Blessing Scam targeting elderly victims in the Vancouver Chinese community: Video

Vancouver Police are making another appeal for victims to come forward in a long-running scam that targets the elderly Chinese community.

Called the ‘Blessing Scam’, the VPD’s Financial Crime Unit started looking into it in June 2012 after they found elderly victims were being targeted and jewellery was being stolen from them.

Investigators say the thieves prey on cultural beliefs and the victim’s desire to protect their families from harm, and know the victims will be reluctant to report incidents to the police due to the language barrier or embarrassment.

“Not only do they steal jewellery from these elderly victims, they steal the elderly victims’ sense of safety and security,” the VPD says in a press release.

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The VPD has made previous appeals for victims to come forward and worked with the Chinese Community Policing Centre to produce a YouTube video in an effort to educate the Chinese community.

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The VPD do believe they have identified several suspects and persons of interest in this scam, and have reached out to other police agencies across North America including the Canada Border Services Agency, U.S. Secret Service, the Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Criminal Intelligence Service BC and Yukon, San Francisco PD, New York PD and a number of other law enforcement partners.

To date, the VPD has received 13 reported cases in Vancouver and is appealing to the public to speak with their elderly family members about this scam.

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