SAN FRANCISCO, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Mandarin-speaking Chinese in San Francisco are being targeted for a gold-artifacts scam and police have alerted the Chinese community here to watch out, local media reported Saturday.
San Francisco police said one victim has lost 67,000 U.S. dollars after a swindler offered a 100,000-dollar discount to sell the victim some artifacts including gold ingots and Buddha figurines.
The police said the victim, a business owner, was convinced to purchase the counterfeit gold objects.
A group of suspected scammers were found active in the city recently engaging in scamming operations to target business people and build trust in order to cheat them into buying fake artifacts that were alleged to be valuable after being uncovered from a construction site, according to the police.
The suspects seemed to target Mandarin-speaking males in their 40s and older, and they have victimized several other people with similar stories, the police said.
San Francisco police said they are working with law enforcement agencies in other U.S. cities to crack down on the crime as similar scams have also been reported in New York and Southern California.