The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is trying to reach a man who managed to swindle more than twenty victims across the province out of a total of more than $250,000 by posing as a psychic medium.
The facts happened in several regions of Quebec, from Montreal to Quebec, via Beauce, Mauricie and Montérégie. As of September 2020, thanks to his scheme, he would have amassed a jackpot of more than $250,000, SQ explains.
“There are many people who have found themselves in precarious family situations. We’re not talking about a simple tarot card draw, it’s very serious,” provincial police spokesman Louis-Philippe Bibeau said.
The wanted suspect is an approximately 30-year-old black man who is 1.78 m (5’10”) tall. He is of average build and speaks French with a foreign accent.
“He identifies himself under several pseudonyms or names in French, English or with foreign connotations. He also identifies himself under the title “African Marabout Medium,” explains Mr. Bibeau.
On his website, the man in question claims to have gifts for communicating with spirits. This donation is intended to enable him to help his clients at different levels of their lives for a fee.
A fee of tens of dollars is initially required to open a file, but the fees quickly mount. To perform rituals, the suspect will ask for a few hundred dollars, then a few thousand.
What is really a scam is that the man guarantees a full refund of the sums invested if the “ritual” doesn’t work. However, after a certain number of payments, the latter stops all communication and disappears.
“And when his “clients” apparently wanted to stop participating in his scheme, the individual used persuasion methods to convince them with threats,” specifies the SQ spokesman.
Authorities warn that any information relating to these scams or that would allow the suspect to be identified can be transmitted in strict confidence to the Sûreté du Québec Crime Information Center at 1 800 659-4264.
The Sûreté du Québec encourages the public to report any fraudulent activity to their local police department or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, whether the fraud was committed online, over the phone, via text message, email or in person.