Chinese scam: Salary scammers infiltrate companies and even install their own directors

After studying the common features of the detainees, the police discovered that most of the scammers had real experience working with clients in the financial sector

After studying the common features of the detainees, the police discovered that most of the scammers had real experience working with clients in the financial sector

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Komsomolskaya Pravda has already talked about the sensational case of a Chinese fraudster Guan Yue, who fictitiously got 16 jobs at the same time and was able to earn money for a luxury villa in Shanghai. Posing as an experienced sales manager, she got herself work outside the office and misled employers by sending them photographs of supposed meetings with clients in their work chats. In fact, these were usually pictures from interviews at other companies. As long as employers believed that Guan Yue was working hard, she was paid a salary. Well, when she was fired for the lack of any results, the swindler left without regrets – after all, she had so many job offers that she transferred some of them to her accomplices for a similar percentage.

But as it turns out, Guan Yue’s case is just the tip of the iceberg. This kind of salary fraud has become a real scourge of the Chinese economy, writes the Xinmin newspaper. In the last year alone, it was possible to identify 700 gangs in the Middle Kingdom that infiltrated commercial organizations and siphoned money out of them using all available methods.

Fatal mistake

And it is unknown how many more scammers would have fooled employers if not for one mistake. In October 2022, Liu Jian, the head of an IT company, urgently looked for employees to promote a new product on the market. As a result, he hired what seemed like an ideal team of 8 people with impressive resumes, offering them generous salaries (from 100 to 300 thousand rubles in terms of our money). Imagine his surprise when, three months later, the results of their work turned out to be absolutely zero. The director hastened to part with the employees who did not live up to expectations, but they turned out to be not timid and extracted compensation for themselves.

And at this stage, the leader of this mini-gang, Yang Hong, made a mistake and mistakenly sent a photo of a letter of resignation from another company to a chat with the ex-leader. Liu Jian compared the dates on the document and realized that the careless employee was simultaneously working in another place. Then the director contacted the second company and found out that all 8 people worked on the side before they were fired, receiving two salaries at the same time. He could not forgive such deception and went to the police.

Case solved

Another lucky coincidence: the case came to the attention of the young but meticulous policeman Mi Yue, who began to methodically unravel this tangle. As it turned out later, some companies had already complained about scammers, but no one could provide convincing evidence and link the chain together. The claims were treated as an ordinary labor dispute, and here no one could defeat the scammers. Thus, the husband of Guan Yue, already familiar to us, who was involved in the criminal business, participated in 13 arbitration hearings and won all of them. With each such case, the swindlers only became more resourceful, cleaning up mistakes and skillfully falsifying evidence.

After collecting hundreds of testimonies from victims, police were finally able to assess the scale of the disaster. In March of this year, 53 people were arrested at once. In July, another 108 “salary fraudsters” were detained, and in August, after further searches, another 11 suspects were detained. Thus, one photo sent to the wrong place exposed dozens of criminal groups that managed to siphon more than $17.6 million from Chinese companies, not counting the indirect damage caused by their inaction in the workplace.

Portrait of an intruder

Having studied the common features of the detainees, the police discovered that most of the swindlers had real experience working with clients in the financial sector, they were professionally savvy and eloquent, and knew how to please and gain trust. First of all, they searched on job sites for small companies where the level of screening before hiring was not too serious. A prerequisite is a flexible schedule and remote work.

Moreover, by attending interviews almost every day and exchanging experiences with each other, the scammers have perfectly honed their interview skills, already knowing in advance what questions will be asked and what answers are expected from them, so they easily bypass real candidates for vacancies. There is even a case where scammers hired their man to the position of HR director, and he easily hired a whole group of “dead souls.”

There were even cases of competition between various gangs of salary scammers. Thus, one company hired 20 employees at once, but later received an anonymous call saying that they were all scammers. The company fired everyone and hired new ones in return. It turned out that the recruits also turned out to be swindlers, and the “noble” anonymous call was their doing. In addition to such daring tricks, scammers also resorted to banal tricks: they forged passports, work books, diplomas, bank statements and other documents.

Despite the arrests, many scammers managed to hide and escape justice. The Chinese are determined to completely eradicate payroll fraud as it causes serious damage to the economy, but this will take time and concentrated effort. Shanghai police have sent letters to companies urging them to carefully check candidates’ backgrounds when hiring. However, authorities admit that small businesses actually have neither the resources nor the time to find out all the ins and outs of potential employees.


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