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Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Oriental Agent Scam Uncovered in Beijing By China Foreign Teachers Union

CFTU Exposes More Employment Agent Fraud In Beijing

Meet “David Wu” who three months ago was “David Chen” who six months ago was “David Wei”. What his real name is, we still don’t know for sure. David was set up by the CFTU with the help of China Scam Patrol (see When we caught him last Saturday he was carrying five different cell phones each having a different name taped to the phone so he would remember how to answer each call from his next victim!  David is just one of some 80,000 employment agents working in China, of which about 7,000 operate in Beijing, of which about 3,000 are unlicensed/unregistered scam artists who prey upon about 800 young new foreigners arriving to the Middle Kingdom every day.  Despite articles like those below published regularly in the Beijing and Shanghai foreign press,  hundreds of foreigners looking for work get lured into the webs of these fake agents and subsequently lose $150 to $300.  Perhaps small money to most foreigners, but when you consider that David admits to swindling about 40 foreigners every month, you can see that this is a very lucrative scam. On a collective basis the CFTU estimates that 3,000,000 yuan is stolen from foreign teacher candidates every month just in Beijing alone.

Reluctantly the China Scam Patrol persuaded us to make a deal with David. We would not hand him over to the police if he agreed to do three things:

1)      Explain the details of his scam and answer all of our questions truthfully

2)      Identify his fellow scammer friends in Beijing

3)      Agree to return to his home town of Zhengzhou and never return to Beijing

He agreed, and before we personally escorted him to the train station,  we spent three hours interviewing David after he consumed four glasses of bai zhou (Chinese white wine), this is what we learned... Although these agent fraudsters know each other by face, they never tell each other their real names in case they get busted by the cops. When they cannot sign-up a client they will trade names with each other of the failed attempts so each can take a second shot at the target. They are fierce competitors as well. Apparently there are three major rings. According to David, one is based in Fujian which he says are focused on identity-theft, another is a Beijing based group, and his own group from Zhengzhou, from which he claims he split away from over a year ago and became an “independent agent”.  So here are some of the questions we asked him:

Q: How do you find your victims?

A: Basically three different ways… First we have contacts with many different hr assistants and head hunters and they will sell us a list of all the foreigners that they do not hire. My girl will call and invite them to an interview.  Second, we will go to the Wudaokou and similar areas in Chaoyang where the foreigners live and my kids will distribute about 500 of my cards every day under the doors of apartment units.  Lastly me and my girl will give my card to any young foreigner we see on the street and if they respond good, we invite them for an interview.

Q: Where do you conduct your interviews?

A:  In one of two places, I prefer to use a coffee shop which is convenient and cheaper for me and more friendly for the client.  My other choice is to pay a 200 yuan per hour fee to buy time in a shared office near the Friendship Hotel.

Q:  What is that office used for normally?

A:   A guy who sells real estate and provides escort girl service owns the office, but I only saw him there one time in the last two years.

Q:  What is this man’s name

A:   Mr. Xue

Q:   Do other scammer agents also use this office?

A:    Only one that I know of.

Q:    What is his name?

A:     It is a girl named Ying and I don’t know more about her but I see her there some times interviewing a client.

Q:     How much do you charge your victims and how do they pay you and when do they pay you?

A:      I ask for 2,000 yuan but will bargain down to 1,000 yuan if they agree to pay up-front.  If they do not agree to pay the 1,000 yuan up front, I make them pay 50% up-front and the balance after they get hired.  If they are very difficult or suspicious the least I accept is 500 yuan deposit, but I get 1,000 or more from about 80% of my clients.

Q:     Why do the foreigners believe you?

A:      Because I give them real brochures from New Oriental and show them real New Oriental video and dress professional in jacket with tie.  I will even offer to give them tour of New Oriental school but most say they do not need or have no time. I am always friendly and not pushy like other agents.

Q:     How many interviews do you do a day?

A:      At least 3 but sometimes as many as 5 or 6. I don’t work on Sundays.

Q:     How long have you been doing this David?

A:      Almost four years.

Q:      In all this time did you ever get a job for any foreigner?

A:      Yes, in the beginning I want to be a real agent and I find three jobs for foreigners but it take too much time to only make 1,000 yuan profit per month per client. This way I do now is much more profitable and easier too. I have a wife and two babies to support.

Q:      How much money did you make in 2011 David?

A:      (After 2 minutes of hesitation he finally replied) Almost 500,000 yuan, but there are  others who make more than me. I am small potato.

Q:      Did you ever get caught?

A:      Two times in three years.

Q:      What happened?

A:       One time a foreigner bring the police to my interview and I had to pay the police 5,000 yuan to let me go after he make the foreigner believe I go to jail.  The other time a foreigner follow me to my apartment and beat me very bad and rob me.

Before taking David to the train station we took all the phone numbers from his cell phones as we intend to set up more fake agents if we can. We took David’s photo (above) and told him if he is ever seen in Beijing again, we will give everything we found on him and the chips from his phone to the police. He showed us the office inside the Friendship Hotel complex that he said he uses five or six times a month and China Scam Patrol will handle that matter. Surprisingly we learn that David graduated from China Agricultural University and is an agronomist. He is 36 years old and claims he turned to scamming when he could not find a “real job” and he saw one of his friends driving around in a BMW. The money was so good and easy he said he never looked back and the only regret he has was the beating.
In his wallet, David had phony business cards with different names, all claiming to be the “Senior Recruiter” from New Oriental, Wall Street English, English First, and Beijing IELTS.  He admits that he changes his identity and phone number every three months. In his IPad he had the resumes of 247 foreigners, which we deleted. Clearly a slick and slippery scammer by any standard.

We post this story here so you can understand WHY it is very risky business to use agents in China, and WHY we are asking the FEB, MoL, and MoE to establish a law to either ban agents or at least establish an on-line registry of the real legitimate agents with the photos that foreigners can check 24-7.
If you want to make your stay in China an enjoyable, stress-free, and safe one, please read and learn from the below links.

China Minimum Wage For Foreign Teachers


Looking For The 2014 CFTU Blacklist?  Click Below

Looking For the Free 2014 China Labor & Visa Laws In English?  Click Below

Looking For CFTU Free China Job Placement?  Click Below

Looking For The Latest Foreign Teacher Scams?  Click Below

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If you know of a shady agent who has been ripping people off, please send DETAILS and a photo (if available) to us at:  abuse(at)

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  2. If you sign up for an online site including elance, it will be easy to look for Jobs for agent, along with apply with the addition of the put money towards the job application.

  3. Good evening..does anyone have any experience working with the Tianjin Foreign Enterprises Personnel Training School? Are they a reputable outfit? Thanks so much!

  4. Good evening..does anyone have any experience working with the Tianjin Foreign Enterprises Personnel Training School? Are they a reputable outfit? Thanks so much!

  5. Hi, after reading all of the above I am slight worried about the companies who have sent me contracts to work in China. Would someone please let me know anything about 'Real World Education' also known as 'Verbal Education China' and 'Beijing HongYuan Sunny Education Technology Co.,Ltd' as I am unable to find any review on them at all.
    Thank you so much.

  6. Hi, after reading all of the above I am slight worried about the companies who have sent me contracts to work in China. Would someone please let me know anything about 'Real World Education' also known as 'Verbal Education China' and 'Beijing HongYuan Sunny Education Technology Co.,Ltd' as I am unable to find any review on them at all.
    Thank you so much.

  7. Please be advised that Metro International English School in Shenyang China is not a good reputable school to work for! I believe my z visa is fake and the owner owes me ¥32,500. Owner refuses to give me a letter of release or my FEC. Not sure how to get him added to blacklist so it would be great if someone would contact me on this issue. I've tried contacting several people to try and get help but have had no luck.