Consumer Fraud Reporting
Maria Duval
Reporting on the Latest Frauds, Scams, Fake Lotteries, Spams and Hoaxes

Home Email this page GovernmentAgencies Recognize a scam Report a Scam If you are scammed Your wallet is stolen? Prevent scams Free Publications Recommended Feedback to CFR Glossary Search Credit Card Rights Bookmark and Share
 

Up

Recommended:
books


Recommended
AV product:

Astrology and Psychic Scams:
Maria Duval

Did Maria Duval contact you? Can Maria Duval help you turn your life around or "come into money"? People desperate to improve their lives will often turn to bizarre methods. While there are many religions and beliefs in the world, one thing is constant, scammers seek to exploit the desperation and naïveté of gullible people everywhere. While it is often difficult to prove that an astrologer or psychic is a scam artist, because they are usually careful to speak in vague generalities and not make specific claims or promises, it is safe to say that ANY psychic or astrologer who contacts you IS a scammer. Their motive is money; your money. Sooner or later, that becomes apparent with all scammers.

Another so-called astrologer and psychic, Maria Duval (from France, the U.S. or Hong Kong) is exposed as a fraud on many websites and forums. 

Maria Duval is a pseudonym of Carolina Maria Gambia (Milan, 1938). She was the owner of Astroforce until it was sold in 1997 to Health Tips Ltd in Hongkong (now Harmonie Ltd). Then she became President of the Institute for Parapsychological Research in Callas, a small town near Nice. [1]

Astroforce has since then been acting as Maria Duval, a psychic who uses her telepathic gifts to help people solve their problems or fulfill their wishes. Astroforce also sells its mailing list to direct marketing companies.
The company places advertisements in newspapers or magazines. People who reply will receive several letters in the next months and years. These letters are mass produced but address the recipient personally.

Each letter pretends to be sent by Maria Duval and offers some sort of help in return for money. The letter makes claims like:

  • She has been making accurate & verifiable predictions for the past 23 years in at least 2,400 TV shows and 8,400 radio broadcasts

  • Her achievements have been featured in over 700 newspaper articles

  • She has been able to predict:

    • the rate of the dollar and the Stock Market Index

    • major newspaper headlines

  • She regularly works with doctors and the police

  • She has been able to telepathically locate at least 19 missing persons

  • International celebrities come from all over the world to consult her

Complaints that these claims are false have been upheld by courts and governments in the UK and Australia. [2]

The letter then continues for about 8 to 10 pages. Duval claims she has telepathically received an important and urgent message, specially for the recipient of the letter. A special constellation of the stars (or something like that) means that an important time period has begun in the life of the recipient. The most important wishes of the recipient can become reality now, but only with the assistance of Maria Duval.

This assistance amounts to an item which Duval will sent to the recipient and rituals she will perform, specially for the recipient. The item could be a 'Vibrating Crystal' which is supposed to function as a telepathic connection, a pentagram to put under the pillow of the recipient, a mascot, an amulet or talisman, a book with occult secrets or a secret manual to charge up the spirit with magnetic vibrations. Often the recipient has to perform some rituals as well, at the same moment when Duval performs her rituals. These services usually costs about 100 USD, but in this special case the recipient gets a discount and only has to pay about half the normal price.

These letters seem to be written by professional marketeers using several well know marketing methods. [3]

Complaints

Complaints about the letters of Astroforce were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK in December 1999.[4] Complaints about its advertisements were upheld in the UK in March 2000.[2] In 2005 Astroforce stopped its New Zealand advertising after a complaint by the Consumers' Institute of New Zealand.[5]


Here is an example of the Maria Duval scam:

We have not got a current example - if you receive one, please forward it to us!

If you received a letter from a psychic or astrologer, please send us a copy! This is only one example of this so-called psychic’s letter. There may be other letters peddling similar useless lucky charms and paraphernalia.

 


See this page for how to try to get a refund and how to stop their emails.

Below are links to other exposes' and discussions of the Maria Duval scam:

this web site and

this forum

for more discussions from defrauded victims of Maria Duval's who state why they know her to be a fake.

References

  1. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Paul Van Buitenen
  2. a b Advertising Standards Authority, Astroforce Ltd t/a Maria Duval, (t/a = trading as)
  3. The Maria Duval Business
  4. Advertising Standards Authority, Astroforce Ltd t/a Maria Duval
  5. Consumers' Institute of New Zealand, Not clairvoyant enough?

 

 

Copyright CFR 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  - Definition of scam, fraud, etc.Legal disclaimer / corrections / complaints  -  Privacy Policy
Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
Email us at: