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An unidentified Florida woman is wanted by authorities for allegedly swindling a number of unsuspecting victims who paid her for “spiritual” and “witchcraft services” earlier this year.
At least 10 people were defrauded of approximately $100,000 by the suspected occult scam artist, officials announced this week. On April 19, the Naples Police Department released composite sketches of the woman identified only as “Rosalia.”
Police suspect the “spiritual” services scam began in January and ended in mid-March of this years.
In December 2020, the woman allegedly began marketing her services to residents of Golden Gate and East Naples. Ads for the company began to roll out in free Hispanic newspapers, on the radio, and on makeshift flyers plastered to telephone poles and laundromats in the region, according to police.
Some posters promised a “100% guarantee” to fix prospective clients’ marital and relationship issues, according to a police report obtained by Oxygen.com. “If you’re having an argument with your wife/girlfriend, she can help you with your problems,” read one flyer.
The southwest Florida number at the bottom of the flyer appears to have been disconnected.
The first victim to report "Rosalia" to law enforcement on March 14 told detectives the woman invited him to her “office” where she presented a deck of tarot cards and claimed there was a dark force present in his life. The woman told him to sleep with three eggs under his bed and bring them to her the following day. When the man returned, Rosalia allegedly waved the eggs over his head and face.
“Rosalia then opened each egg: the first egg contained blood inside; the second egg contained needles inside; and the third egg contained worms inside,” the police report stated.
Rosalia allegedly demanded he collect all the money he had, including any cash he could borrow from friends and family, and bring it to her. On his third visit to Rosalia, the man allegedly gave her $29,500. Telling him the money was cursed, she advised instructed the man to give her the funds so she could bless and multiply them at her temple. She promised to “double” or “triple” the man’s earnings. However, she later canceled his next appointment and stopped returning his messages, police said. The man told detectives he’d trusted the woman and didn’t expect to be scammed.
Three other victims also confessed they’d hired Rosalia to have their finances “cleaned.”
Police spoke to the building owner where the woman’s office was reportedly located but were unable to physically locate her. The suite was rented to a merchant of religious artifacts, the police report stated.
No arrests have been made in the case.
Police have described the woman as a Spanish speaker who is potentially of Eastern European or Hispanic descent. She is five feet and two inches tall, medium build, has light brown eyes, and blonde hair with dark roots.
“It’s just unfortunate that this individual or individuals preyed on the religious beliefs of innocent victims essentially by offering services that they thought would benefit them spiritually or financially, or whatever the sales pitch was,” Lt. Bryan McGinn told Oxygen.com.
Some experts say that “fortune telling fraud,” is actually a widespread phenomenon.
“These schemes often involve self-proclaimed spiritual healers, or psychics, who size-up vulnerable people and dupe them out of their money by claiming that the people are plagued by darkness, negativity, evil, or a curse,” Bob Nygaard, a private investigator who specializes in psychic scams, told Oxygen.com.
“The spiritualists, or psychics, often gain the complete confidence and trust of their victims by performing common magic tricks — blood that comes out of an egg, water that turns black or red, needles that come out of a tomato — to bamboozle their victims into believing in the existence of the alleged darkness, negativity, evil, curse. Inevitably, a self-proclaimed spiritualist, or psychic, will claim that through spiritual or psychic powers, he or she alone can vanquish the darkness, negativity, evil, curse by ‘cleansing’ the victims money, which is the alleged cause of the alleged curse.”
Anyone with information related to the case or the identity of the alleged suspect is urged to contact Naples Police Department at 239-213-4822 or 239-213-4844.
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