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Hong Kong Taxi Scam Targets Drunk Foreigners

Posted: 07/21/2014 2:10 pm

hong kong taxiA Hong Kong taxi cab scam is targeting foreigners that frequent pubs in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai, reports Sing Tao Daily.

The scam works by first picking up an inebriated foreigner with the rear window lowered a few inches. When the passenger arrives at his or her destination, gets out, and closes the door, the rear window will often shatter. The cab driver will then accuse the passenger of slamming the door too hard and breaking the window. In their drunken state, foreigners have been known to provide up to HK$2,000 (US $258) in compensation.

What the cab drivers are actually doing is exploiting a design flaw of these taxi cabs. When the rear window is lowered a few inches, it can hit against the door joint, causing it to shatter upon being closed.

A number of cases have been reported to police. In one case the passenger was forced to provide compensation despite police involvement because no witnesses were at the scene.

As EJ Insight reports, Kwan Yuk-wah, chairman of the Urban Taxi Drivers Association Joint Committee, said the normal charge for repairing a damaged window is HK$300. Kwan added that taxi drivers usually remind passengers not to slam the door if the window is lowered.

No word on if or when the design flaw will be fixed.

Photos: Flickr


Foreigners Ripped Off After Being Lured Into Shanghai Karaoke Den

Posted: 06/26/2014 10:38 am

Foreigners have been the target of many scams in China: they’ve been befriended by a stranger and taken to tea or cajoled into buying overpriced traditional art. And then there’s the one where someone comes up to you, asking if you want to ‘party’ at a karaoke bar, that one thing you’ve always meant to do.

For all the times this last scam has targeted foreigners, someone has finally gotten caught.

Fifteen members of a criminal gang based in Pudong have been arrested by Shanghai police for fleecing foreigners of their money by “luring them into a karaoke honey trap”, reports the Shanghai Daily.

Foreigners were reportedly targeted by the gang, which intimidated them into paying exorbitant fees or be held at the club.

Police were alerted to the diabolical plan by one of the gang’s victims, who had fallen prey to the scam. On April 15, a man of Egyptian nationality had agreed to go back to a local karaoke club in Pudong while taking a nighttime stroll outside his hotel, having been told beautiful ladies would be present.

However, at the club the man was approached by a group of burly men who demanded they be paid RMB 29,000 (US $4,600) for the man’s unspecified amount of time spent at the karaoke club.

However, being that the man was in the middle of taking a nighttime stroll, he was only able to pay with the RMB 11,000 (US $1,800) that he had on him. Unsatisfied, the burly men threw the victim into a car and drove him back to his hotel where they expected to be paid the remainder of the fees.

When stopped at a red light, the victim jumped out of the car and ran to a nearby police car.

On June 13, Shanghai police took 15 suspects into custody, who all confessed to committing seven similar crimes that earned over RMB 200,000.

Photos: timetotalkbeauty


81 year-old woman knocked down in Guangzhou, bystanders ignore her

Posted: 04/3/2014 1:45 pm

An 81 year-old Guangzhou woman was knocked down in a traffic collision and did not receive any help whatsoever for a full ten minutes afterwards. How do we know this? Because witnesses at the scene did not see anyone, or themselves, offer any aid to the fallen woman.

At approximately 8pm on April 1 on the street across from the Tiyu West Metro Station, Ms Qiu came into contact with the side of a moving motorbike and was knocked down, thereby hurting her foot in the process, reported

Xiao Wang, a witness at the scene, said a group of bystanders converged around the elderly woman. However, none of them were willing to help the woman up, a situation that would last for ten minutes. During this time, Qiu continued to call out in pain as the driver of the motorbike stood to the side.

After ten minutes elapsed, a female pedestrian in her 30′s that works nearby stopped to offer aid to Qiu. Approximately half an hour after she was hit, an ambulance took Qiu to the hospital where a doctor said she had suffered no serious injuries and released her.

Xiao Wang said she personally had apprehensions about helping the woman. Nobody on the scene was sure about how injured the woman was, and feared being singled out as her “attacker” if they got involved. It wouldn’t be the first time a seemingly injured person play acts to secure compensation from whoever decides to help.

Qiu did not receive immediate aid, nor did she have serious injuries, but she did receive one thing for sure: the driver of the vehicle gave Qiu RMB 1,000 in reimbursement for the accident.

Earlier this year, a Guangzhou woman collapsed in a subway and died when no one came to her aid. The infamous Yueyue story from 2011 made international headlines when 18 pedestrians were recorded walking past the 2 year-old toddler instead of offering aid after she was run over by two different cars. 

Shenzhen has responded to this social issue by enacting a Good Samaritan law in 2011.

Photo credit:


Wolf of Wall Street? These are the Wolves of Shenzhen

Posted: 02/21/2014 8:57 am

Remember the scene from the Wolf of Wall Street when Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jordan Belfort taught his friends persuasion tactics to defraud money from investors? Well…in Shenzhen, we found Jordan’s equal.

An eight-member ring in Shenzhen was busted by local police for defrauding money from middle-aged women. The swindlers had developed a full-blown, tightly scripted manual to coach each of its members how to successfully swindle a victim’s money in just 11 days.

The eight fraudsters disguised themselves as successful men in several ads in newspaper matchmaking sections. To avoid detection, all the ads were placed in papers outside of Guangdong. By following the manual, each successfully swindled RMB117,000 ($19,300) from the victims within a month, Nanfang Net reported in December last year.

The ringleader under the pseudonym Zhao Jun asked his minions to memorise the manual by heart and had them going through intensive phone training before letting them out for real, the report said.

The 11-day operation manual was packaged with ready-made lines in different scenarios from establishing one’s credibility as a nice and considerate gentleman, to the use of endearment; from playing the family card by bringing out an ailing father to the grand closing of asking the women to wire some money to buy some (believe it or not) flower baskets for the swindler’s fake store opening.

The skit only fell apart when a 42-year-old woman from Jilin Province reported the scam to the local police after she had wired nearly RMB75,000 (about $12,400) to Zhao Jun in different settings. Zhao’s excuses include buying flower baskets for his store opening, birthday gifts for his father, compensation for a victim Zhao knocked over on his way to the airport, and even blackmailing by “a cop” from Shenzhen who claimed that he would arrest Zhao if he did not receive any money.

Here are some of the textbook lines straight from the manual: (warning: the below contents are extremely cheezy.)

Lines for Day 1 to establish yourself as a sensible and nice gentleman: “My wife died in a car accident in 2009 on her way to pick up our daughter. I have since being living in the shadow of her passing. I’ve moved into this big house for half a year, but I felt the room is so empty every night when I come home. I can’t even find a person to talk to. Have you ever felt this way before?”

Lines for Day 5 to establish formal “husband and wife” relationship: “My dear, since I have known you in the last few days, sometimes I felt like I just want to call you my wife, although we are not yet married. But I have already decided that you are my soul mate.” The instruction did not stop here. It went to ask the man to hang up the phone immediately after the last line to “create suspense” and only check his phone the day after.

Lines for Day 11 (the grand finale): “My store officially opened today, many of my relatives and friends came. My sister asked you to send me several flower baskets to congratulate my store opening in the name of my wife, which is in line with our local Guangdong custom, and a gesture to show my father your sincerity, and to present you officially to my friends. My sister just called the florist where she ordered her flowers. You should take a pen and write down the florist’s number. You can wire some money (to the florist) to buy the baskets. I will send you RMB50,000 tomorrow for the money you spent. You don’t want to embarrass your husband in front of your friends, right?”

What happened then? Ms Lin wired RMB 32,682 ($5,400) to the “florist”.

Home page photo credit: Nanfang Net 



Beware: WeChat (Weixin) random hookup results in scam in Dongguan

Posted: 11/21/2012 3:00 pm

(drawing by Li Yong)

WeChat, also known as Weixin, has been growing like a bad weed in China these days.  The iOS and Android app is now being used by more than 200 million people, and is the pick-up tool of choice for many laowai in China because it facilitates chatting with nearby strangers.

Given how ubiquitous the tool has become, it’s not surprising that a scam has finally surfaced.  Users in Dongguan are being warned after a woman met up with a stranger she had chatted with on the service in April this year. The stranger then threatened her and demanded she hand over her bank card, Southern Metropolis Daily reports.

The woman, who works in a hotel, was invited by a Weixin contact to meet up and have a chat. In the end, she met an accomplice of a criminal surnamed Lu, who comes from Hubei Province and ran a restaurant with another man Jian before it went out of business.

Unable to support themselves, Lu and Jian set up a criminal gang. As part of the arrangement, Lu’s girlfriend and brother used Weixin to meet and then steal from strangers.

Police say there have been six similar cases in Dongguan this year involving rape, theft and blackmail.

Police explained that because Weixin is newer than rival services such as QQ, it is poorly policed. They warned residents to be vigilant when using the service, and not to meet strangers who refused to identify themselves or asked to borrow things.


Shenzhen girl cheated for sex and money by feigned gao shuai fu

Posted: 05/9/2012 7:00 am

Women around the world tend to like men who are tall, dark, and handsome, and China is no different. In fact, the Chinese translation, “gao shuai fu”, has become quite popular online, so much so that con men are using the term to lure women for sex and money through dating service websites.

According to the Shenzhen Daily, a woman identified as Chen has fallen for such a scam.

In September last year, Chen met a man named Zhang online. Zhang is a middle-aged man who claimed to be divorced with an annual income of RMB300 thousand, multiple properties, and a genuine willingness to remarry. After seeing Zhang’s identification, divorce certificate, and property ownership certificates, Chen started a romantic relationship with him. They had sexual intercourse numerous times, according to Chen, who said she only started to question the credibility of Zhang’s story when she realized that she was carrying most of the financial weight in the relationship. That’s when she called police.

Zhang was arrested in a hotel in Bao’an District, Shenzhen in January this year. When police arrived, they found all of his forged certificates, including two false I.D. cards, one divorce certificate and two property ownership certificates.

During the investigation, police found that Zhang cheated another female victim for sex last year.


Visitors to Canton Fair ripped off to the tune of 30 million RMB

Posted: 05/1/2012 9:39 am

For most businesses in the PRD, the month of April is busily spent placing orders for clients at the Canton Fair, the most popular international trade fair in Mainland China. Yet, while businesses are working overtime, so too are the thieves. According to the Nanfang Daily, there have been at least fifteen robberies of personal belongings worth more than 30 million RMB during the course of the Fair.

One such case involved a 36-year-old foreign businessman identified as “SLB”. SLB met two women identifying themselves as Hong and Li at the Guangzhou Railway Station at approximately 7pm last Sunday evening. The two lured SLB to a 3rd floor rental unit located in Huangqi, under the auspices of purchasing shoes. When SLB realized something wasn’t right, he attempted to leave but was grabbed and pulled into the apartment. After managing to get free, he fled and immediately reported the incident to an officer in the vicinity. Based on SLB’s description, Nanhai police arrested Hong, Li, and another member of the scam, Zhao, soon after.

According to police, the attempted robbery was not an isolated case, and at least ten other reported robberies led back to the same Huangqi rental property. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the scam involved two neighboring apartments with a false wall between the two. While a victim was led into the apartment by one member of the gang, another would enter through a wardrobe (concealing the false wall) from the apartment next door. Once inside, the member would steal the victim’s belongings and disappear through the false wall.

While the full extent of the enterprise has yet to be determined, six suspects have now been arrested and confessed to running the scam on at least fifteen different victims.

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