SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Department are warning residents of the Chinese community of a recent incident involving a “Blessing” scam that recently targeted a Chinese victim, that led to a large financial loss. According to the SFPD, the incident occurred on Tuesday, July 11 in the Sunset District, where the victim lost $5,000 in cash.

During the incident, the victim was approached by the first of three suspects, an Asian female who asked for directions to a healing salon. The second suspect, an Asian male, pretended to be walking by, approached and offered to use his smart phone to help locate the salon.

The male suspect then convinced the victim to walk to a nearby car where the third suspect, an older Asian male, was waiting. The victim was led to believe she had cancer and gave the suspects $5,000 as payment for a cure for her cancer. The suspects promised to return some of the money, but never did.

The SFPD is informing older members of the Chinese community to be suspicious of strangers claiming to provide relief from a curse, an illness, or who provide “purification” ceremonies in which cash and valuable items must be offered as part of the process. Potential victims are strongly advised to contact the SFPD immediately if confronted with such a situation. Children and caregivers to elder Chinese community members should discuss this scam with them and instruct the elders to call them if anyone approaches them under similar circumstances.

Anyone with information about any similar incidents is asked to contact the SFPD Anonymous Tip line at (415) 575-4444, or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text with SFPD.

Written By Casey Jacobs