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lock Fraud Alert - 5 Red Flags Of China Internship Scams & Fake Jobs

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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #458 by Moderator Black Bart

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After speaking at length with reps from both the British Business Council and China Scam Patrol about the legalities of China Internships and Jobs, they pretty much convinced me that most all the ads you see online for "Work in China" and "China Internships" are bold scams with very few exceptions. But they both said it is easy to spot the fakes and even easier to spot the real deals if you know what to look for.

First about China Internships: The real true China internships are seldom ever advertised and are available straight from the HR staff of the companies sponsoring the internship. This explains the routine here . They do not use third party recruiters or brokers.

Red Flag No. 1: So if you are not dealing directly with an HR specialist at the company, it is 99% certain to be a scam. This is your first red flag to watch for.

Red Flag No. 2:
If you are asked for any money up front, no matter how little the amount, and no matter whether they call it a deposit, a processing fee, a registration fee, etc. it is surely a scam without any doubt.

Red Flag No. 3: If you are told to lie on your visa application or hide the fact that you are coming to China to work as an intern - Run! Also a sure sign of a scam. No legitimate company is going to ask you to lie and commit a felony that can put you behind bars for 2 years.

Red Flag No. 4: If a company tell you that you will probably get hired after you complete your internship they are lying to you. Less than 5% of China interns recruited by brokers and private "internship companies" even receive job offers. Even when you apply directly with legitimate companies, you have a 28% of getting hired full time.

Red Flag No. 5: If your legitimate questions are avoided you are dealing with a scam. What kind of questions? Here are 5 sample questions;

1) Who owns your company and what is your SAIC business license number (ask for a copy of the license)

2) What are my total costs including housing, meals, ground transportation, air fare, your fees etc. Ask for an itemization and if you don't get one, take a pass.

3) Can you guarantee me in writing a placement with a Fortune 500 or MNC company?

5) Can you provide me a list of your 20 largest companies that you work with as intern sponsors?

6) What universities can vouch for your company?

You can get a blacklist of the worst and best China internships at .

Okay enough about China internships. The biggest danger are the fake job recruiters and head hunters, about one-third of which these days are identity thieves. Read here to see why you have a 20% of becoming a victim of identity theft: .

According to here are 25 Red Flags to watch for. Any five of them are enough to move on and report the scam here and at

My thanks to China Scam Patrol which sent me a huge file on identity theft in China that basically boils down to fake and unlicensed black market agents that collect personal data from both job and visa applicants and then after trying to sell their services, sell the information to identity theft rings for big bucks. In order to avoid detection they sit on the information to let it "cool off" a bit and then go on crime sprees using the victim's identity for all sorts of scams including:

* Credit Card Fraud
* Prescription Fraud
* Mortgage Fraud
* Check Fraud
* Driver's License & Passport Fraud
* Gun Registration Fraud
* IRS Tax Refund Fraud
* Automobile Financing Fraud
* Stock Trading Fraud
* Jewelry & Pawn Shop Fraud
* Travel & Casino Fraud

Usually the victim finds out in about six months after their banks accounts are either emptied or frozen by police investigators and a warrant for their arrest was issued! At the very least this scam costs the victims about $10,000 in legal fees to clear their names and get court orders to restore their previous credit ratings. 3,800 ID thieves have so far been identified by China Scam Patrol and 3,000 of them are China-based, and posing as various head hunters, HR managers, and ESL School job recruiters.

In order to spot the bogus scam agents the CSP issued these 25 red flags and say that if any China agents falls into 5 or more of these categories, you should avoid and report them to tips{at}

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.

There is also a blacklist of 35 notorious visa agents and 367 scam recruiters maintained at here at The last big bust in China for ID theft was 1,700 people back in 2012 and since then most of the rings moved from Beijing to Fujian Province where they can better protect themselves with bribes. See:
Last edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Moderator Black Bart.
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