WARNING! Fake Diplomas To Get 3,000+ China Foreign ESL & TEFL Teachers Arrested. Great Job ESLInsider!

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This is a warning we feel obligated to make even though we do not condone forgery. We just don’t want foreign students enrolled in Chinese universities to miss their graduation. We also think everyone deserves a second chance to do the right thing.  So buckle up and read on…

After some deliberation we have decided to warn all the foreigners now teaching in China that if you sent email to eslinsider.com or even visited their web site more than once over the last 6 months, you will soon be investigated by the Chinese PSB as we recently found out in an unexpected interview we obtained with a veteran Captain who has worked more than 8 years with the PSB in a Tier 1 city of China.

They are now hip to the bad advice ESLinsider has been giving wannabe teachers to use fake documents (diplomas and TEFL certificates) after recently arresting a teacher from America who spilled her guts to avoid a felony conviction and deportation four months before her wedding to her Chinese boyfriend. They are also looking to arrest another expat named “Magnuson” who the Captain promises will spend at least 2-3 year behind bars for forgery and “disrespecting the people of China” (not sure if that is a real crime or not).  But to put it mildly, the government is a bit pissed to learn that one-third of the foreign teachers now working in China are not “teachers” at all and have used fake documents to obtain their visas. Now they are on a mission.

http://www.realscam.com/f8/2016-esl-tefl-scam-alert-chinese-security-psb-promise-deport-3-000-fake-foreign-teachers-phony-diplomas-4455/

If you or anyone you care about is now working in China with a fake diploma, TEFL certificate or do not have a Z visa, warn them that the crackdown will be starting on March 1st, 2016 and they may want to depart China voluntarily until they get themselves legal or find another legal way to remain in China. But our PSB contact says they have been given a 500 member task force and have a mandate “from the top” to investigate 50% of all foreign teachers now working in China, and everyone who had contact with ESLinsider.

This whole mess began when the wife of a Vice-Mayor leaned that her son’s foreign tutor could not remember what city his university was located in and when she had a lawyer inquire with the registrar’s office of Arizona State University was told that the tutor never attended their uni. The young man was arrested and when police visited his apartment, also met his girlfriend who tried to run away. Upon checking his phone and email records they learned about ESLInsider and things began to snowball. The mother shared the incident on her wei xin and over 2,000 mothers complained to the Ministry of Education. Now the witch hunt has begun.

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BTW… There are many online universities that may be legal abroad, but not in China. So check to see if your university is listed here >>> http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.com/2014/09/warning-safea-psb-and-ministry-of.html.  And as always, if you are caught working on an L, F, M, or X visa, you will also be arrested.  Even if you only tutor part-time in China you MUST have a Z Visa.

As in the past, the PSB is expected to publish a number of phony ESL & TEFL job ads (usually with high salaries to bait people) at The Beijinger, Echinacities, Sinocities, and ESLCafe where they can blend in. Those selected for a phony interview will be asked to bring their passport, diploma, and TEFL certificate to the interview. If you are not 100% legal you will not leave the interview, which is usually held at a coffee shop or upscale hotel. The last PSB sting used the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Beijing. If you are legit you will be advised to expect a call back and asked for 3 references. THOSE THREE REFERENCES WILL THEN BE INVITED TO APPLY FOR A 20,000 TEACHING POSITION and the cycle repeats itself. http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?620902-Echinacities-com-Classified-China-Foreign-Teacher-Job-Ads-A-Clever-Scam

The PSB is also promoting a REWARD PROGRAM using local Chinese teacher aides. Those who report fake teachers are paid 10,000 yuan rewards which are double their monthly salary. 5 Disney teachers were all arrested because of their TA who resigned and reportedly now works for Webb International. See http://eslwatch.info/eslwatch-forum/china/76-china-foreign-teachers-unite-report-fake-unqualified-teachers-to-the-psb.html

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It took us almost 6 months to arrange this interview but it was well-worth the wait. Amongst other things we learned from “Captain Wang” (Not his real name btw) that indeed a China Teachers blacklist is still being maintained by SAFEA, but he said “most all the principals have access to it”. He wanted to “clarify” that the “reward program” is not “new” but has become popular again because the local Chinese economy is now in crawl mode and the reward amount was boosted to 10,000 rmb – about double what a Chinese Teacher’s Aide earns these days. He further confirmed they were “tipped” about Disney English and two other chains they are about to bust (he didn’t tell us more than that). I met Wang back in 2012 under some awkward circumstances, but we have since become friends. In the last three years the man has never lied to me and I respect him for that. He agreed to cooperate with my interview request only “to help stop the crazy foreigners from getting themselves a criminal record for some really stupid things.” (rough translation – his English as bad as my Chinese)

If arrested you can expect to be jailed for 30 days, forced to pay a $2,000 fine and then be deported with a felony conviction if you refuse to hand-write a “letter of apology to the people of China” (not kidding). If you are too proud to write the letter, you go home as a convicted felon.

Do not underestimate the PSB nor Chinese “friends” who could use a quick 10,000 or feel they are doing their patriotic duty to have you investigated. Of course, if you are legal, you have nothing to worry about. All others… you have been warned.

China Jail

Is Gi2c China Internship Program A Legal Scam Or Legit?

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The below report is a follow-up to our preliminary report dated April/2015. Be advised that we have been retained by a former Gi2C employee and a former client to investigate this company from A-Z They have not authorized us to make full disclosure as they are contemplating a legal action at this time. However the information provided herein is solid and well-documented enough for us to issue a Red Flag Scam Alert which will be issued to 600+ student unions and limited distribution to selected ESL and Work Abroad message boards.

We will try to be brief and you are welcome  and invited to draw your own conclusions; Gi2C.org is NOT a foundation, charity, NGO, nor NPO. It is a for-profit commercial enterprise owned and operated by a citizen of Belarus named Yuri Khlystov, who also owned and operated the predecessor company called “GetIn2China” which was registered in 2009 in Beijing and originally were “visa consultants” according to the license issued to GetIn2China. Gi2c.org does not appear to be licensed with the SAIC nor the Beijing Provincial Tax Bureau, nor the Beijing Municipal Tax Bureau as of April 5th, 2015.  Although Gi2C claims to have 51-200 employees on their website, long-time employees there indicate they never had more than 30 employees at any one time. Today the company operates out of two locations in China. The HQ office is in unit 50927 of the Galaxy Soho building in the D2 Tower located next to the Chaoyangmen Subway station – Exit G. A photo of the famous office building is below.  There other location is a small office/apartment located in Shanghai.  Two employees work in the Shanghai office and at present 10 work in the Beijing office following a massive resignation of 16 employees over the last 15 months. Gi2c has made claims of having “8 Offices World-Wide” as per their many ads and former website which a have been recently edited between March 1st and April 25th. The below screen shots confirm their false claims:

Prospects were falsely told that Gi2C operates 8 world-wide offices when in reality they only have two.

Prospects were falsely told that Gi2C operates 8 world-wide offices when in reality they only have two.

Gi2c management has claimed over the last 21-24 months that they have placed “400” and “1,100” interns with Fortune 500 Companies and MNC companies through their “vast network” of MNC corporate partners. In reality however they are unable to even provide a list of 5 such companies nor even 5 interns that have supposedly been placed. The same applies to their claims of having internships available with “Famous Wall Street Companies” and having “50 top university partners” See the below screenshots from their previous ads, and their own website…

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Below are the ten top rated China Internships. We contacted all ten of these companies and spoke with an HR staffer to see how many interns were placed with them through Gi2C and if they were satisfied with the interns.  Without exception, all ten companies indicated that they never heard of Gi2C and never had any business relationship with them. Considering all else they have lied about, we were not surprised.

We discovered that Gi2c sub-contracted a boiler room  telemarketing operation located in Pakistan in 2013 and callers there would solicit students in the UK falsely claiming to be calling from Gi2C’s “London Office” which does not exist. Those calls reported being told they had a 50% chance of getting full time jobs with MNC and Fortune 500 companies in China if they purchased the Gi2c internship package. See the summaries of he complaints about two such callers who fabricated the names of “Barbara Wilson” and “Haley Gilbert” below:

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Also see http://www.scambook.com/report/view/283185/Hayley-Gilbert-Hayleyrecsmartcouk-Getin2Chinacom-Complaint-283185-for-$0.00 Complaints form actual clients range from “refundable deposits” not being returned to misrepresentations, to being instructed and coached how to lie to Chinese visa officials, which is a felont crime in both China and most western countries.  Actual complaints can be read at the below links…

http://eslwatch.info/forum/china/117-fraud-warning-gi2c-and-other-china-job-internship-scams-beware-people.html

http://www.realscam.com/f8/warning-gi2c-china-internship-just-another-china-job-scam-but-pricey-3928/#post83885

http://scam-detector.com/forums/forum/employment-scams/366-gi2c-org-and-other-china-internship-scams-exposed-by-former-u-k-employee

Although Gi2C conducts all of its business on mainland China, customers are told to send their money to an HSBC bank account in Hong Kong where Gi2c does not have an office nor any corporate sponsors. This may be a way to evade taxes and/or asset seizures in the event of legal proceedings and a court ordered judgment  for monetary damages is obtained.

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A handful of former employees also confirmed that they were not paid all of their wages when they resigned and one married Chinese employee took the company before the Beijing Labor Board and prevailed in her claim in 2014. Other employees reported that they were instructed to forge invitation letters using photoshop software and fabricate “over 100 fake internship vacancies for the website”.  One former manager said he was told to bribe newspaper reports in Beijing to obtain a favorable article in the local news. Said manager also confirmed that interns were bribed to give testimonials with discounts, gifts, and cash, and also confirmed that the owner himself would delete negative comments from their Facebook and blog page on a daily basis. Others also confirm that two shills were used by Gi2C in the past as references, and that most of the reviews seen on line are bought and paid for with only one exception. They also confirm that one Chinese employee known only as Tommy (pictured below) was arrested in the Galaxy Soho office less that two weeks after it opened by 5 members of China’s Public Security Bureau for “Visa Fraud”.

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We also noted that Gi2c had claimed they had “partnerships” with “500 top universities”. But we can find no supporting evidence of this claim, and when users at thebeijinger .com asked their management to name some of those universities, there was three weeks of silence. Other at ESLwatch.info asked Gi2c management to explain this below photo posted on their web site implying they had some business relationship with this famous university. Again there was no response.

Our investigation also revealed that a hacker has been hired by Gi2C management to remove approximately 3 dozen negative or unfavorable comments about the company found on line like this one below with 16 other examples found at this link: http://eslwatch.info/forum/china/117-fraud-warning-gi2c-and-other-china-job-internship-scams-beware-people.html

Also see http://gi2ccomplaints.blogspot.com/2015/04/gi2c-is-best-damn-china-china.html We are now waiting for the authorities to find and interview the hacker to obtain more information. This tactic of censoring the Internet is common amongst scammers and has been used heavily in China for almost a decade. If you Google “China Internship Scams” you find many broken links, where complaints used to be posted.  Another way Chinese scam artists get negative comments removed is to buy advertisement on expat websites that have forums where clients and employees can, and do complain – a lot. The beijinger for example had three different thread about Gi2C but the two negative ones were deleted after Gi2C purchased some banner ads from the TBJ. See: http://scam.com/showthread.php?t=644914

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On or about March 17th,2015 the Gi2c management posted a letter at several websites claiming that their bad reputation online and all the complaints about them were due to “one of our competitors”.  But more than a month later they are now blaming a disgruntled employee named “Bruce” that reigned more than a year ago along with the company’s former web designer/webmaster Steve B****. We suspect their first explanation was not working with their new prospects.

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To be fair however, the only law Gi2C may be breaking is tax evasion, since there is no Chinese law that says free internships cannot be sold for money. Therefore, we are not in a position to label  Gi2C as a scam, but it certainly has unethical sales practices and policies. In any western country, Gi2C would probably be prosecuted for fraud, but China is just now developing the concept of “Consumer Protection” in the professional services business markets. This is all we can disclose at this time due to the restrictions placed upon us by our two clients. We may be able to update this report at a later date, if our clients so authorize.

If you are interested in obtaining a China Internship for free, you may want to visit http://chinainternshipreviews.wordpress.com. As always we urge you to conduct your own due diligence before making any  final decisions related to Gi2C or any other company doing business in China.

Below is the first and last page of the Gi2c or Getin2China printed brochure. Their hacker cannot delete it and Yuri can’t edit like he does every time to his web site when we caught him in a lie. The below is proof positive the company markets itself with lies…

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They have hired both a full time hacker and an SEO person to spam self-created reviews and testimonials like the one below and others at glassdoor.com, while their hacker is busy removing over 40 complaints during the last six months as you can see here:  http://scam-detector.com/forums/forum/employment-scams/1002-gi2c-china-internship-scam-now-using-hackers-to-delete-negative-comments

We were also to interview 3 former employees of Gi2c and all three claim they were cheated at least once on their wages and another former employee named “Tracy” confirmed that she filed a formal complaint against Gi2C with the Beijing Labor Board and won her case.

Said employees all insisted they never placed ANY intern with ANY Fortune 500 or MNC company during their term of employment which spanned a 3 year period. This contradicts former Gi2C advertisements and their website as it appeared in 2013-2014 when they falsely claimed to have “A vast network of MNC corporate sponsors” where “Over 400 interns were placed with MNC companies”.  See screen shots above. We also obtained these photos from inside the GI2C Beijing Office from one of the former employees:

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Gi2C Owners Yuri Khlystove & Ben Tsao

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All but four people in this photograph resigned after senior employee “Tommy” was arrested in a PSB raid on the office. The foreigners seen here were the first out the door. For the sake of their privacy we will not publish their names here.

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In this last photo above, the girl circled in yellow is Abbie who was cheated 6,000 on her last paycheck, and the fellow in Red is the famous “Tommy” who was arrested for visa fraud a few days after this photo was taken.

These former employees also confirmed the claims made by victim Winnie Maliko and others that Gi2c customers were instructed and coached to commit felony crimes, to wit – to lie on their visa applications and “never mention that you are coming to China to work as an intern”  http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?654895-China-Foreign-Internships-Scams-Make-You-A-Felon!

The same employees also confirmed that photoshop software was used by some employees who were instructed to fabricate or falsify invitation letters for their customers. They further admitted that many testimonials and reviews were either obtained with bribes or simply fabricated as per http://scam-detector.com/forums/forum/employment-scams/1002-gi2c-china-internship-scam-now-using-hackers-to-delete-negative-comments?p=1017#post1017

How many people really work for Gi2C?  Not the “51-200” claimed by Gi2c on their web site.  At their peak, they had 27 employees not including the Pakistanis. At present we think this dated photo below is probably more realistic:

We have also learned that Gi2C has discontinued using the boiler room in Pakistan recently and we hereby confirm that “Haley Gilbert”, Barbara Wilson”, and “Dwight Stevens” were all Pakistani sales reps working on behalf of Gi2C from 2013 to late 2014 and all falsely claiming to be calling from “Gi2c’s London Office”. The above three names were all fabricated.

We noted that Gi2C was not defended online by any of their “many satisfied customers” but rather “anonymous” employees and the people they buy advertising from “TheBeijinger.com” and the owner of a Chinese School owned by a fellow named Roddy who personally gets free labor from Gi2C via many interns over the years. It was also Roddy who supported Getin2China when they were buried in complaints back in 2010. See the below about TheBeijinger.com…

http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?681817-The-Beijinger-Censorship-Scam-Is-Growing-Totally-Unethical

http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?644952-Are-Michael-Wester-amp-Steve-Schwankert-of-The-Beijinger-Great-Scam-Artists-Or-Criminals

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We also consulted with three Immigration attorneys who confirmed that the Gi2C internship program is not in compliance with Chinese laws. Foreigners who participate in their program may be arrested, fined, jailed, and deported as illegal immigrant workers as per these two links: http://antifraudintl.org/threads/beware-of-china-internship-visa-scams.96692/#post-265311 and also http://www.balglobal.com/News/NewsDetail/tabid/266/id/3105/language/en-US/CHINA–China-Eliminates-Internship-and-Training-Visas-for-Most-Foreign-Students.aspx There are in fact legal China internships available with international companies at no charge (air fare excepted) but they require a special certification letter from the PSB to be submitted when you apply for your Chinese entry visa. For more information about the free and legitimate China internships, see:

http://chinainternshipreviews.wordpress.com

http://freechinainternships.blogspot.co.uk

Last but not least, we obtained the below business cards that further prove Gi2C sales people were misrepresenting that they had international offices all around the world:

We have closed our investigation on Gi2c.org aka Getin2China with Red Flag Warning to all concerned.

Our Recommendation:  AVOID

Here is yet more Gi2c Deception that is self explanatory:

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45145Below is proof that owner Yuri lied about “never promoting jobs – only internships”. The blow is taken from Gi2c’s web site in 2013 and also some ads they ran at Milk Round and Just Landed:

screen-shot-2014-01-01-at-10-53-20-pmJust remember, Gi2C sales people will only tell you what they want you to know – especially about visas and the true total cost of your stay in China, which for 90 days will average about $7,000 by the time you leave.  If you get arrested for the wrong visa you can add $5,000 more to this cost to cover a $2,000 fine and $3,000 lawyer fee.

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For more current information and updates about Gi2C you may want to check with these web sites from time to time:

http://www.scamorg.com/gi2c-org-38#commentit

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?p=60281143&highlight=gi2c

http://www.realscam.com/f8/fake-phantom-felon-employees-gi2cs-china-internship-scam-6-invisible-offices-4057/

http://eslwatch.info/Forum/China

http://ChinaScamWatch.org

http://eslwatch.info/forum/china/167-update-on-the-gi2c-china-internship-scam-investigation.html

http://www.realscam.com/f8/warning-gi2c-china-internship-just-another-china-job-scam-but-pricey-3928/

http://scam-detector.com/forums/forum/employment-scams/960-gi2c-china-internship-scam-exposed-by-former-uk-employee-reposted

Fraud Warning! China foreign teachers & expat travelers victimized by job and visa agents for identity theft scam.

One of the most sneaky, sophisticated, and costly scams originating from China these days is what Is called “Latent Identity Theft”. It means personal information you provide today will be used months later to steal your identity and bank account. The reason for the prolonged fraud is to distance the perpetrator from your memory. So by giving your passport information to a dishonest visa agent today, you would never suspect him or her six months from now when the police want to arrest you for credit card, check fraud, or immigration fraud. This is especially true if the visa agent was friendly and gave you a good deal and service.

Interpol estimates that 30% of all international identity theft originates from Chinese visa agents. You can read more about it here: http://eslwatch.info/articles/141-asia-articles/china-in-asia-article/12527-scam-warning-for-china-expat-foreign-teachers-avoid-using-chinese-visa-agents-or-risk-identity-theft.html

Because there is no equivalent to the BBB nor FTC in China, and because laws are still selectively enforced, China’s expats are often exploited and targeted for a variety of scams. Some are more costly than others, but in recent years, they have all become more sophisticated and harder to detect, especially for newly arrived China expats. Despite warnings posted all over the internet, most all of us still get taken in for yet a new “clever” fraud like the “fake tax scam” and a number of others we wrote about here in 2012: http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/blog/scam-alert-foreign-teacher-fraud/

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But the most common frauds experienced by the most expats are these three:

1.) Illegal and black market job placements without Z visa sponsorship that transforms law abiding expats into illegal aliens liable for arrest, imprisonment, and deportation.

2.) Latent Identity Theft where a Chinese visa or travel agent provides you a satisfactory service today but weeks from now sells your personal identification files to identity theft rings for $1,000 causing you legal grief and fees that may not surface for up to six months.

3.) The Silent Scam explained fully at scam.com. http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=642187

Identifying the bad apple China visa consultants and shady job agents is not too difficult and easy if you use the blacklist put out at http://chinascamwatch.org

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Since all three of these three scams originate with the same group of perpetrators (unlicensed people using disposable contact information) we are sharing the following red flags with you so you can spot and avoid the danger in advance. So if you run into travel, visa, or job agents that fall into any five or more of these categories, you are most likely dealing with a fraudster.

1. Employees all use Chinglish names like “Peter Gao” or “Susan Liu”. These are fabricated ghost names that are virtually untraceable.

2. Their web site is less than a year old (or they don’t have one at all)

3. Their web site uses a .org or .cn domain.

4. Their web site contains no verifiable street address for their office.

5. Their web site has no land-line telephone number published – only disposable mobile numbers.

6. They demand copies of your passport before you receive a written job offer and sign a contract.

7. They cannot produce a color scan copy of their SAIC Chinese business license which can be verified on line.

8. They insist on meeting you in a coffee shop or your office – never their own.

9. They always fill out your visa application in Chinese so you cannot understand if they are lying or not.

10. They are not members of the BBB or any legitimate Chamber of Commerce. (if they are US-based)

11. They use disposable free emails like gmail, hotmail, sina, 163, qq, 126, yahoo, etc.

12. They claim there is someone else with your same name in the computer system and they need your taxpayer ID (SSN) to clarify for the Chinese visa bureau.

13. They tell you that you don’t need a Z visa right away and to just come to China on an L, F, or M, visa.

14. They offer to sell you a fake diploma and/or TEFL certificate, or FEC

15. They tell you that you have a job before you ever even interviewed with the school or director employer.

16. They never give email confirmations of verbal promises made to you.

17. They rush or pressure you to sign a contract giving a fake deadline that is only a few days away.

18. They ask you for the names and phone numbers of your teaching colleagues as a professional references. (They are later contacted and offered jobs in China)

19. No written job description with the name and school location is provided to you until after your arrive in China.

20. They ask for up-front money or a deposit of any kind.

21. They coach you how to lie when applying for your visa.

22. They tell you that the average wage for expats in China is 5,000-7,000 yuan per month.

23. They tell you that you must use a visa agent because the application process is very complicated and confusing and/or all the forms are in Chinese! (absolutely false).

24. That without a TEFL certificate it is impossible to find a teaching job in China that pays more than 5,000 Yuan per month.

25. That your China employer must hold your passport for a 3-6 month probationary period.

Ten of the worst unregistered Identity Thieves work through companies that frequently change their names or hijack a well-known name of a visa company. So beware of these companies here or any other variation if they cannot send you a) a color scan of their SAIC license and b) their provincial tax bureau registration from China:

China Panda Visa

Beijing Service Center Visas

China Golden Bridge Visa

Great Wall Visa

Free China Visa

Middle Kingdom Visa Service

AK China Visa

Northern China Visa Service

China Expat Visa Service

Red Dragon Visa

Honesty Visa Service

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Echinacities.com – Can they be trusted to keep your resume safe? Many China foreign teachers claim fake job ads and ID theft scam is allowed.

We just completed a three month investigation of China’s largest expat portal that gets over 50,000 hits a week after a rash of “coincidences” of identity theft victims in China made us smell something foul. We had opened some fake accounts and applied for a variety of jobs at ECC only to discover that many of the ads we were applying for were simply fabricated. We will not divulge all our methods publicly but lets just say that when our investigator applied for job “A” she was never called for that specific job but was overwhelmed with spam emails and calls for a variety of other positions she never even applied for! However, if she did not cooperate with the callers who asked for passport scans without first identifying their company name and office location, she discovered that her resume at ECC was blocked from view.  But new callers continued to call suggesting that someone at ECC was “redistributing” her resume – in violation of China’s privacy laws. In China this is no big deal although in other countries a law suit would be a certainty.

But then we received information from a former CTA member and a former employee of ECC, and after some conversations we were allowed to listen in to a conversation with a current ECC employee that clearly indicated resumes sent in confidence were being sold to unscreened third parties. Basically if you offered to buy resumes from this ECC employee for $100 each, they would be yours the following day.  Because foreigners get so many job offers from various recruiters, they would never make the connection six months from now when they start getting credit card bills for purchases they never made that it could have anything to do with their brief encounter with ECC.

Because we previously investigated Head Hunter fraud in China (See http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/blog/scam-alert-headhunter-fraud/) back in 2012, we were not at all surprised by the fake ads used as “resume magnets” (Incredibly good jobs with higher than normal salaries and benefits fabricated as bait for foreign applicants). But we were surprised when a former ECC employee who admitted to being the “Answers” moderator on the popular website exposed the owner George Xu as being, shall we say, less than honorable and forthright, and willing to profit from paid ads accepted from known scam schools and agents at the China Daily Blog here:

http://chinadailymail.com/2013/12/18/echinacities-expat-website-now-a-propaganda-machine/

http://chinadailymail.com/2013/07/14/china-targets-foreigners-through-expat-websites/

http://chinadailymail.com/2013/09/30/chinese-school-recruiters-scam-expat-teachers/

Was this just a disgruntled former employee?  After much debate and deliberation we believe that Craig aka “Traveler” at ECC let his conscience prevail and was maybe seeking redemption with the above articles, foe which he wins our respect. But some of us here like to play devil’s advocate and we said to ourselves, “What if this is all being done behind the owner’s back by some greedy employee?”  But then we saw the following:

a) Online posts from a banned user “Tarzan” about 3 months ago pointing out the vulnerability of their classified ads http://answers.echinacities.com/node/218470

b) A year old post from another banned user “Pegasus” complaining about scam artists allowed to advertise at ECC http://answers.echinacities.com/node/115523

c) An email inquiry sent to George Xu personally from the CFTU more than a year old that he simply ignored

d) This post here reminding us that ECC previously had no issues with posting ads for wanted poachers who were selling highly-illegal bear bile, ivory, tiger penises, and rhino horns. http://annamiticus.com/tag/echinacities-com-rhino-horn/  After 10 days of public protests and threats of charges being filed ECC finally removed the disgusting ads http://annamiticus.com/2013/07/06/chinese-website-displays-adverts-for-rhino-horn-bear-bile/

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All of this was a bit overwhelming and in our judgement, indicative of a criminal mindset that George apparently assumes he can get away with anything because of his wealth and guan xi in China. Frankly, we believe that President Xi Jinping would probably disagree with the arrogant disregard for both China and International law and we are seeking his opinion om this matter through appropriate channels.

The last bit of evidence that came our way was this “confidential” pm from ECC user “Zip” he/she sent to “Traveler” before it was revealed that Traveler was just one of many paid ECC users (aka “shills” aka “wumaos”)…

http://www.scam.com/showpost.php?p=1795540&postcount=6  (See the attachment in this post)

Although we ourselves enjoy reading many of the great and interesting articles found at Echinacities.com, we cannot condone their online posting policies of personal information nor the selling of same to third parties without the explicit consent of the job applicants. We have noticed the “terms and conditions” of ECC users has recently changed to protect ECC legally but we kept screen shots of what it said three months ago when we started our investigation. Because our investigation is still ongoing, we will not comment further at this time and you can just consider this part 1 of a series…

Whether you feel confident sending YOUR resume to ECC is up to you. We can only recommend that you think twice and highly sanitize your resume or even use a fake first name.  So when you start getting a dozen emails and twice as many calls asking for the alias you created, you will know the score.  In closing we remind you that nobody but the direct employer needs a scan of your passport, your actual photographs, and your “taxpayer identification number” and you should only provide it when you meet the HR staffer face to face in their office after they have made you a verifiable written job offer. Anyone can claim to be an HR staff member of any school or university over the phone or email. If you cannot call that school or university directly at the phone number published at their published website and hear the same voice on the line, you are being hustled.   Stay tuned for more updates as they develop and remember… TIC!

P.S. We did try to warn you last year about these expat forums: https://chinascampatrol.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/china-expat-forums-friend-or-foe-either-way-a-conflict-of-interest-for-sure/

To fully understand how biased expats forums can be when it comes to the truth, read these links when you have some spare time…

http://www.eslwatch.info/china-2/scams-or-schemes-in-china/12147-beware-of-agents-recruiters-masquerading-as-esl-tefl-teachers-at-expat-esl-tefl-forums.html

http://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2014/04/12/too-many-agents-recruiters-now-posting-teachers-expat-forums

http://www.eslbase.com/forum/viewtopic/t-3125

http://www.esl-jobs-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=6523

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Scam Alert! China Foreign Teacher Qualifications & TEFL – TESOL Requirement Fraud Is Out Of Control…

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Would you tell a lie to a total stranger for $300?  How about $1,000?  Okay, so remember this the next time some smooth talking yahoo is sending you emails or calling you on Skype telling you that he/she has “a great job for you teaching in China”. In fact they may offer you two jobs… Job A pays 6,000 yuan per month ($1,000) and Job B pays you 20,000 yuan a month “BUT only if you have a TEFL or TESOL certificate.”  Both of these people are lying to you just to collect their fee for a job placement or a referral fee from a TEFL/TESOL training company, The following is 100% fact as you yourself can confirm with your own embassy, the Chinese consulate, SAFEA, or the China Foreign Teachers Union:

* YOU DO NOT NEED A TEFL NOR A TESOL CERTIFICATE TO TEACH IN CHINA

* YOU WILL NOT BE PAID MORE MONEY IN CHINA BECAUSE YOU HAVE A TEFL OR TESOL CERTIFICATE

* LESS THAN 5% OF ALL FOREIGN TEACHERS NOW WORKING IN CHINA HAVE A TEFL OR TESOL CERTIFICATE

* 80% OF ALL THE TEFL TESOL CERTIFICATES ARE NOT RECOGNIZED NOR ACCEPTED IN CHINA

* ROUGHLY 300 OF ALMOST 20,000 CHINA SCHOOLS & “LEARNING CENTERS” EVEN ASK IF YOU HAVE A TEFL OR TESOL CERTIFICATE.

Promises made but seldom delivered once a student pays his fees to the agents in China.

Promises made but seldom delivered once a student pays his fees to the agents in China.

Scammers are not stupid – especially in China. To convince you that you need to buy a TEFL or TESOL training course (price ranges from $99 to $4,999 depending upon your own gullibility) they will spam hundred of bogus but appealing “teach in China” ads online every week with high salaries and great benefits, but will insert a sentence that says “TEFL Certificate Required” or “TESOL Certificate” required. After seeing dozens of these ads, people just start to believe the BS and assume that they have to get a TEFL or TESOL certificate to teach in China! One of these spammers was just caught at Yahoo Answers. See:

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20140826064935AAKBSKG

You further need to know that 95% of all China employment recruiters and job agents are not licensed nor registered to do business in China – even the foreigner who contacted you. They operate from their home of coffee shop, use free email accounts, and disposable cell phone number. They have no office and 70% have no web site. Most of them will not even give you their real or full legal names. In fact 20% of them are identity thieves that are only fishing for your resume and passport scans. Read this article for details:

http://open.salon.com/blog/china_business_central/2013/03/13/phony_china_recruiters_now_target_5000_expats_monthly_1

If you do not know how to find your own job in China contact the CFTU for a firect employers list.  If you are a bit lazy and like the convenience of using a recruiter, at least send them this form letter before and insist that they complete every question BEFORE you even send them your resume.  If they refuse to cooperate or leave any space blank, they clearly have something to hide and are probably blacklisted at http://www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org  So if you do not use the below form and you later get screwed out of 30%-50% of your salary, or the police arrest you for $10,000 of unpaid credit card debts, don’t say you were not warned. When you work in China as an expat, you are surely swimming with sharks that have an insatiable appetite. We try to starve these predators, but too many newbie ESL teachers keep feeding them.

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Don’t become a snack for the China sharks!

 lunch

 

 

 

Record number of China foreign teacher expats deported in 2014 according to CFTU special report…

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You cannot legally work on the above visa!

 

For more than a decade over 20,000 expat foreign teachers were working illegally on tourist, student, and business visas.  If caught the worse you could expect was a fine, a stern warning, and 30 days to get legal (obtain a Z work visa).  Times have changed drastically since the new visa law took effect in September of 2013.  No more warnings.  Instead, foreigners caught working without Z visas are now arrested on the spot and detained until a stiff fine is paid, and then after you hand write a letter of apology for the government captors, you will be deported within 10 days – all at your own expense. If you happen to be a student at a Chinese University or even engaged or married to a Chinese partner – tough luck.  Say goodbye to China for at least three years because when you get the boot you will also get a 3 to 5 year reentry ban.

In May of 2014 alone, 379 expat foreign teachers were detained and deported without exception. The smallest fine was 1,000 yuan and the largest 24,000 yuan (the penalty fine is determined by how many days you are found to have been working illegally). It is not only a traumatic, but costly affair. In only the first six months of 2014, the CFTU reports that 1,237 expat foreign teachers have already been deported for visa violations. Now take a look at the below chart from 2012 and you will realize in short order that the visa law enforcement and deportation rates have doubled in only two years.

CFTU Visa Alert_1

Indeed, deportation stinks, but the smell starts with the bs farts of unethical agents and recruiters who apparently will gloss over visa issues, lie outright, or deftly deceive. So pay attention fellow foreigners. The good old days are gone and despite what the crafty recruiters and and greedy agents may tell you… THERE IS NO LEGAL WAY TO CONVERT ANY OTHER VISA TO A Z VISA ONCE YOU ARRIVE HERE!  So why do they keep telling this to all the newbie wanna be China-bound teachers?  Here are the reasons…

1)  85% of all the schools in China are not licensed to hire foreign teachers (aside from the public schools and universities) and they therefore are not allowed nor authorized to issue an employment invitation letter that would give you the required “Z” visa.

2)  Sponsoring a full-time foreign employee for a Z visa costs money and let’s face it, Chinese are…uh…er, shall we say “frugal”.

3)  By getting you to come here to China illegally, they will own you upon arrival and if you threaten to quit for a better-paying job they will threaten to report your illegal status to get you deported!

4)  Only about half of Z visa applications are accepted whereas 95% of L visa applications and 87% of F visa applications are accepted.

5)  Agents and recruiters are not required to identify your employer until after you arrive as a “tourist’. If they were to identify the employer before you get to China you would have time to check the various blacklists of China schools below and maybe find your employer has a horrible history and reputation of cheating teachers.

http://worldwolfwatch.wordpress.com

http://chinascambusters.com

http://chinaforeignteachersunion.org

http://globalblacklist.org

http://eslwatch.info

So friends, be aware that if you choose to roll the dice and work without a “Z” visa, you have an 80% chance of getting away with it, but conversely, you have a 20% of being caught – and deported. If you do get busted, you also need to know that there is absolutely nothing the CFTU or your embassy can do for you.  If some smooth recruiter convinces you to ignore all the warnings, you can get a free copy of China Visa Laws in English to read for yourself by sending an email to ChinaVisaLaws@ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org

Good luck and safe journey no matter where your teaching career may take you! 🙂

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China Investment Scams – Now More Sophisticated And Less Detectable. Welcome to China’s Creative Investment Frauds…

trap
Only five years ago, it was fairly easy to spot a Chinese investment fraud after only a few dozen victims told their stories. The red flags were easy to spot… unsolicited business contact from a prospective Chinese partner or investor, invitations to visit China, quick and easy negotiations, etc. Within a year scam warnings were being flashed and posted all over the internet and so the Chinese fraudsters had to get creative and they did.

They began recruiting scam team members abroad in the West to bird-dog for them and to present themselves as nephews and cousins of “very wealthy and corrupt” investors and government officials in China. Many use photo-shopped photos of themselves with past and presents Chinese leaders at the deputy minister level and above, and leased luxurious office spaces in New York, Beverly Hills, London, etc. The appearance of wealth is everywhere yet it is fabricated – all part of a big well-produced and directed show.

They target western project developers who are already actively seeking EB5 investments in the west – also known as the “immigration by investment program” since these people rarely need to be sold on China’s excessive wealth. Once a target is selected they will get a casual call or an email expressing a “mild interest” in their project an request an executive summary. A second call will follow within two weeks suggesting “a friend from China” will be visiting and has requested a preliminary meeting. A complete name for the fiend will never be provided. They will say “Mr. Liu, Mrs. Zhang, or a Mr. Chen” a longtime associate for example which narrows it down to a field of about 50 million people who all share that family name. But they will curb their enthusiasm and remain low key – unlike previous scammers who would puff up the importance of the Chinese contact.

Upon arrival, the Chinese visitor will shun any public appearance at a restaurant and always insist on a private meeting. At that time they will insist that mutual non-disclosure agreement with huge monetary penalties be signed before proceeding further and the agreements are produced and signed.

pinocchio-lawyers_are_liars

Now the great fairy tale unravels… Mr. Liu represents two or three corrupt generals or Chinese officials who want to get their dirty money out of China since it cannot be deposited in any bank. They are looking for an investment vehicle that will launder their money and allow 10% of the millions to be directed into the actual investment. The mark has no clue the meeting is being secretly recorded. Of course they will not use their real names on any contracts and documents and so long as they continue to launder the funds, the investment dollars will continue. Perhaps photos like the one below will be shown to document the “cash” problem they have.

cash1

The catch is that they must use a Beijing company as an intermediary agent to provide third party deniability for all parties concerned. One such company is called ZERO TO IPO in Beijing, which runs a few unrelated scams of their own as well. Now, the foreigner is invited to come to China “at his convenience” when they are ready to do business. There is no pressure or rush as other previous Chinese scams. Zero To IPO is just one of over a hundred such scams operating in Beijing and twice as many are operating out of Shanghai. If our small team of three volunteers can find them, rest assured the authorities know who they are as well. We spotted Zero to IPO in less than an hour after our unscheduled walk-in to their office generated near panic and one employee grabbed a box of documents and ran out a side door and another began shredding. When we asked to speak to the “Managing Director” we were asked by the naïve receptionist “which one?” When I replied I could not remember Chinese names very well and I think it was Mr. Li, she replied, “Sorry, there is no Li on the list”. So at this point I gathered up a handful of business cards that were in the conference room that I ducked into while pretending to be looking for the wash room. Note below that this Zero To IPO company does not have a Managing Director. They have 9 of them! In some countries this is illegal and in most others – unheard of.

Fiery%20X3e15340

Back to our little scam story… Once in China, the mark is wined and dined for a day or two before being told that “the General” wants to meet the man he is trusting his money to”. A dramatic and secret meeting is arranged at a tea house. The General will always be waiting in some private room but never in a uniform, although photos of him in a uniform will be shown at some point. Again the meeting will be secretly recorded. After a short 30 minute meeting the general will get “an urgent call” and leave with a veiled threat “I am trusting you with a small amount first, but if anything goes wrong, I am holding you personally accountable”. The translator reluctantly does his job, the general shakes the mark’s hand and exits the room to attend to his fabricated emergency.

Now the intermediary agent explains the procedure that a Hong Kong company will use $5 million of cash to buy shares in some successful Shanghai listed company in the name of the foreign project and once the shares are in hand the mark must pay a $500,000 facilitation fee to the intermediary company to handle the entire process which is secured by the shares. Since there appears to be no risk, the mark usually agrees. If he hesitates, he will be driven to a luxury home wearing a blindfold, and led into a room that will have about 5-10 pallets of cash wrapped in plastic to convince him that his $500,000 is nothing compared to what awaits if he cooperates. He is then told that they want to move $10 million a month. By now, the hesitation has been replaced with greed. The mark usually agrees and then is asked to remain in China for another day or two while the shares are procured.

edwardCIA-NSA-Edward-Snowden_1

“Because of the Snowden thing, don’t dare send an email or talk with anyone on the phone about this” the mark is told as he is reminded that money laundering is against the law in both China and America, but at least in China, you can buy your way out of a problem if you are caught. In 2 or 3 days, the stock shares are produced (excellent counterfeits that are virtually undetectable). They are shown to the mark and he is told he can hold half of them until the money is wired in and then he will get the balance of the certificates. He has no objections.

The $500,000 facilitation fee is wired into an account set-up only days before especially for this scam by a ghost account holder. The mark is now given the balance of his shares and told “Do not sell these for at least 30 days or you will set off alarm bells and we suggest you sell no more than $1 million at a time.” The mark is elated and is told to return to Beijing in 45 days to do the next and monthly transactions which will be $10 million each.

angry-executive-on-phone

Eventually the mark learns he was duped and the stock certificates are great fakes. If he calls or returns to protest or request a refund, he is played the recordings and told that if any problems are made the recordings will be sent to the authorities. Choosing between a $500,000 loss or a potential 20 year prison sentence, incredible embarrassment, and hefty legal fees, you can guess how this story ends.

There are many variations to this scam and some even involve some drunken affair arranged with a local prostitute as added insurance of the victim’s silence. But each score is for a minimum of at least $500,000 and as high as $3 million. No CEO wants to admit they were taken in by such a scam and usually cover up the entire ordeal.

ccgirl

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