SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Department are warning residents of the Chinese community of a series of ongoing scams that have taken place in the region, targeting Chinese victims. Authorities have indicated that two incidents have been reported since October 2, where the victims suffered large monetary losses.
According to a press release from the SFPD, one victim lost over $80,000 in US currency and over $40,000 in jewelry. During the crime, the victim was approached by the first of three female Cantonese-speaking suspects. The suspect alerted the victim of a doctor they knew who could cure a variety of diseases. The other two suspects than approached the victim and the one suspect, who acted as the doctor.
The suspect warned the victim that she was suffering from an illness and under a curse that will have consequences on her family. The victim was informed by the suspect that in order to relieve the curse they should provide them with valuables to be “blessed.”
The three women were able to get the victim to bring valuables and money to a nearby street, where the “blessing” was performed. The suspects were able to swap the victim’s bag of valuables with another bag of valuables that were priceless.
The suspects alerted the victim not to look into the bag until a specified amount of time had passed, otherwise the “blessing” would not work.
Authorities are urging older members of the Chinese community to be aware of suspicious strangers claiming to provide relief from a curse or who offer “purification” ceremonies where cash and valuable items are requested as a part of the process. Anyone who may have been a victim of this scam is asked to contact the police department immediately. Anyone who recognizes the suspect in the image provided is asked to contact the SFPD at 415-553-9212.
By LaDale Anderson