Category: China in Asia (Article)
WARNING TO EXPAT TEFL & ESL TEACHERS AROUND THE WORLD! All those hundreds of ads and emails coming at you from CUCAS for over a year, turn out to be part of a great ruse to part fool you into sending $5,000 to study at a top 10 Chinese University. High School and University students in 23 countries are also getting the same pitch.
The four year old scam which has claimed over 5,000 victims since 2010 was recently exposed by China Scam Patrol as a fake domain sites owned and operated by a former government official named Peter Zheng who claims his CUCAS compay is part of China's Ministry of Education and that he works for "FREE" to enroll you into one of 200 China Universities - your choice.
Once that gets your wattention however, you are instructed to pay another company named Beijing-ChiWest a huge processing, application, or enrollment fee. You never know (until now) that the Beijing ChiWest company is also owned by Peter! Once your application an dpayment is submitted, you are told that the school you selected has turned you down (you supposed did not have grades good enough, or the enrollement is full,, etc.). In fact, Peter never even applied at the school you selected but sent your application to second level universities you never heard of where CUCAS gets paid a big recruitment commission! Refunds? Foregt about it!
What makes this scam so hard to detect is that Peter uses a beautiful web site that hasillegal domain names of CUCAS.edu.cn, edu.cn, and BeijingChiwest.cn which fools people into believing the claims of his sale speople who were recorded on the telephone telling students abroad "We re party of the Ministry of Education of China", when in fact their business license issued by the government says they are a private "for profit" company.
Be careful folks, half of the $5,000 you send to CUCAS to enroll at a university will go into this millionaire's pocket. For more details see http://ChinaScamPatrol.wordpress.com
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I want to share this story with you. We should have shared this two years ago when it happened but I guess we had other priorities at the time. But since one of my past students just gut burned by CUCAS, I decided that "better late than never" would apply here...
My soon-to-be-wife and I live in China for years now and recently she decided to get her post graduate degree. Because she is super busy opening a new business, she thought she would save time and money by using CUCAS which admittedly looks very legitimate - on the surface. After all, CUCAS never asks for any money and implies and actually tells applicants that they are part of the Chinese government (just look at their domain on their website).
However, when my fiance started going through the paperwork process, she was told to contact Beijing ChiWest which she was told was a "cooperator" with al the "connections" that would get her into Peking University, one of the best universities in China. Beijing ChiWest asked her for a $500 processing fee. This made me sus*i*ious since I used to work as a private investigator and am familiar with up-front fee scams.
So I did a little checking on the ownership of both companies and realized they were both owned by Peter Zheng, the China CEO of Cucas. When I inquired and asked for a meeting with Peter on behalf of my wife, I was told he was "too busy". When I asked for an appointment during the week, I was told he was "going abroad for a month tomorrow". Three days later I decided I would stop by their office unannounced. and pose my questions to their administrator or general manager, or both.
As I was sitting in the reception area, guess who walks in? Peter! I introduced myself and asked him how was his trip. He was puzzled and asked me what I was talking about. I did not have to ask him any questions because I realized the whole company is just one big fraud using fake affiliations and photoshopped endors*m*nt letters. My fiance tried to take a photo of some of those endors*m*nt letters to give to CCTV news and one of the girls working in the office d*m* near had a heart attack and stood in front of the displayed letters so they could not be photographed.
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