Theresa Caputo’s reality series “Long Island Medium” has consistently won high ratings for the TLC network since its 2011 debut but that hasn't stopped some viewers from speculating that the celebrity medium’s ability to talk with the deceased may be fraudulent. After five seasons of air-time, one investigator is now stepping forward to call the reality-TV star’s gift a hoax.
According to a report from Radar Online, not only are some customers of Caputo’s traveling shows not buying her ability to speak with the dead—a gift she claims she was born with—neither is investigator Ron Tebo.
“Theresa is like a vulture preying on the most vulnerable,” Tebo, creator of the fraud website SciFake.com, told the gossip site.
After over a year of speaking with Caputo’s clients and associates, Tebo claims Caputo allegedly uses specific techniques such as reading body language, asking vague questions and even researching certain audience members before live shows in an effort to successfully promote her otherworldly skill.
“She schmoozes with the audience,” Tebo said. “She wins them over with her big hair, designer shoes and comedy. When they trust her, she goes in for the kill,” he added.
Tebo isn’t the first to speculate that Caputo’s medium abilities may be fraudulent. “This is what’s called cold reading,” Matthew Hutson, the author of “The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy and Sane” told ABC News during an in-depth report about Caputo’s popularity in October 2012. “They ask questions [that] are either really vague or questions to get more information out of the person and build off of that.”
Despite frequently hearing doubts about the authenticity of her gift, Caputo has previously spoken out about disbelievers, claiming that their opinions don’t affect her. “I don’t mean to quote Lady Gaga, but I was born this way,” Caputo told ABC News. “I’m not here to prove anything to anybody.”
While Caputo has yet to specifically address Tebo’s recent allegations, the TLC star did share a cryptic message about the power of positivity on her official Facebook page Thursday night. “I don’t let negativity and negative people affect me and neither should any of you!” Caputo said in a post which has since received over 18,400 “likes” from fans. “Don’t react, take a deep breath and let it go. Negative attracts negative and positive attracts positive.”