So, off I toddled to Google for the first on the list, Ghost. I was just realising I probably should have added a comma and followed it with something more specific such as 'Patrick Swayze' (phwoar) or 'movie', when I spotted a link to "Ghost Sites, where dead web sites live on".
This is an issue that interests me as stuff just sits there taking up space, ad infinitum. The first article, about the Dot.Com crash was really intriguing, so being the link hound that I am, I decided to test the contributor's claim that his psychic website was top of the google search listings for the word Psychic.
And now we are at the point where I got rather annoyed.
Top of the google search was a site called Psychic World, and sure enough the owner's name is John, just like the contributor at the other site. He is obviously very proud of it, and I imagine that, at the TOP position, it rakes him in quite a lot of money. On it he has at least two links on the front page to a 'free psychic reading' which briefly flashes the name 'psychics501.com' but it's still his URL once you are 'connected'.
I say connected because it claims to put you through to a live chat service, with a psychic called Nancy, and you have to hold whilst a connection is established, it says. It has been set up very well because if you sign out of that link half way through but then decide to go back in, it takes you to a different screen that explains the prices for a full reading. I got round this by signing out of Mozilla Firefox, in to Internet Explorer, and hiding my IP address. What happened then? I got exactly the same stuff all over again, from the claim to be live chat, to the exact same phrase from our friend Nancy. Not a thing had changed.
This link is a nasty, vicious little CON designed to make you think you are talking to a real person, then to think you not only have a 'strong psychic link' with them, but are actually quite psychic yourself, then to lead you on to pay money for more information about the wonderful things coming your way in the near future.
Here's my proof:
2. It will lead you to page one which asks you to hold for a connection and then says:
"This psychic reading is based on your ability to concentrate on a single item and my ability to "see" what item you have chosen. Once I have made a definite connection with you I will send back to the website my answer. Please be aware that I may not always get the answer correct and it is at these times that we would recommend that you come back another day for a psychic reading. If however I am correct there is a strong psychic connection between myself and you. Please follow the instructions below to continue - Nancy."3. Do NOT play along. Instead make a note of all the cards in the sequence: King Hearts, Jack Clubs, King Spades, Queen Diamonds, Queen Spades, Jack Diamonds.
You then get a picture of five different royal playing cards, all Kings, Queens and Jacks. 'Nancy' goes on:
"Please concentrate on one card from above. Do NOT click on the card. Once you have chosen the card, please concentrate on it by closing your eyes and visualising the card in your mind. Once you have done this, click on the next button below".
4. Click the next button - you will be treated to a pair of eyes on a black screen and the information that you must wait whilst a psychic link is being forged (yeah, right).
5. Tanaa! Having done as Nancy told you (and not as I said), you will be amazed to see that the card you chose has been REMOVED FROM THE LINE UP and replaced with another royal card. The joke is that in fact every single card has been replaced. It's a CON, a trick, a sales hook for the gullible and the insecure and the desperate, and in my book those are exactly the people it is MOST WRONG to prey on.
6. The con that you are relating to a real person goes on, with congratulations and praise of your skill and starts to mention all the good things (nothing specific, just 'things') that 'Nancy' can see in your near future.
7. Click through again and you get to a test of YOUR psychic abilities. where a sparkly thingy is hidden under some plain thingies and you have to guess (ooh no sorry, use your psychic powers to "sense") where its hidden. I gave up here, I mean come on, it's going to be under every single one, isn't it.
8. I should add, if you don't want the fun but want to do this the short way, just go to the first screen with cards on and right click over it, you will have the options to Play, Loop, Rewind, Fast Forward and all the tools you can only use on pre-set sequence of screens.
I wonder what Derek Acorah would say about this (given that his face is plastered all over this site as an advert for his book, but at first glance it looks more like his stamp of approval). For that matter I wonder what the SNU would think of it. I may just pop along and ask them. Grrrrrr.........
If John G Sutton is an honest man who removes this link from his site, completely, I will be the first to let you know.