'Blessing' Scam Targeting Tulsa's Hispanic Community

Tuesday, June 2nd 2015, 11:47 pm
By: News On 6

People in Tulsa's Hispanic community are being targeted because of their faith.

The victims say they handed over thousands of dollars, jewelry and more, thinking it would be "blessed" but instead the crooks took all of it and ran.

One victim explained how the scam works and why she thought it was legitimate.

It starts with a flyer which promises people a woman name "Gloria, the Curer" can "bless" them with whatever problem they are dealing with or bless their money and make it multiply.

While it sounds hard to believe, in some religions people believe getting money or jewelry blessed sets them up for a better life.

One woman wants to warn other people who might become victims.

"I don't know what happened, I don't know what really she did to make me trust this lady,” she said.

The woman said she was first approached walking out of a grocery store near 21st and Mingo.

A woman handed her a flyer that said “Gloria the Curer can help you get through your issues and bless you.”

"I said I don't trust you really and she says I have been here so many years and this and that,” she said.

The woman promised her she could change her life and make it better for her and her family.

The victim met the woman a few times after that at an east Tulsa home. She says there were candles everywhere and an altar was inside one of the rooms.

The victim eventually trusted her enough to hand over $7,000, jewelry and even her purse to be "blessed” by the woman.

"When I come back the next day, these people are already gone," she said.

She is not the only victim. Over the weekend, a half a dozen people showed up at the house claiming the same thing.

The scam artists are believed to have rented at least two east Tulsa homes and conducted the scam out of them. One is located near 129th East Avenue and the other near 129th East Avenue and 41st Street.

A landlord of one of the homes said a man, woman and their son rented his home. He said they paid $2,500 and left after a month.

He said once the family left that's when people came by the house looking to pick up their “blessed” valuables.

Police said one woman handed over $32,000 to be blessed while others gave jewelry and family heirlooms.

Officer Jesse Guardiola said in the Hispanic community it's not unusual to get money or jewelry "blessed."

"People think the blessing will enrich them in some way and then in some way help them," he said.

But what is unusual is being asked to leave anything behind.

"In the religion I was raised in, Catholicism, there were a lot of things you brought to be blessed, but they were never asked to be given over," Guardiola said.

The victims said there were multiple women involved and also a man.

She hasn't filed a police report yet, but officers said that's the first step to take if you've been a victim. You can fill out a report online.

At this point, they have no idea who is behind the scam.

Victims said a few different flyers were passed around. The number on the most recent on has been disconnected.