Often the fraud is accompanied by verbiage about the ancient nature of this stunt. Tarot cards are, however, a recent invention. The practice of using them to feign predictions is even newer.
Tarot cards were first introduced in the 1400s. They were very rare until the printing press enabled their mass production. They were originally used for playing games, not telling fortunes.
It was not until the 1700s that the cards became associated with divination. As historian Paul L. Maier writes:
They appeared in the fifteenth century as nothing more than playing cards and did not take on significance related to the occult until the late eighteenth.
Although playing cards in general, like those used for common games, go back many centuries in history, the appearance of tarot cards is a recent, and their use for fortune-telling a modern development.