A 78-year-old Hong Kong woman in Chai Wan lost a total of HK$450,000 (US$57,816) worth of valuables to three female blessing scam artists early on Thursday morning.
The trio of women, aged from 30 to 40, approached the victim surnamed Wong, who lived in Yu Hing House of Hing Wah Estate (II), while walking along Yee Tai Street.
One of the scam artists warned the victim that tragedy loomed for her son and it could only be prevented through prayer, Apple Daily reported.
The two other women scam artists then spoke highly of the fortune-teller, convincing Wong to bring her valuables to be given a spiritual blessing.
Wong took HK$150,000 worth gold jewelry from her home and withdrew HK$300,000 from the bank, then met the trio of women.
The victim was told to place the valuables into a bag, which was briefly taken away for some rituals, and then returned to Wong. She was told not to open the bag until she got home.
The contents of the blessed bag were exchanged by three bottles and a newspaper. Wong’s 56-year-old son surnamed Ma called the police at about 10am.
CCTV footage captured the three scammers, who were all around 1.5 meters tall, and of either medium or plump build.
In another case on Wednesday, two women and a man, 30 to 50, also tricked an 87-year-old Hong Kong woman surnamed Choi the same way. Choi, who lived in the Tsing Yi housing estate of Cheung Hong, lost HK$6,000 in cash and a $7,000 gold ring, Sing Pao Daily reported.