Good news. Another crew of these scammers has been caught. Four suspects were arrested and charged last week in a similar "evil spirit" jewelry scam. Their plan went awry when a potential victim got smart to their scheme and alerted the cops: Four Charged in Alleged S.F. Farmer's Market Jewelry Scam.
The first victim was approached by three of the defendants who told her that she was plagued by "evil spirits" and that a family member was in danger. They told her that she could save this family member, but she had to get her money and valuables and bring those things back for a blessing.More here: Would-Be Victim Outsmarts Suspects in Weird Asian Ghost Scam, Four Charged.
Frightened by the thought of evil spirits, the victim headed home to get her valuables.
While in route to her house, the victim recalled having just heard a warning on the news about this kind of scam. So instead of going home, the victim went to Ingleside Police Station and reported the scam.
The cops responded to the market, where the victim identified the suspects. Police noted a male suspect, Defendant Zeng, with another woman later identified as a second victim. Upon seeing police, all four suspects began running toward a cab and jumped in. Police stopped the cab and found property and money belonging to the second victim, who had just delivered her money to the suspects after they told her about the evil spirits in her family.
Ying Liu Tam, Ah Chung Liu, Mudi Wu and Yong Hua Zeng were charged with multiple felony counts including grand theft, extortion, attempted extortion and attempted grand theft. Looks like the public awareness campaign about this scheme is working. Suck it, scammers.