04/13/07 07-039

04/13/07 07-039

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April 13, 2007


Chinese Healing Scam Alert

San Francisco Police are alerting the public to a healing scam targeting the Chinese community.

Last Tuesday, April 10, at approximately 8:50 A. M., a 73-year-old Chinese female was approached in San Francisco's Chinatown by an Asian female, approximately 40-50 years old. The suspect asked the victim where to find a hair salon. Shortly thereafter, an Asian male approached the victim and the Asian female and asked if either knew a healing method for cancer. The first suspect, the Asian female, produced a beetle and a container of water. The suspect put the beetle into the water and began to stir until the water turned black, whereupon the suspect informed the victim that she had cancer. When the suspect stirred the water again and it became clear, she told the victim this indicated that she could be cured. The suspects spoke Cantonese; the victim speaks only Cantonese.

The female suspect told the victim that she needed $100,000 from the victim as good faith money in order to heal her. She said that she had another healing beetle in her car, and all three walked to a nearby parked four-door gray sedan occupied by an Asian male. The three suspects, the original female suspect who approached the victim, the male suspect who joined them, and the male suspect in the car, drove the victim to a bank and attempted to persuade her to withdraw $100,000 from her account. The victim was unable to withdraw that amount. The suspects drove her to another bank where the victim took out $2,000 and gave it to the suspects.

The victim had given the suspects her phone number, and they tried to contact her the next day.

Members of the public, and especially members of the Chinese community, should be aware of such scams that prey on people's beliefs and concepts of non-traditional medicine.

For more information please contact:

Lieutenant Kenwade Lee

Fraud Section

415 553-1521

850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103
Tel (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415) 553-9229
email: [email protected]