Community Alert: Boston Police Warn Against Scam

The Boston Police Department has received information from concerned citizens in the Asian community regarding a scam. This scam appears to be targeting elderly victims.

Police have received one report of an elderly victim being approached by Asian females in the Chinatown area and scammed into surrendering valuables to the suspects. Officers would like to take this opportunity to alert community members to be vigilant. Investigators have also received information that similar scams have occurred in other areas of the country including New York City.

Incident Description:

On Monday, April 16, 2012, officers from District A-1(Downtown) took a report from a victim, who spoke only Cantonese, stating that she was approached by three Asian female while walking in Chinatown. One of the suspects tapped the victim on the shoulder. The victim stated the suspect spoke to her in Cantonese for about five minutes and asked random questions about the victim’s family members.

The victim stated to officers she believes during the conversation she was hypnotized. The victim stated that she did not speak to the other two suspects. The victim further stated that she did not agree to be hypnotized by the suspect.

After the conversation with the suspect, the victim returned to her home with a plastic bag which was handed to her by one of the three suspects. The victim retrieved all of her valuables which included jewelry and $160,000.00 in US Currency. The victim placed the valuables in the plastic bag and handed over the plastic bag to the three suspects in the area of the Boston Common near Province Street.

The females are described as Asian, between 30-40 years old, between 5’ feet and 5′feet 5 inches, and between 110 pounds to 135 pounds.

Contact Information:

The Boston Police Department encourages individuals who have further information regarding this incident or a similar incident to please contact the District A-1 detectives at 617-343-4571 or 911. The BPD has detectives available who are fluent in Chinese and other Asian dialects.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS or texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those who wish to remain anonymous.

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