San Francisco Police are warning the community through a video with Chinese subtitles about a scam targeting elderly Asian women, in particular, of strangers offering good fortune or to purify money or valuables.
Between January and May, police said that 30 elderly members of the Chinese community were victimized by several Asian female suspects, and lost about $1 million in cash and jewelry.
Speaking in Cantonese, the suspects end up convincing their victims that they are possessed by evil spirits, and then offer to exorcise them of these so-called spirits. They do this, police said, by praying over their money and jewelry, which are then swapped out for junk or other non-valuable items.
Police said the suspects tell the victims not to look in the bags for a while to make their getaway easier.
To watch the video, click here.
Three suspects were arrested and charged in relation to earlier incidents, and are in custody pending trial.
Anyone with information in these cases is requested to contact Inspector Kim Lewis or Inspector Julie Yee of the Financial Crimes Unit at 415-553-1521 or the Anonymous Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip at TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.
San Francisco Police have also created a Limited English Proficiency Tip Line for the public to provide information related to this investigation in Cantonese at 415-553-9212 or 1-855-SFPD-TIP.