Fortuneteller Arrested for Suspected $16,000 Scam

Police arrested a fortuneteller in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district for suspected fraud on Saturday after receiving complaints that she swindled a woman out of $16,000, officials said on Sunday.

According to district police chief Yim Sarann, the fortuneteller, 35-year-old Kang Beang, was enlisted by 52-year-old Rith Touch to give financial advice as she was considering selling her house in Kakab commune.

“The fortuneteller told her not to sell her house and land as there was treasure under the house,” Mr. Sarann said, adding that Ms. Beang told Ms. Touch to “just dig the treasure out—you will have money.”

Mr. Sarann said Ms. Beang calculated the initial cost of her service by multiplying Ms. Touch’s husband’s age by 100, arriving at $7,000, before using the same method the following day with the combined ages of Ms. Touch and her daughter, which came to $9,000.

Ms. Touch eventually dug up two golden fish ornaments, which she briefly believed to be the treasure, according to Mr. Sarann.

However, the victim’s son promptly notified police when he discovered they were made of copper, he said.

Ms. Beang is being detained at the district police station and will be sent to court today.

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