Blessing scam

You are being followed by a ghost. Put all your valuables in this bag. I’ll bless the bag to banish them. P.S. Don’t open the bag for a month afterwards.

Avij / Public domain

Con artists have been using the blessing scam to cheat (mostly elderly) Chinese women out of their cash and valuables. The basic structure is a variation on the “pig in a poke” scam, where a bag containing something you want is swapped for a bag containing nothing you want. In this case, it’s specifically designed to lean on some proclivities of its targets – using Chinese folk religion as the lever.

First, convince the target that they are haunted. Offer up a special blessing ceremony to purge them of this curse. And, of course, that special blessing ceremony requires sacrifice. Not real sacrifice, of course – you just need to put all your cash and valuables in a bag. We’ll say prayers over the bag and the ghost or spirit will be gone. Here, you can have the bag back now.

…you should probably keep the bag closed for a while though, or all the good work will be undone and you’ll have to start over…

This scam has been seen all around the world – anywhere the scammers can find a likely target. 


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