A woman from Boston has told police that she was approached by three scam artists in Chinatown last month and hypnotized without her permission before giving them all her valuables, including jewelry and $160,000 in cash.

The victim, who only spoke Cantonese, told police on April 16 that she was approached by three Asian women between 30 and 40 years old, and one of the suspects talked to her in Cantonese for about five minutes, asking random questions about the victim’s family members.

“The victim stated to officers she believes during the conversation she was hypnotized,” police said, issuing a community alert. “The victim further stated that she did not agree to be hypnotized by the suspect.”

The victim then went home with a plastic bag that was given her by one of the suspects and and placed all her valuables in it. She handed the bag to the three suspects in the area of Boston Common near Province Street, police said.

Police warned that the scam appeared to be targeting elderly victims. They also said they had received information that similar scams have occurred in other areas of the country, including New York City.

“Officers would like to take this opportunity to alert community members to be vigilant,” the alert said.

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