In San Francisco, police are looking for the culprits behind a series of fraud cases that appear to be targeting older Cantonese-speaking women: Two SF women scammed out of thousands over holiday weekend.
The two most recent cases occurred over the weekend in Chinatown and near Market and Third Streets. Both incidents involved scammers approaching an Asian woman in her 60s and spinning a crazy story about stepping in blood and warding off evil spirits. Not kidding:
In each case, a victim in her 60s was approached by a group of women who convinced her that she had stepped in blood and was being overtaken by evil spirits, police Capt. Garret Tom said.The Chinatown incident, including the bag switcheroo, was captured on video. It sounds super-weird, but these people know what they're doing -- they've apparently made off with almost $2 million this year with this crazy-ass scam.
The suspects convinced the victims that they needed to be purified and told them to go get all of their valuables to also be purified, Tom said.
After putting the items in a bag, the suspects then switched out the bag for another one that was returned to the victim without the valuables, Tom said. In each case, the victim lost a substantial amount of money, as much as $35,000, he said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the San Francisco Police Department's Cantonese language hotline at (415) 553-9212. More here: SF police battling scam targeting Asian women.