Five women have allegedly scammed nearly $450,000 from multiple victims since April in a scheme that promises to lift hexes from cursed families.
On Tuesday, police stated that victims of the con were approached by three of the five women who claimed that the victim’s families were cursed. To reverse the curse, the victims were instructed to bring all of their money and jewelry in a bag to the women.
Once the curse-removing ritual has been performed, the bags were returned to the victims, who then discovered that their money and valuables were replaced with bottles of water, police reported.
Operating in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, the group has targeted Asian women in their 50s and 60s, authorities told the New York Daily News. Officials did not say how the group approached their individual victims.
The first victim, a 55-year-old woman, was scammed out of $280,000 and an unknown amount of jewelry on Monday, April 18, on Little Italy’s Grand Street, according to authorities. On Wednesday, April 27, another victim, 61, lost $130,000 to the group in an apartment in Brooklyn’s Bath Beach neighborhood.
On Tuesday, May 10, in Queens another woman, 53, was scammed by the group, police stated, adding that she had $20,000 taken from her. This was followed by two more reported incidents in Manhattan and Brooklyn in June that netted the group $13,000 in jewelry and $29,000 in cash.
Police described the five women wanted in connection to the scam only as Asians.
Anyone with information about these incidents should call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or, for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website.