Monday, November 21, 2011

skeptic: "miracle doctor" ring exposed in Shanghai

Below is an interesting case from a Shanghai local English language newspaper.

It details a group who engaged in a scheme to defraud by convincing their victims that they had supernatural powers. These powers included the ability to know facts about people without being told as well as the ability to remove bad luck.

What's interesting, perhaps, is just how simple and low tech the operation was.

Often skeptics who expose paranormal scams are guilty of giving the impression that supernatural tricksters are clever men and women who can only be unmasked by someone equally or perhaps even more clever than the evil-doers. Alas! Often it just isn't so.

Remember, please be carefull and use common sense. If something seems impossible or too good to be true, well, it just might be. So please don't let yourself be scammed.

Published on (

'Miracle doctor' gang in fraud case
Created: 2011-11-21 0:30:45
Author:Jasmine Zhao

FOUR people who claimed they could remove bad luck through the prayers of a "miracle doctor" have been charged with fraud.

The suspects swindled more than 250,000 yuan (US$39,379) from four victims, Putuo District prosecutors said yesterday.

Prosecutors said group members had clearly defined roles in duping victims in Minhang and Putuo districts and the Pudong New Area between January and April.

In one case, suspect Duan Suping struck up a conversation with victim Li Falan while pretending to be looking for a "miracle-working doctor," called Zhang, on Zhaoyuan Road in Pudong.

Duan persuaded Li to talk about her family and asked if any of them were ill.

Nearby, fellow gang member Cheng Jiayue was eavesdropping and passed Li's information to "Doctor Zhang," played by suspect, Xie Shuliang, it is claimed.

When Li met the "doctor" and was told details about her family, she was convinced of his powers and paid him 90,000 yuan to remove bad luck, prosecutors said.

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