Date:   Oct 20, 2015

Victoria, BC – VicPD Financial Crimes Investigators are warning the public that a new group of blessing scammers may be on their way to Greater Victoria.

The warning comings after Vancouver Police Department Investigators uncovered evidence of a group working in the Vancouver and lower Mainland areas. This group appears to be unrelated to the first wave of blessing scam groups this year. Blessing scam groups from mainland China typically target residents of Chinatowns in major cities, and move from one city to the next as they conduct their scam. They then depart the country, leaving financial ruin in their wake.

“There’s a very good chance that these blessing scammers will arrive here and attempt to victimize members of our community,” VicPD Financial Crimes Detective Sergeant Derek Tolmie said. “Blessing scams target the most vulnerable members of our Chinese community, often preying on the elderly who hold traditional cultural values. If you have older relatives, please talk to them immediately about these scammers.”

In September, a Victoria woman fell victim to a group of fraudsters who were active both here and in the lower mainland. While three of the group were arrested by Vancouver Police Department investigators, the Victoria woman lost more than $50,000 in cash and valuables.

With the possibility that these fraudsters are currently in our community, VicPD Financial Crimes Investigators are asking the public both to inform their Chinese relatives of the risk, and if they discover that the fraudsters are in contact with their family members, to call 911 immediately.

VicPD has also set up a specific page on our website which provides more information on blessing scams.