China Love Fraud Breaks Plenty Of Hearts…

Many lonely and single foreigners working far away from home here in China, too often get lonely and eventually cannot resist the singles ads on the big five Beijing and Shanghai internet portals which collectively have over 2,000 available women all claiming to be searching for true love and marriage on any given day. One of our own associates, sadly learned the reality of these lovely ladies, and aside from suffering a broken heart, he also lost $78,000 – and a good bit of old Chinese “face” (pride).

As our old friend, we cannot share his name, but he is allowing us to tell his story in hopes others don’t fall into the same romance trap that is now becoming a trend in China. This scam has traditionally been one related to beautiful would-be Russian brides, but China seductive shysters are now determined and clever competitors. Their target of choice – wealthy foreign executives. Their favorite weapon? A sly smile that beckons…

Indeed she was both beautiful and sexy, as well as very calculating. We shall call her “Sherry”. She hailed from Chongqing, on of China’s biggest and most progressive cities about 800 kilometers Southwest of Beijing, and she claimed to work in a law firm as a secretary and translator. Our friend “Louis”, a rising VP from a large Canadian corporation, found her while searching the internet for a certain restaurant on Her picture popped up in the margin with a caption “Looking for Mr. Right” There were no ads linked to the photo, just an angelic smile that ignited his curiosity. Louis had no idea that she had 17 other ads floating all over China on the expat web sites. He sent her a short note asking about the photo and why such a beautiful girl was still single.

She had all the right answers and soon they had dinner together and he was totally smitten after two hours together. Her slink curves and low cut silk dress were so alluring, not to mention that smile and passionate eyes. Louis had no way of knowing that she had other dates planned for five nights of the week – all with foreigners. She was 27 and Louis 48.

In America we call them “Goldiggers” but here in China they are usually called “arnei” playing the roles of second wives to wealthy Chinese businessmen. In reality, they are looking for more than gifts and a good time. Most want a green card in America or other western nation. They will even go the marriage route with the intent to divorce in a year or two.

Louis and Sherry dated only three times before they became intimate. The next day she conveniently announced that it was her birthday. She took Louis to show him a gold watch at Modern Plaza an upscale store in Beijing where even a pair of socks costs $200. She convinced Louis that in China if you wanted a girl to be your girlfriend, an expensive gift was required to impress her parents. He believed her and shelled out $6,000 for the Gucci watch But he noticed the following week that she was wearing another new Coco Chanel watch, which she calmly explained “its only a fake dear.” Within 3 months Sherry suddenly declared she was deeply in love with Louis, couldn’t bear to be away from him, and wanted to be his wife – and join him back in Canada.

Louis was flattered and quite happy to have such a young and beautiful wife. Louis divorced 3 years ago after a 9 year failed marriage. He bought Sherry a 2 carat diamond engagement ring for $28,000, and a wedding date was set in six months.

Fast forward two months later and Sherry came home sobbing one late night with the horrible news that her mother in Chongqing was diagnosed with cancer and she no medical insurance. She would need $25,000 to take her mom to Korea for treatment. Wanting to be a supportive family member, Louis offered to go with them and foot the bill, but Sherry insisted that would not be appropriate since they were still unwed. Cash would be okay, and of course 2 round trip plane tickets would be required.

Louis dropped Sherry off at Beijing International Airport and with a good-bye embrace and kiss he wished her safe travel and returned to his car. But my goodness – Sherry had forgotten her mobile phone! Louis only noticed when he her phone beeped with a text message signal, followed by another, and yet another. He pulled over to the side of the road and took the phone off the seat after the text messages would not cease.

Louis was assigned to Beijing because of his fluency in Mandarin. Now he wished he never learned the language at all as he read the messages that came in this order “Did the idiot really give you cash?” “I booked us rooms at The Seaview in Sanya”, “The American Douglas will meet you in Shanghai. Be sure to get his credit card numbers and expiration dates”. “Remember to pick up two new sim cards in Shanghai.”, “Did Louis notice his bank account yet?”

How this story ends really doesn’t matter now, but suffice it to say the police were less than helpful and Louis never laid eyes on Sherry again. But there now appears to be a very similar girl with curly auburn hair going by the name of “Maggie” on the same Beijinger. Could it be?

How to protect yourself? This is tough. You simply have to avoid internet “honey traps” and take relationships slow. If a new partner wants to be lavished with gifts and needs to borrow money, you need to be strong enough to admit you are a target – not a future spouse. If a partner is obsessed with leaving China for America, Canada, etc. you may only be a quick way out for them. Listen to the feedback of your best and closest friends. They will pick up on this scam before you do. You can also test your new partner by making a comment that you plan to remain and retire in China because you lost your fortune in the 2008 financial collapse and cannot afford to live anywhere else other than China. If he/she say that is not important and they just want to be at your side, well, it just may be your lucky day!

If you come across a love fraud ring or any other scam that needs exposing, please drop the dime on them in confidence by sending an email to tips{at}, or post a warning for others at



7 thoughts on “China Love Fraud Breaks Plenty Of Hearts…

  1. This guy must have shit for brains or this babe is a real looker. I wonder how many of these grls are trolling at any given time? Thanks for the heads up. I am gong to China on business next week actually.

  2. Hi all,

    I’m married to a beautiful Beijinger, she’s 31 and I’m 49. We met by chance in Hong Kong as she was passing through on a business trip. We married nine months later, had our first baby girl ten months later and then our second girl 18 months later. I couldn’t be happier.

    However, I realise I’m one of the lucky ones and think that perhaps from that experience, I may have I found another way to spot a scam…

    There is strong emphasis in China for the new couple to continue the bloodline, with the economic benefits (future financial support from the offspring) being one consideration, but really in general, just a genuine desire to see the family name continue.

    Here lies where I think its possible to spot a scam….

    Assuming the my point is true, then I would expect discussions early in the relationship about children with your new friend or future bride would trigger a response that may give you a view into her true intentions. I haven’t quite figured all of it out, but I suspect something like, “Do you want children and how soon? …or, “Hey, you know, we talked about wanting children. Would you be you willing to take a fertility test?”

    Or perhaps, when you’re intimate, forego the contraception and if/when she’s alarmed, make a comment like “We want children, right?!? Why not start now? Besides, we’re getting married soon!”…. This of course comes with it’s own risks, both physical and perhaps getting hitched or becoming a father quicker than you may have planned. 🙂

    Maybe my logic is flawed but I can’t help but think it’s possible to use that as a way to spot true intentions.

    Good luck to you.

    • My brother who married a girl in China about two years ago and now have a daughter. I don’t know whether this is a scam or not, but lately she asked my brother to purchase the life insurance for their daughter just in case my brother is gone, and no one is taking care of the kid. Would you consider this as a scam?

      • Very difficult to know without more details. But it is not uncommon for foreign husbands to up and leave their China families over a big family dispute and they may just want some “back-up” insurance so to speak.

  3. Since I received this letter, is there any one who can direct me to where I can find some one to help me get my money back? I have her real name, address, email address, and phone number. Who can help me get my money back?

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