Thursday, 24. April 2014
04. 05. 12. - 09:15
Two of Romania's top fortune tellers have been exposed as fraudsters who used Google instead of a crystal ball to gather information on their clients and trick them into parting with tens of thousands of pounds.
Witches Vanessa, 26, and Melissa, 32, claimed to have a hotline to the spirit world that also included providing spells to protect clients from the devil.
But in reality they would use high-tech surveillance equipment to gather data on their customers, which they would then pretend had been transmitted to them from the spirit world via a crystal ball to convince their victims that they really were in touch with the other side.
Victims who were amazed by the women's knowledge of their activities then paid large sums to speak to dead relatives and gain protection from evil forces.
One woman told how she had believed the two Roma women were genuine mystics, and had been persuaded to take tens of thousands of pounds and go to a nearby lake for a midnight ritual. She had been told that she had to release herself from the burden of her money and throw it all in the lake – but when she hesitated a demon like figure had emerged from the water and in a panic – she had thrown the money into the water and run away.
But police discovered that the water devil was in fact a pal of the pair who had put on diving gear and a mask to terrify the unsuspecting victim.
Police said the information gathering activities of the two witches included Googling them, looking at social network sites, tapping phone calls and using hidden cameras.
But a police investigator told local media: "Proof if any was needed they they were fraudsters came when they managed to bribe prosecutor to get the charges dropped, unfortunately the man himself was under surveillance and we arrested all three of them as they handed over the money. If they had been any good – they would have known not to try."
As well as fraud the pair are also facing charges under the National Security Act for using illegal professional surveillance equipment.
Faymann warns against further Russia sanctions
Chancellor Werner Faymann has spoken out in support of moving away from additional sanctions on Russia.
What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (24 April - 30 April)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 24 April and 30 April:
Gazprom to explore expanding pipeline in Austria
Russia could soon begin constructing their South Stream gas pipeline in Austria after meetings were held this week with Gazprom.
Poacher in Vienna shoots five deer with bow and arrow
A poacher is suspected to have killed five animals in Vienna using a bow and arrow, a hunting weapon that is forbidden throughout Austria.
Czech firm in the proverbial over dung parcel terror alert in Austria
A Czech mail order company that sends elephant poo around the EU could be faced with a hefty bill after a package of dung sparked a terror alert at an Austrian town hall.
Model helicopter chops up owner
Austrian model aircraft enthusiast Uwe E., 50, is in intensive care after he tried to catch his expensive model helicopter when it suddenly dropped out of the sky in the town of Krenglbach in Upper Austria, and he was badly chopped up by the rotor blades.
ORF Watch To Probe State Broadcaster
Nine Austrian journalists, including the author of this article which is one of many published on my Tagebuch (diary), have got together to create a new website www.ORF-Watch.at.
Julius Meinl expands to UK
Austria's prestigious coffee brand Julius Meinl is launching its famous product in the UK, with the hope of challenging the British culture of taking coffee to go.
Indestructible Armoured Police Tank Damaged By Eggs And Tennis Balls
An Austrian manufacturer of a high-tech anti-riot water cannon costing almost 1 million EUR is facing some tough questions after one of the vehicles was badly damaged during a demonstration that involved eggs and tennis balls.
Wiener Linien grinds to a temporary halt Wednesday morning
Vienna's public transport will grind to a halt between 4 am and 6.30am on Wednesday morning as unions hold an emergency meetings to discuss the safety of Wiener Linien staff.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad|
|Angry business leaders say Austria is too expensive|
|Pink Easter bunny helps Vienna art world pay tribute to Dürer|
|Property price rise continues|
|OAP Hunts Down THIS Hit And Run Cyclist|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.