

Yes dumbass, we have Internet. It's dirt cheap and very fast. I pay less than 10 euros for an FTTB connection which goes up to 100 Mbps. At least we are good at something.

Re:Romania ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907761)

Just because most of your telecommunication infrastructure was built way after you got rid of the asshat.

Re:Romania ... (2)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906537)

"Borat" wasn't a documentary, if you can't make the difference please don't watch "Zombie Apocalypse" or anything similar. For your own good.

Re:Romania ... (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906653)

You might not know this, but a common comedic technique is to base things pretty closely on the truth.

See: "Royle Family", "The Office" and (allegedly) "Yes, [Prime] Minister."

Re:Romania ... (1)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907081)

Even if the pretended documentary would be close to the truth for the sake of whatever technique this still wouldn't say anything about Romania; you can gather as much if you knew at least the full title of the movie, which is "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan".

Re:Romania ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907777)

You mean it wasn't ok to shoot my neighbor when he asked whether the fuck I have some brain in that skull of mine?

Re:Romania ... (2, Insightful)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906541)

I know I'm only feeding the troll but why not try a wikipedia search for Romania first?

Also, it pains me that they call those fortune tellers Romanian since they're actually gypsies. This is a huge problem for us, the gypsies go in other countries, pull shit like this and worse (stealing, beating people up) and then they say they're Romanian. Everyone thinks Romania is a gypsy country or something.

Re:Romania ... (1, Interesting)

pandronic (1275276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906883)

And to add insult to injury they are calling themselves Rroma instead of Gypsies, because they claim that the word Gypsy is demeaning and not politically correct.

The irony is that, in the Romanian language the word Gypsy ("tigan") is purely descriptive of their ethnicity (same as words like German, French or Romanian), but in time began to have a bad connotation because of the way Gypsies behaved (all sort of cons, small time crime, corruption etc). So came a time when they decided to rebrand themselves.

According to Wikipedia, "rom" means "man" in their language, while the name Romania comes from "Rome" (a 19th century reference to the fact that the Romanian people is Latin). Gypsies from Romania were quick to capitalize on this coincidence recommending themselves as Romanians when it suited them, which became a problem for legitimate Romanian citizens traveling abroad in many Western states for purposes other than begging, stealing, coning and raping.

The big problem is that their traditional culture is very strong and they can't be educated (eduction is free and mandatory in Romania, still they refuse it) and integrated into the Romanian and European societies. I think a people is beyond hope when they cripple their own children to earn more money from begging and when they throw their their children in front of more expensive cars to blackmail the drivers. Another problem is that they multiply like rabbits - there's no concept of birth control whatsoever and the state supports the kids and the mothers with some ridiculously small subventions (but when your main source of income is stealing copper wires and railroad tracks, I suppose every bit counts).

Re:Romania ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39908021)

By the same logic the Romans could say that you have insulted them. This is just a form of poetic justice.

Re:Romania ... (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907141)

Also, it pains me that they call those fortune tellers Romanian since they're actually gypsies. This is a huge problem for us, the gypsies go in other countries, pull shit like this and worse (stealing, beating people up) and then they say they're Romanian.

They come here in the summers, panhandling. Actually, what they say is they are persecuted by the majority romanians.

Everyone thinks Romania is a gypsy country or something.

Well, you seem to have a fairly large minority of them.

Re:Romania ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907177)

Romania couldn't be a gypsy country. I swear they ALL live here in the midwest U.S. There are damn near as many stinking palm readers as bars.Not really, but there are many. The other day in the grocery store a bunch walk in and shop their carts full, then just start pushing them out to a Chev.Suburban. One of them is "trying " to keep the manager busy inside, but believe me he NOTICED! Anyway they piled in the truck and fled just before the local donut pigs could get around to it.Scamming,stealing,self entitled stinking gypsies. Probably the only "race" Hitler was right about.
      If we are clever and lucky, we can "mistakenly" deport them will all the illegal Mexicans once legislation has a sudden outbreak of common sense.

Re:Romania ... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907755)

If they have a Romanian passport, they are Romanian.
If they are descendent from people who lived in Romania, then many feel it is OK to call them Romanian.

The first I can agree with. The second not so much. The we all would be Etheopians. Jay Leno is not Italian. He is American.

And don't even get me started on the racial issue. Why must somebody who has 3 grand parents from Sweden (all of them blonde and blue eyed) be called an African American?

Re:Romania ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907785)

Dude, forget it. Apparently the US people were told to believe that pretty much all of Europe was left in the middle ages and only they had some semblance of electricity.

No kidding, at my first trip over I was asked whether I know how to operate a toaster. And that was AFTER they contacted me via internet and email...

Re:Romania ... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907921)

I did mention their ethnicity but it was apparently censored from the final post. Strange, as it's also in the article, and the pictures in it. Still, the first thing you notice upon entering Romania is that there are gipsies everywhere, and not even the somewhat settled ones but wandering nomadic tribes, beggar mafias, child labour etc. Many are sick, and from what I could tell there are many that starve. It can be argued whose fault it is, but from the eye of an outsider it certainly gives the place a certain Balcanic feel.

Re:Romania ... (0)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908037)

You see a lot of gypsies when you enter the country because gypsies are beggars mostly. They live in train stations, bus stations, markets, etc. because that's where they can find large numbers of people to beg/steal from.

How they told your fortune (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906399)

They used Japanese ATMs [slashdot.org]

Steve are you there? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906423)

Olga sits at her desk with her clients holding hand in a circle around her Ipad ...the candle flickers....One of the clients desperately wants to speak to Steve about why suddenly his Mac Book Pro is vulnerable to the "curse of the Open Windows"

Olga says she senses an evil presence in the room and that Steve is telling her that there is something very wrong with her clients Mac Book Pro and that it will only be free from evil when he removes boot camp and returns to the pure essence of Apple!

Olga takes her 200 dollar malware removal fee, 20% of which is paid to Symantec for setting her up in business.

I see many scenes like this happening to Mac users in the future.

Yes... (3, Funny)

meglon (1001833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906427)

... because the fortune teller trade has always before been a bastion of honesty and integrity, and has never been the butt of scurrilous rumors of fraud.

As opposed to the traditional fortune tellers? (3, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906441)

Every and all fortune teller is committing fraud - these were just higher-tech than the rest.

Re:As opposed to the traditional fortune tellers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906635)

Nope. A psychiatric patient could believe he was able to tell the future, and make a good-faith attempt to do so. This would not be fraud.

Re:As opposed to the traditional fortune tellers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906685)

It would still be fraud.

Much like with insanity, there is both a legal and medical/professional definition of the word.

Just because someone is medically considered to be mentally insane does not always mean he's not legally culpable of his actions.

Just because one can not be send to jail for fraud doesn't make it any less fraud.

Re:As opposed to the traditional fortune tellers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906815)

"Yes, ah, I must say, it was pretty obvious you were going to post that ... comment" - Gilderoy Lockhart

Re:As opposed to the traditional fortune tellers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906821)

Not legally. Those that believe themselves lacks intent... ;)

Re:As opposed to the traditional fortune tellers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907103)

Deuteronomy 18:10-13

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.

the internet can make you smarter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906451)

but most people are just as stupid as they were before the internet.

Who does this surprise ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906485)

I mean, palmistry crystal ball and stuff related are at best "entertainment" (*snort*) at worst downright fraud. No, let me correct that, they are simply most of the time fraud, and rarely used as entertainment. They are usually a combo of cold and hot reading.

My favourite part of the article... (1)

omega6 (1072658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906567)

"As well as fraud the pair are also facing charges under the National Security Act for using illegal professional surveillance equipment," What is professional surveillance equipment?

Re:My favourite part of the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906661)

"tapping phone calls" is done with professional surveillance equipment and that's illegal

Re:My favourite part of the article... (1)

Alumoi (1321661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907113)

But in Romania is only takes a small bribe to get the tapes.

Re:My favourite part of the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906711)

1) get a dictionary
2) RTFA, you imbecile.

Re:My favourite part of the article... (3, Insightful)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906765)

Any equipment of a better quality than what the government is using. In Romania, that's probably a satchel VHS camera with a stage microphone taped to the window.

Dog and Cat excrement on you Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906619)

Oddly enough this only happens if you make them use bing [msn.com] search on a page.

How Jewish Fortune Tellers Used Wall Street To... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906675)

How Jewish Fortune Tellers Used Wall Street To Fleece WASPs

Madoff, Goldman, Sachs, et cetera...

The point is, why mention the nationality? Isn't it bad as it is?

Promises of riches occur in the Wall Street too, with about as little chance of success in the hand of petty merchants like Madoff.

Surprised... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906749)

The contents of this site is really good.http://www.gujaratonnet.com

Romainian Fortune Tellers are pussies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906761)

The Sakawa Boys Will Tear Them Up!
Sakawa Boys Do this ground work all the time, not much different than "Romance scam."
Sakawa is religion, practitioners work hard, it's amazing unbelievable the article never mentioned Sakawa.
Sakawa Boys even have Music CD's out! Romainian Fortune Tellers are pussies in comparison, getting caught, being prosecuted Bla.. fuck all that..

Slashdot should go to Ghana get us some updated juju and snakes.
http://www.vice.com/motherboard/mbd-vbs-the-sakawa-boys

Intro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906969)

"The internet has made many things easier, but unfortunately this also includes crime"

Stupidest introduction statement ever.
While we're at it, cars are useful unfortunately they also cause accidents and chocolate bars are delicious but they also make you fat.

the story sounds fishy (3)

unami (1042872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907147)

although i live in austria, i've never heard of the "austrian times" (and it's really not that big a country). also, the story lacks information about where this has happened (except that the fortune tellers are romanian), and i would't be the least bit surprised if the pictures from the two women were random stock photos. i'd take this story with at least a grain of salt...

Re:the story sounds fishy (1)

Internal Modem (1281796) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908031)

Good point. There are no names given for any authorities, and only the "witches" first names are used. Also, the "Austrian Times" is an exact mirror of croatiantimes.com, romaniantimes.at, salzburgtimes.at, viennatimes.at, and austrianindependent.com.

I've seen every episode of Trek (1)

willworkforbeer (924558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907157)

And I don't recall the average Romulan ever being quite this sneaky. I'm betting she's Tal Shiar.

Fortune tellers using internet since 1980s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907521)

At least one, that I know of, was using the internet before most people knew there was an "internet."

Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907861)

Crime, Fraud, Humor

:)

I Can See Your Personal Data (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908515)

Through my 27" Liquid Crystal Monitor.

You don't really need Google for this though. Plenty of suckers out there are quite happy to believe a cold reading.

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