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Byline: Cara Simpson HEALTH REPORTER

FAITH healers are preying on the vulnerable in Coventry with bogus miracle cure claims.

A warning has gone out for members of the public to beware of tricksters purporting to be faith healers and clairvoyants.

They advertise their services through leaflet drops, free newspapers and pamphlets, and boast powers to heal medical problems and illnesses, bring good luck and financial good fortune. Their outlandish claims even include having the ability to influence the outcome of court cases.

But trading standards officers say the reality is you become poorer for their financial gain.

One woman was fleeced out of thousands of pounds after being targeted by two faith healers during a particularly difficult time in her life.

The woman gave them cash as they befriended her in a series of visits to her home and through phone calls.

She lodged an official complaint with Coventry Trading Standards when the results she was promised failed to materialise.

And officers believe there could be many more victims after residents recently complained of a leaflet drop in the Holyhead Road area promoting faith healer services.

Mike Lynn, Coventry Trading Standards consumer protection officer, said their bold claims appeal to the vulnerable of all ages and backgrounds in these tough economic times.

"They say they can get rid of bad luck," he said. "From illnesses and financial problems to court cases, whatever problem you have in life these people claim they can fix it for a fee.

"The female victim contacted Trading Standards staff after being contacted by two of these so-called clairvoyants.

"She lost thousands of pounds and was going through emotional turmoil at the time.

"We are also aware that leaflets were being dropped along the Holyhead Road.

"Such claims are attractive in this current economic climate when people are out of work.

"We are trying to get the message out there that people shouldn't be quiet about it.

"Although it might be too late to do something for you, it might help someone else."

Trading Standards advises against "throwing away money" on bogus miracle cures that do not yield results.

Anyone who believes they may have fallen victim or has been in receipt of a leaflet through the door should report the matter to the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 19, 2013
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