New York’s Chinatown Blessing

How the scam works:

Scams that target the elderly are among the most heinous. In the Chinese Blessing scam, citizens standing in line waiting to pay for their purchases at stores are the common target. It has reported occurring in many Chinese neighbourhoods in North America, but especially in San Francisco and New York/ Brooklyn. How does the scam work?

Watch the video below to see the Chinatown Blessing scam exposed:

Chinatown Blessing Scam Video

Many people do not realize that some of their private conversations are easily overheard when in such a close setting with total strangers. This scam takes advantage of that fact.

The scammer will approach the victim upon leaving the store and tell them that they have special powers. They tell the victim “personal information” about themselves – gleaned by eavesdropping, of course – and then tell them that if they do not pay them, they will put a curse on them. This scam is very prevalent in Asian neighborhoods, as the threat of a curse is something that many older Asians take quite seriously.

How to avoid the Chinatown Blessing scam:

There are a couple of ways to avoid this scam. First and foremost, be very careful about what you discuss when sitting in a crowded restaurant, waiting in a queue or on public transportation – basically, anywhere that you are surrounded by strangers. You never know what someone will try to use against you. Secondly, realize that if someone had the power they are claiming to have, they most likely would be out buying lotto tickets and not nickel and diming total strangers.

How to report the Chinatown Blessing scam:

Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the local Police or to Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here


How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

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