Scammers snare Chinese students with fake job and study offers

Lack of life experience makes graduates and undergraduates vulnerable to dodgy schemes, counsellor says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 5:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 5:20pm

Chinese university students are frequently falling prey to scammers with fake offers of jobs and study opportunities, according to a survey by state-run China Youth Daily.

Scammers also tried to fleece students with empty promises of private tutoring, loans to cover tuition fees, test information, rent and online shopping, the newspaper reported on Thursday.

Of the more than 2,000 students and fresh graduates surveyed by the news outlet, about 70 per cent said they or someone they knew had been scammed.

Beijing Normal University student counsellor Shen Zijao said students were particularly vulnerable because of their lack of life experience.

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“University students are eager to prove themselves, so can be easily tempted by scams [that provide job or internship opportunities],” Shen was quoted as saying.

A Central China Normal University graduate said she was scammed by an “overseas study agency” while applying for postgraduate courses in Britain.

“I contacted them a few times and thought that they had lots of expertise with foreign universities,” she was quoted as saying.

She paid 10,000 yuan (US$1,518) to take an IELTS English language test with them, after which the company severed all contact with her.

A Chongqing student said he was cheated out of 400 yuan after responding to a fake job advert on his university noticeboard, according to the report.

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The findings come after a string of reports about criminal gangs targeting university students.

Police last month arrested more than 1,300 people involved in two pyramid schemes, one operating in Beihai, Guangxi, and the other in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

The schemes attracted university graduates desperate to find jobs in a highly competitive employment market.