On February 2nd, 2016, two women were arrested and accused of committing “fortune telling fraud” in Times Square. The two women were a supposed psychic and her daughter-in-law who worked together.
They fell for it when a private investigator sent an operative into their place of business. He told the psychic he thought he was plagued by a curse and needed their help. They agreed to help him remove it for the cost of $1,000.
Psychics in the New York City area are very diverse. They differ from honest, friendly palm readers whose charges are reasonable to professional con artists who manage to scam people out of millions.
Bob Nygaard, a private investigator specializing in fraudulent psychics, got involved in the case that got the scammers arrested. A woman whose husband had left her for another woman tipped him off.
Her husband’s affair led her to consult this psychic, and she ended up paying her more than $55,000. She became aware of how they took advantage of her during her time of weakness and wanted them to get punished for it.
A Victim Takes Action Against The Fake Psychics
That desire for punishment is what drove her to contact Nygaard for help. He then arranged for an undercover operative to visit the psychic shop run by Tammy Vlado, who goes as “Psychic Gina,” and Pam Ulfie, her daughter-in-law.
“Vlado and Ulfie attempted to con the undercover operative into believing a curse and negative energy was plaguing his life. They attempted to elicit $1,000 from the operative in order to remove the alleged ‘curse/negativity’.
Vlado and Ulfie claimed they needed to burn ten ‘platinum candles’ as part of the alleged ‘curse/negativity’ removal work,” Nygaard said. Before leaving, the “psychics” charged the operative $445; $45 for the initial psychic reading and $400 to begin the curse removal process.
After the visit, Nygaard filed reports against the two scammers, who allegedly violated New York State Penal Law section 165.35, which is ‘fortunetelling.’ The Manhattan district attorney’s office and Manhattan police department agreed with Nygaard and pursued the fraudulent psychics.
They both surrendered to law enforcement officials without incident.