A CHINESE Buddhist lost thousands of pounds after falling victim to a sophisticated scam pulled off in one of Scotland’s top hotels.
The female victim was approached by two Chinese women in Princes Street, Edinburgh, last week.
The con artists offered their 64-year-old target the chance to meet a spiritual healer at the five star Balmoral Hotel.
After arriving at the £200-a-night hotel, the victim was greeted by a third Chinese criminal who offered to bless her family’s valuables and cash.
The Buddhist accepted the offer and returned home where she gathered “several thousand pounds of cash and jewellery” in a red bag.
She then met back up with the trio in Edinburgh’s West Register Street where the bag was blessed and she was told not to open it for a few weeks for the ‘charm’ to take effect.
But after returning home a few days later she found the bag had been switched and the three crooks people had made off with her valuables worth a “four-figure sum”.
Police are now urging anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward.
Constable Kris Harvey from Lothian and Borders Police said: “The victim has been specifically targeted because of her ethnicity and faith, having been led to believe her valuables were blessed to bring her family good luck.
“She has subsequently been robbed of several thousand pounds of cash and jewellery and has been left devastated as a result.
“All of the females who approached the woman are believed to be involved in this fraud and local enquiries are underway to trace them.
“Anyone who can assist officers with their investigation is asked to contact police immediately.”
Those with information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.