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The 'Chinese Blessing Scam' has become an epidemic in Chinatowns across the country. Chinese elderly women are the targeted victims.
These women are an easy target for scammers because of their spiritual beliefs. The New York Times cites, "[they] historically loath to go to the police to report a crime. That same distrust extends to banks, and so they are widely believed to have cash at home."
In recent accounts, one scammer approaches the victim trying to find a spiritual doctor. The original scammer is joined by more scammers, claiming that they know this doctor and that he had helped them in some miraculous way.
They convince the victim that something very bad-extending to death-will happen within the family if she does not see this doctor.
But before the doctor can be seen, they ask multiple very personal questions about family, finances, and general life activities.
Then they tell the victim they must put all their valuable's in a sack and pray over them and not to open the sack for a couple of days. After those couple of days has passed, the bag is opened and all the valuables are gone!
Efforts to get this scam publicized through television, bus ads, and ethnic media have been somewhat effective at preventing this scam, but still not enough people know about it.
If you have been a victim of the 'Blessing Scam,' you can file a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General's Office