Two SF women fell victim over the weekend to a curious scam that we reported on in July in which the targets are exclusively older Chinese women, but now the crooks have been caught on video. The grift works like this: A group of women approach the target, convince her that she's stepped in blood and is being overtaken by evil spirits, and insist that she place all of her valuables in a bag so that she and the valuables can be purified. Then, they switch the bag out with a dummy and run away with the contents. Both victims lost substantial amounts of money, with one being grifted out of an astonishing $35,000, as police Capt. Garret Tom explained.
Similar cons have been pulled in several different cities, but older Asian women are always the targets, according to the cops. Three women were arrested this year for pulling a similar scheme, leading to speculation that there might be a crime ring pulling the strings. Luckily, one of the robberies was recently captured on video, which means there might be hope for catching the perps:
Honestly, we're not even sure to start with this one. If someone was to approach us on the street, tell us we were possessed by evil spirits, and then ask for our valuables, our response would be somewhere between "no" and "fuck no." Considering the hitting and shoving we usually face from little old Asian ladies while boarding a crowded 30-Stockton, we'd imagine they'd mount a far more violent response. Clearly, there are some serious cultural differences at work here.
Anyone with information on the putative evil-spirit-fighting con women is encouraged to call the SFPD's Cantonese tip line at (415) 553-9212.
Previously: Elderly Chinese Women Targeted By Young Asian Female Con Artists
Video via SFPD