- Study Buddy Challenger is for students who want to take their understanding to the next level with more difficult vocabulary and questions that will test their inference skills
- Check your reading comprehension using the questions below or in the linked Kahoot! game
Content provided by British Council
Read the following text and answer questions 1-9 below:
 A Hong Kong fortune-teller who charged HK$800 for her services was arrested by an undercover customs officer in a sting operation earlier this month, after she claimed her professional and academic qualifications were recognised by the government.
 The 32-year-old, surnamed Li, was detained after providing a numerology consultancy service – a type of fortune-telling based on numbers – to the undercover agent in her office in a Kwun Tong industrial building shortly before midday.
 Senior investigator Roger Chow Kin-chi, of the Customs and Excise Department’s unfair trade practice investigation group, said the woman was arrested on suspicion of applying a false trade description to a service. He said that Li broke the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, and her actions were punishable by up to five years in jail and a HK$500,000 fine. The woman has been bailed pending further investigation.
 Customs officers began investigating after receiving a complaint in June, accusing the woman of making a false claim over her recognised qualification. After establishing that she was lying, the undercover officer posed as a customer and arrested her. Officers were still looking into how long the woman had been offering her services.
 A law enforcement source said the woman had created a webpage advertising a 30-minute consultation for HK$800. According to the source, numerology predictions about destiny and career choices are based on a person’s birth date and time. On her webpage, the woman said she trained in “human design” fortune-telling for about five years, and became an analyst in this field in 2019. The source said there were human design courses in the city, but they were not officially recognised by the government.
 Chow reminded merchants to comply with the requirements of the trade law, and said consumers should only seek reputable services. He also urged members of the public to report any suspected violations of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance to the department’s 24-hour hotline on 2545-6182.
 The arrest was made about a fortnight after customs officers detained a male director and female employee at a barista training centre on suspicion of applying a false trade description to a barista skill course.
 According to the department, the barista training centre claimed it was approved by an international accreditation organisation, and that customers would receive a certificate issued by the body upon completion of the course. The arrests were made on October 27 after the investigation revealed the training centre was not an approved facility as it had claimed.
Source: South China Morning Post; November 9
Play a Kahoot! game about this story as a class or with your friends by clicking on the link here.
Or play on your own below to test your understanding:
1. Which of the following best describes “numerology”?
A. It is the practice of predicting a person’s future by examining the palm of their hand.
B. It is the use of numbers to try to tell somebody what will happen in the future.
C. It is a type of fortune-telling done by interpreting a random selection of playing cards.
D. none of the above
2. Based on your understanding of the article, why is “applying a false trade description” a problem for customers?
3. What is the maximum penalty Li will be subjected to if she is found guilty?
4. What prompted customs officers to look into Li’s numerology consultancy service?
5. Find a word or phrase in paragraph 6 that means “act in accordance”.
6. According to paragraphs 7 and 8, what had been promised to customers who signed up for the barista skill course?
7. Decide if the following statements are True, False or Not Given in the text.
(i) If Li’s human-design certification had official recognition from the government, the arrest would almost certainly not have happened.
(ii) The Customs and Excise Department told the fortune-teller they knew she was lying before the arrest.
(iii) Those who were affected by the barista training centre were eventually compensated.
(iv) Li mostly provided numerology consultancy services to middle-aged customers.
8. Write down one additional idea in each column using evidence from the text. The first one in each column has been done for you. (2 marks)
9. Which of the following best describes the text?
2. because they do not get what they think they are paying for
3. five years in jail and a HK$500,000 fine
4. They received a complaint which accused Li of making a false claim over her recognised qualification in “human design” fortune-telling.
6. certificates issued by the international accreditation organisation upon completion of the course
7. (i) T; (ii) F; (iii) NG; (iv) NG
8. (i) Similarities: Both cases were investigated/both arrests were made by the Customs and Excise Department. / Both cases relate to the suspects claiming to have or offer recognition for something they did not have or could not offer. (any one, or accept all other reasonable answers)
(ii) Differences: The barista training centre claimed it was approved by an international accreditation organisation, while the fortune-teller claimed her professional and academic qualifications were recognised by the government. / The barista training centre offered a “course” while the fortune-teller offered a “30-minute consultation”. (any one, or accept all other reasonable answers)