That old black magic got one Edmonton victim in its spell, police say, and recently cost someone in the city $100,000.

City police say they've received numerous reports of fraudsters who pose as astrologers and psychic readers.

Some victims have forked over money after they were led to believe they were cursed with black magic or witchcraft.

In a recent investigation, one Edmontonian was tricked into paying up to $100,000 in cash and gold to chase away the black magic.

"It is difficult to track these alleged fraudsters," Det. Glen Haneman said a news release Wednesday.

"Often, these individuals quickly disappear when they believe they could be caught."

The fraud artists typically use fake names and target vulnerable people by promising to resolve personal problems. Some solicit business by leaving cards or pamphlets on the windshields of parked vehicles.

Police listed examples of astrology and psychic fraud, including:

  • Unrealistic promises to solve personal and financial problems;
  • Requests for a small amount of money up front for performing healing rituals;
  • Attempts to gain a victim's confidence and present a plan requiring thousands of dollars as offerings (for prayers, chain of rituals, etc., and;
  • Claims to remove "black magic and/or witchcraft.
    police poster

    Sample of fraudulent poster created by Edmonton police. (Edmonton Police Service)