Blessing scammers are targeting the elderly in the Chinese community on Auckland's North Shore.

The "blessing scam" typically involves three people approaching a victim and persuading them that they're being followed by an evil spirit intent on harming them and their family.

The victim would then be asked to place all of their money and valuables in a bag for a blessing ceremony to be performed to remove the evil spirit.

They would also be told not to open the bag for a few days, and when the bag is finally opened, the valuables are no longer there and the perpetrators are gone.


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Jessica Phuang, police ethnic responsiveness manager, said recently police have received three reports from victims on the North Shore.

"These occurred in...Takapuna, Northcote, Wairau Valley. All of the incidents appeared to be around supermarkets or shops."

Police have been visiting these areas to provide advice and warn people, particularly the Chinese community, about the scam.

Inquiries by police have not led to identification of those involved at this stage.

Blessings scam victim Su Fen Tang who lost about $100,000 in cash and valuables. Photo / File.
Blessings scam victim Su Fen Tang who lost about $100,000 in cash and valuables. Photo / File.

A scam victim, Su Fen Tang, 60, told the Herald in May that she was scammed out of $100,000 in money and valuables.

The Mt Roskill woman was on her way to a medical check-up at Greenlane Hospital when a woman who appeared to be troubled rushed up to her.

The woman said she was looking for a Dr Gao who was the only one who could cure her of her illness.


Then another woman walked by and said she also knew Dr Gao and described him as a "God doctor" with special powers who had cured her family.

Tang was convinced to go with the women to meet Dr Gao, who told her to put all her money and valuables into a bag - amounting to $100,000 - to be blessed.

The bag was later returned and she was told not to open it for several days and not to tell family members in order for the blessing to work.

When she finally opened it, she found the bag filled with stones and her money and valuables gone.

Phuang said the blessing scam has been happening over the past few years and appeared to be happening worldwide.

"Police have been spreading the message to the Chinese community warning about this particular scam for some time.

"We encourage members of our Chinese community to spread the message to warn others of this scams so they are aware."

Those with information in relation to these scams are asked to contact the police by phoning 105 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.