November 07, 2007
The San Francisco Police Department is alerting the Chinese community to a healing scam targeting elderly Asian females. In the latest incident, which occurred last month on October 17, three suspects, a Chinese female and two Chinese males, approached the victim, asking if she was sick. After suspects poured water into a teacup, one of the male suspects stirred the water with his finger, explaining to the victim that it is a sign of illness if the water changes color when the victim places her finger in the water. When the victim placed her finger in the water, the water changed color and the victim felt dizzy. Apparently, the suspect introduced a chemical into the water that is absorbed through the skin, causing a feeling of dizziness. The suspects then drove the victim to her residence, where they obtained $900 to affect a cure.
There have been two other reported healing scams in the last year. In both incidents, an Asian female, 45-50 years of age, accompanied by two Chinese males, approached the victim, struck up a conversation, then inquired about the health of the victim. The suspects produced a liquid used, they stated, to indicate the victim's health. After touching the liquid, the victims in both cases felt dizzy. The suspects in all of these incidents spoke Cantonese.
Members of the public, especially members of the Chinese community, should be aware of such scams and are cautioned about the unknown chemical used in the scam.
For more information, please contact:
Sergeant Bobby Cheung
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103