SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Police on Friday sent a warning to San Francisco's Mandarin-speaking community, asking them to be on the lookout for a scam involving the promise of ancient Chinese artifacts.
According to police, recently a group of suspects were able to gain the trust of a business owner and convinced him they had unearthed valuable artifacts at a construction site.
The suspects offered to sell the victim the artifacts, allegedly made up of gold ingots and figurines of Buddha, at a $100,000 discount.
In exchange for cash, the suspects allegedly gave the victims fake gold ingots and figurines, police said.
The suspects have scammed several victims with similar stories.
One victim lost $67,000, according to police.
The suspects appear to be targeting Mandarin-speaking males in the their 40s and older, police said.
Authorities have reported similar scams in New York and Southern California as well as Asia. San Francisco police said they're working with outside law enforcement agencies to try and identify the suspects.
Police are asking Asian and Mandarin-speaking San Franciscans to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to authorities.
Anyone who recently purchased gold pieces should have them tested and if they believe they may have been victimized, they should contact authorities, police said.
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