Handbag scam targets Asians in Australia

AUSTRALIA - They look for Asians in Melbourne's central business district and the eastern suburbs.

Then they tell the victims they are possessed by evil spirits and offer to help them to get rid of the spirits.

By the time the victims realise what is happening, the scammers would have left with their money or jewellery, reported Melbourne newspaper The Age.

Detectives believe that a group of three Asian women who are working together separately approach women on the streets. They are apparently part of a A$1 million (S$1.29 million) international scam, the report said.

The con

This is how they con their victims: Once they convince their victims about the evil spirits, they will start praying over their bag containing valuables.

They tell the victim not to look in the bag for some time and when they finally look into the bag, they find their valuables gone.

Police said the offenders had all been described as being Asian in appearance, aged between 40 and 50, and speaking Mandarin or Cantonese. They also released an image of a woman who might assist them with their inquiries.

The latest incident occurred in Melbourne on March 12.

Three women allegedly approached a woman in Spencer Street, near Little Bourke Street, at about 12.30pm.

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