Indonesian shamans scam victims with ‘magic money’ schemes, face murder charges


Shamans posing as spiritual figures in Indonesia have swindled fearful citizens out of their life’s savings, leaving them destitute and shamed. Scammers promising to turn small investments into substantial riches have been widely circulated on social media sites like Facebook, reaching over 1.4 million viewers. This has led to a rise in fraudulent activities involving shamans which, in turn, has caused multiple, unfortunate incidents.

One such incident involved a self-proclaimed shaman named Wowon Erawan, who, along with his two partners, deceived migrant workers out of their hard-earned money while also being accused of the murder of nine people to cover up their crimes. The victims of Erawan’s cruel deception were left heartbroken, regretful and overwhelmed with the burden of facing their friends and family after falling for the scam.

In another case, accused serial killer shaman Slamet Tohari lured victims into rituals before poisoning them with potassium cyanide. Police have so far uncovered at least 12 bodies on his property and are investigating reports of 28 missing people. As these cases continue to unfold, confusion, fear and shame abound in the communities affected by these fraudulent figures posing as shamans.

One of the victims, Patiningrum, tearfully stated…

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“It was like a nightmare. People kept telling me I was stupid and reckless, but I never expected this to happen.”

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Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.

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