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Thieves in New York Con Asian Aunties Out of $500,000 By Telling Them Their Money is Cursed

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Thieves in New York Con Asian Aunties Out of $500,000 By Telling Them Their Money is Cursed - World Of Buzz


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Credit: nextshark.com

New York City police department are on the hunt for five women who are believed to be linked to con artists who target elderly Asian women in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. The modus operandi of these con artists? Tricking their victims to hand over thousands of dollars after being told their money was “cursed”.

The trick, popularly known as “Cursed Money Scam” has successfully siphoned off almost $470,000 (RM1.8million) from five Asian women in their 50’s and 60’s reports New York Daily News.

The scam is an elaborate one, and it involves three people versus one victim. The first scammer approaches the victim and strikes an innocent conversation, and will casually steer the conversation towards the topic of a traditional doctor or psychic. Con artist number two, a shill, comes in pretending to coincidentally overhear the conversation, and backs up the first woman’s statement, usually stating that they know of and have been helped by the healer/psychic before.

Once the victim is hooked, she is then persuaded to visit the said healer. The ‘healer’ then gives a false warning that she has been cursed and danger might fall on her or her family unless a blessing ritual is performed. To lift the hex, the victim must place their money and jewelry in a bag and hand over tp the scammers for a ‘ritual blessing’. The money and jewelry will then be replaced by water bottles before being returned to the victims.

A 55 year-old victim gave up to $280,000 (RM1.1million) in cash plus jewelry, whilst another women stepped forward within a week after being victimised out of $130,000 (RM500,000) cash.

Apparently, elderly Chinese women have been targeted by swindlers for the following reasons:

  • Non-reliance on banks: they keep large amounts of cash at home.
  • Non-speaker of English: they willing to talk to strangers who speak their language
  • Belief in superstition
  • Shame culture: after being scammed out of their life savings, they are less likely to inform others to avoid embarassment
  • Filial piety: sense of duty as a parent to protect their family, making them susceptible to believe the ‘curse’

To prey on others people’s beliefs and sense of family??? Now that’s just low. Real low.


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