Scams

This page is dedicated to informing citizens about various scams. Those who commit scams often migrate to other areas to unsuspecting victims.

If you recognize any of the individuals below, NO NOT attempt to contact them or apprehend them in any way. Call 911, or if you wish to remain anonymous, leave pertinent information on our anonymous tip line.

Blood Jade Bracelet and Herbal Doctor/Purification Scam (San Francisco)

During the past several months, there has been a number of reported incidents in San Francisco's Chinese community. In this scam, the victim is approached by one or two suspects looking for a business. They engage the victim in a conversation about a blood jade bracelet bringing them good luck and asked if the victim would like to buy it. A third suspect enters the conversation and acknolwedges that the bracelet has a high value. The suspects tell the victim the bracelet is worth $35-$40K, and they would sell it to the victim for $15-$16K. The victim pays the amount and later discovers the bracelet is worthless.

In the Herbal Doctor/Purification Scam, the suspect approaches a victim seeking directions to an Herbal Doctor. During the conversation, a second suspect joins in and tells the victim that a bad spirit is attached to her, and that she needs to be purified. A third suspect joins in and identifies herself as a Herbal Doctor and tells the victim she needs to get all her money and jewelry and place it in a bag. The victim gives the suspect a bag containing cash and jewelry, and a ritual is performed. The victim receives the bag back from the suspect and later discovers there is shredded newspapers inside. Since December 2011, there have been seven reported cases with three Asian female suspects between 40-50 years old. One case had an Asian male between 40-50 years as the suspect. The victims and suspects spoke Cantonese or Mandarin.

A similar scam occurred in Daly City on March 10, 2012 in which an elderly Chinese female was the victim. She was told by two suspects that her "spirit" needed purifying, and that could be accomplished by giving money and gold to the suspects, with the promise that both would be returned in three months. The victim gave both money and jewelry to the suspects and then later heard about this type of scam on the local news.