Western Brooklyn

Four Arrested In Connection To ‘Cursed Jewelry’ Scam Targeting Asian Women

Photos via NYPD
Photos via NYPD

Four people have been arrested and charged in connection to a scam which targeted Asian women in Bensonhurst, Borough Park, and lower Manhattan recently, in which the con artists persuaded their victims that their valuables are cursed.

Three women, Yuqun Liang, 57,  Yan Chen, 46, and Xuekun Su, 44 and a male suspect, Yacheng Chen, 50, have been arrested and charged with grand larceny and scheme to defraud, according to police.

As part of the scheme, the con artists take advantage of Chinese superstitions by offering to bless their victims’ “cursed” jewelry and cash, telling them to put their valuables in a bag. However, instead of returning their victims’ belongings, the tricksters replace them with water bottles, police say.

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 was taken.

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.

Two more incidents that occurred in lower Manhattan and one in Queens, during which $20,000 to $280,000 was taken respectively. 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 warns residents to be vigilant and not to trust anyone who offers to rid their valuables of evil spirits.

Comment policy


  1. Two days in a row… two extreme criminal reports about the Chinese in Bensonhurst.
    It’s truly sad what has become of the area. Very easy to place blame.

  2. “31 Residents — Including 13 Children — Removed From ‘Heartbreaking’ Conditions In Illegally Converted Dyker Heights Home”

  3. People seem to forget that before the Asians and the Russians, there were the Italians who used force and intimidation to commit crimes. It’s so easy to point a finger at how change is so negative. Neighborhoods are not stagnant.

  4. lol b/c that’s the only one right?!? And that is closer to where I live then most stories on this site. No one cares about the people who live closer to DH. It’s the forgotten pocket.

  5. First, you were the one who said “two extreme criminal reports about the Chinese in Bensonhurst” (love the way you’ve now edited it so it doesn’t say that). So, you lied to try to score points against a neighborhood where you don’t live.

    Second, this *is* a Bensonhurst site, so there’s no reason for them to cover Dyker.

    Third, my parents and brother live in Dyker (as well as many other relatives and friends). Lots of people care about it (myself included). Those folks just aren’t trolling around on a Bensonhurst site. They’re probably on a Dyker/Bay Ridge site elsewhere.

  6. What? Who lied? Bensonhurst goes to 14th. Like it or not. I edited b/c fools like you take everything too literally. I said it’s CLOSER to where I live than the stories they cover on this site. I don’t live in Dyker or BR you clown. Are you going to lie and say this isn’t happening all over the area?

    And you want to talk about trolling? That’s pretty rich. I don’t think I’ve made a single comment on this website that YOU didn’t immediately follow up to. So who is the troll? Look in the mirror you dolt. You are not the voice of the neighborhood, quit trying to act like it.

  7. Your original post said there were “two extreme criminal reports about the Chinese in Bensonhurst”. That was, if not a lie, than a very obvious mistake. You made a specific reference to Bensonhurst. There is no way not to take that literally.

    I’m not saying anything about what crime is or isn’t happening, but it is true that the only thing that’s changed about the crime rate is that it went up because the Bush era lack of regulation caused a recession that forced many people out of work, and into extreme circumstances. Whether the crime is Italian on Italian, or Chinese on Chinese, or Martian on Martian, makes no difference.

    I follow up on your posts because you always say ridiculous things (or blatantly false things), and someone needs to call you out on them. You’ve shown time and again that you don’t understand Bensonhurst or Brooklyn, or the people who live here. All you want to do is turn it into some wealthy, hipster paradise, and that is not what this neighborhood is, or ever should be.

    Trolls do two things – they lie and they are offensive. I don’t do the first, and I only do the second in response to it being done to me first.

    In truth, I’m much closer to being the voice of the neighborhood than you could ever be. I grew up here, and I love it here. I love the great things my new ethnic neighbors have done for the area, and I won’t see them misrepresented by people like you.

  8. ” All you want to do is turn it into some wealthy, hipster paradise, and that is not what this neighborhood is, or ever should be.”


    Funny how you advocate for the change that is occurring. But God forbid it changes to something YOU don’t want but others do. I call that being the biggest hypocrite on the face of the Earth. And blaming things on Bush?! Holy cow. You really went there.

    No, trolls constantly harass other people. Which is what you are doing…”to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way.”

    You will never be the voice for me or my neighborhood!! I honestly find you to be an arrogant & entitled piece of human garbage. You are everything that is wrong with not only the area, but the entire country.

  9. You’ve said it, time and time again. You want high-end retail, high-end restaurants, and all sorts of stuff that a working-class neighborhood like Bensonhurst can’t support. There is no record of any significant percentage of people in this neighborhood wanting those things. The current business model in this neighborhood is working. Bensonhurst’s shopping areas are the busiest they’ve been since the early 80s. In fact, you are the only person I’ve ever heard say they want them here. If this neighborhood was such that it would or could sustain or support such businesses and products as you’ve advocated for, I’d support it.

    And yes, I went Bush because it’s a fact. The Republicans wanted unregulated business and banking, and we had a mortgage meltdown and recession because of that.

    I’m not harassing you. I’m just calling B.S. on your B.S. As I recall, you and I did see eye-to-eye on another comment thread recently, and I graciously admitted to it. When you are right, you are right, and I’ll say so. When you are wrong, you are wrong, and I’ll say so, too. You just happen to be wrong more often than you are right. (Note that this site relies on a service called Discus, so discussion is encouraged. This isn’t a place for monologues.)

    Any arrogance you find is valid. I’ve been right so often on subjects about this neighborhood, I’m entitled to some arrogance when confronted by your foolishness. Beyond that, I’m not sure what else you think I feel entitled to, but OK, if that’s how you see me. You know how I see you – a wealthy, right-wing, hipster (and how you managed both of those is amazing) who is completely out-of-touch with the community in which he lives.

    I tell everyone to stop committing crimes. Many people do anyway, regardless of race or ethnicity. But, this thread all comes back to one fact: you said two Bensonhurst Chinese crime stories in two days, and you were wrong. Again, your hyperbole shows that you care nothing for truth.

  10. Sean, you are right. Bensonhurst has been revitalized by the Chinese who have opened businesses on 18th Ave., Bay Parkway and 86th Street which were in serious decline. Property values are high because they have worked hard to renovate the homes they’ve bought. Most importantly, they have brought life ( and a spark) to Bensonhurst. There will always be a few “bad guys” in every group. I’m proud of my neighborhood where the majority are tolerant

  11. That is exactly what I want…and many others I know are saying the exact same thing. Try and get out more, talk with the younger and more affluent people in this city. Try some that aren’t Asian, Jewish, Spanish, Russian or Italian even. Get outside of Bensonhurst, see what people in other areas of NYC, what people in other states are saying and where they are looking to move in the very near future. Guess what, the D-Train is soon going to start being lined with younger people who are trying to find cheaper places to live in this city. They move to the low-end areas and then build it up. Which is exactly what the whole city thinks of Bensonhurst these days!

    Like you’ve said, things change. What was once supported here has changed and will change yet again. Asians are just the latest fad to hit. They will get pushed out along with any other ethnicity who can not afford the change. Asians are skating by for now by breaking the law and jamming 31 people in a (at most) 3 family home. It’s easy to buy million dollar homes when 10 families are breaking the law to do so. Once the city gets enough individually wealthy people who want that changed, believe me, the city will start cracking down and get all the illegals out of Bensonhurst.

    LO FRIGGIN L … mortgage crisis you blame on Bush?! How about start with your almighty Clinton who gave everyone and their brother a mortgage who never should have had one in the first place. Compassion is a sign of weakness and stupidity. Giving everyone a home caused this country to falter and go in to a major recession.

    Things are not B.S b/c you say they are. Different opinions, wants and desires other than your own are not B.S. either. Learn how to handle different opinions and “change”, which you advocate so mightily for, without considering it all b.s. And I am not looking for discussion, I am looking to make statements and move on with my life. For I know the world is full of people like you, therefor I don’t need to hear your repetitive “talking points”.

    I think it is you who is out of touch with the CITY you live in. NYC is no longer a melting pot for fresh immigrants and the poor. It is a wealthy mans playground and where the youth of this nation are looking to move to enjoy their success. Coupled with the desire of Boomers who have retired and want the to live in close proximity to the things they want in life, not good schools and open space (which was for their kids). They want the restaurants, shows, sports, shopping, entertainment. The areas you seek are the suburbs of yester-years. You want lower/middle class working people, that is where you need to live. Not in big cities with the abilities to sustain wealthy lifestyles for those who want it. Manhattan is filled up. Brooklyn is going to be next. Followed by Queens within the next 10-20 years. You don’t have a good grasp on trends in this country. Suburbs are out, cities are in. Cities will phase out the “middle class” completely.

    And no, you are not entitled to any arrogance. Perhaps if your family was here in the mid to late 1600s, Id give you credit. But as we both know, that is most certainly not the case with you… thus your opinion on how this country should be run is worthless to me. Make it so that your family sticks around a few hundred years.. then maybe you’ll earn some respect on the matter. Until then…

  12. Approximately one third of the residents of NYC right now are immigrants. The Chinese are not a “fad”. They came here for the same reason your family came here as well as the Russians, Hispanics, Caribbean Blacks. I enjoy neighborhoods like Park Slope but Bensonhurst will remain as it is.

  13. There are crimes in every neighborhood. Crimes are mostly committed by the majority of the ethnically in the neighborhood. When the neighborhood was mostly Italians, I bet the Italians had two days of extreme crimes in the neighborhood. Same goes for Borough park, I bet there has been time where the Jewish had two extreme criminal report in a row.. I don’t think you could name an area that didn’t had such crime at one point… It all around us… Stop blaming the Chinese.. or any other group… Its not right to blame a group for the crime committed by a few… That is just prejudice..

  14. The Italians then and the Chinese now are decent people putting down roots in NYC and working their butts off to make it here. They are not “fads”. Fads are a new style of sneaker. Andy, you said it well.

  15. What… you think Italians came here first?! Who do you think built New Amsterdam in the mid to late 1620s. Who do you think turned all the farm land in to cityscape? Certainly not any of the minority groups you mentioned. They all came after the hard work was done by the families who were here from the start.
    Anything that only lasts a few decades is a “fad” in the overall history of this city & country.

  16. You keep pointing to other parts of the city, and what people there want. But the people here don’t want it. And the Chinese are going to stay here. They are so new, they aren’t going anywhere for at least 50 years. Only some are doing illegal conversions. My block and the area around it are full of working-class and middle-class Chinese people who own one- and two-family homes, and they won’t be going anywhere for a long while.

    I was actually hearkening back to Bush I, not II. It was Republican initiated deregulation that caused the problem. These are facts of history. Your twists on them are B.S.

    The trends in the country are not the trends in this particular neighborhood. Bensonhurst remains unique. Will full-scale urbanization and gentrification come here? Probably, but again, not for a long while.

    I’m not making claims to tell anyone how to run the nation or the city. All I’m doing is calling you on the mistaken image you have of this neighborhood and its near-future evolution.

    Congratulations on what you ancestors did to the Native Americans. You must be proud.

  17. Thanks! I most certainly am. Heck, I’m part Native American myself. If it wasn’t for my ancestors, you wouldn’t have a place to hang your hat today. Why’d your family come in the first place if they had such negative feelings about how this country was created, founded and run? I guess hypocrite is a family trait.

  18. No one in my family has negative feelings about how the country was created. We are very patriotic.

    I just find it interesting that you continue to hold such a pre-Revolutionary attitude; thinking that existing residents should be forced out in favor of their supposed superiors. As I’ve said before, you are so out of touch with Bensonhurst as it has been, as it is, and as it’s going to be for the rest of your (and my) lifetime.

    The country was founded by liberals, which is why it is such a great place to live.

  19. I was wondering why all his comments were removed here…did he delete them himself or the site administrator did?

  20. I’m going to assume he did as I suggested, and took his ball and went home. Unless a bunch of people flagged his stuff as inappropriate, I can’t imagine the site admin would have taken them down. It’s very rare that they do that, or ban someone.


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