Western Brooklyn

Con Artists Targeting Asian Women With ‘Cursed Jewelry’ Scam Again, Say Cops

Photos via NYPD
Photos via NYPD

Cops are looking for five women in connection to a citywide scam in which the perps approach middle-aged Asian women and persuade them that their jewelry is cursed.

In five recent incidents, the victims were approached by three of the five women pictured, who told them their families had been cursed, according to police. The victims were instructed to bring all of their jewelry and money in a bag to the women, who promised to perform a blessing ritual to reverse the curse. Once the bags were returned to the victims, they discovered that their money and valuables have been replaced by water bottles.

In the most recent incident, a 54-year-old woman was approached on 48th Street in Borough Park at around 3pm, on Wednesday, June 22, say cops. Jewelry, totaling $3,000 in value and $19,000 taken.

Similarly, in Bensonhurst, a 61-year-old woman was approached at approximately 3pm on April 27, in front of 73 Bay 22nd Street. The crooks made off with $130,000, according to the NYPD.

Cops cited two more incidents over the last three months in lower Manhattan and one in Queens, during which $20,000 to $280,000 was taken each time. Police shared surveillance photos of five women that are wanted for questioning.

Bensonhurst has been plagued by “cursed jewelry” scams of this nature since 2013. The thieves often speak to their Chinese immigrant victims in Cantonese to earn their trust. Police have warned residents to be vigilant and not to trust anyone who offers to rid their valuables of evil spirits.


Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Comment policy



  2. Maybe Warren Chan should be concentrating on things like this instead of complaining about the crackdown on illegal apartments.

  3. I don’t see bigotry in that statement. It happens to be a reasonable general statement. The Italian, Irish, Chinese, Russian, and Latino gangs all preyed/prey on their own.

  4. As Chinese I want these horrible con artists bottom feeders and fake goods sellers deported back to where they came from and never let into this country again. These people are a shame to our ethnicity, destroying the reputation we worked hard to set up in this society, and reinforcing the disgusting stereotype created by Donald Trump’s white supremacist friends.

    By the way “Chinaman” I use in my guest handle is NOT a derogatory term, it’s just like “Englishman” until some ***holes associate it with a caricature that depicts a Han Chinese farmer from imperial times whose front teeth pops out because of hard to chew food and was forced to wear a pigtail haircut of the ruling nomadic Manchu race (Ming dynasty lost to Qing because of a traitor) because he could get beheaded otherwise.

    If you dare to flag my comment as inappropriate you are either not Chinese or you are Banana. If you are Banana go bleach your skin white I don’t want you to wear the same skin like the rest of us.

  5. Pols should focus on not *just* these two things. Fake goods sellers are a disgrace! Chinatown should not be remember by tourists as marketplace for fake goods.

  6. It’s a slur. Banana means yellow on the outside, white on the inside. It’s like calling someone an Oreo. AnnoyedChinaman is using one derogatory term (banana) to do an end run around accusations of using another derogatory term (Chinaman).

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