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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More Victims Duped by Weird Asian Ghost Scam

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 8:21 AM

The DA is your own personal Ghostbuster
  • The DA is your own personal Ghostbuster

Earlier this summer, police arrested three women who they believe are responsible for scamming older, Asian women out of money and jewelry by convincing them they had evil spirits attached to them. But those arrests haven't done much to stop these bizarre ghost scams plaguing the San Francisco Asian community.

Over the weekend, two more women -- both of whom are Asian and in their 60s -- were duped out of thousands of dollars after multiple suspects told them they had stepped in blood and, as a result, had wicked spirits attached to them.

The suspects employed their usual M.O., telling the victims they must go home, gather all their valuables, and bring them back to the suspects for a "purification ceremony." Sadly, the women did as instructed, only to find that after the purifying ritual, they were returned empty bags; one victim alone lost $35,000, according to police.

Luckily, one of the incidents, which occurred in Chinatown, was caught on video. It shows a group of four

women switching out one of the bags, then placing it in a different colored bag and walking away, according to police.

Needless to say, these crooks are "very confident" in their abilities.

"New incidents of elder scams this weekend show that the suspects will

go to great lengths to steal money from unsuspecting elderly Chinese

women. My office is working closely with SFPD on these cases," said

District Attorney George Gascón. "The best way to stop these scams is to educate the community on how they

can protect themselves."

To be sure, the D.A.'s Office is hosting another community

meeting is on Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. at the South Sunset Community Center to talk to folks about these culprits and how to avoid becoming their next target. "We hope people

will learn about these scams and educate their friends and family so we

can prevent more people from being victimized," Gascón said in a statement.

Police are looking into whether the latest cases are connected to prior ones, which netted more than $1 million in stolen goods from several victims. Anyone with information should call the department's Cantonese language hotline at 553-9212.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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