The success of the German Octopus named Paul has spawned some fakes that internet users need to be aware of. There is only one real psychic octopus who resides in an aquarium in Oberhausen and his only claim to fame so far is picking World Cup winners by correctly going to the side of the aquarium with the winning flag, doing so with striking accuracy (pun intended).
Evidently, there are a few masterminds out there in cyber-land who believe that there is good money to be made off the idea of a psychic octopus. Some have opened up shop on eBay offering to have Paul the Psychic Octopus answer questions about fame, fortune, money and whatever else it is that gullible people will plunk down hard-earned cash for in order to know their fortunes. For $5, you can get Paul to give you the week's lottery numbers in your town. For $10, Paul will tell you if your spouse is cheating on you, and for $40, you can get a private reading over the phone with Paul's handler as the go between. One is not sure exactly how Paul communicates for the readings, but let's face it, how does he even pick winning lottery numbers?
So far, Paul the Psychic Octopus, the real one, doesn't have a clue his good name is being used to give out phony predictions but if he did, most say he'd turn beet red over it. The shysters who have come up with the plan to use Paul's abilities to milk money out of the unsuspecting are said to move from town to town but are believed to be operating from someplace in Nigeria.
So be warned, if you receive an e-mail offering a free question answered by Paul the Psychic Octopus, you can be reasonably sure that the e-mail is a scam. Octopi are not computer literate.