Monday, December 10, 2012

In Canada, Scams Are Reviving Use Of Ban On Fraudulent Use Of Sorcery

Last Saturday's National Post reports that new scams are leading Canadian authorities to revive prosecutions under an an old statute (Canada Criminal Code Sec. 365) that prohibits fraudulently pretending "to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration."  Last month, charges under the section were filed against Gustavo Gomez who, using Spanish-language radio and print ads in Quebec and Ontario convinced people they were under a curse. He then offered to lift the curse for $10,000 to $15,000. In Toronto, a similar curse-lifting scam is being carried out in the city's Chinese community. Cantonese-speaking residents are warned of a curse and are convinced to fill a bag with valuables for a special ritual to lift it. Then the fraudster runs off with the bag.  Vancouver police are reporting similar scams.