What starts as small talk, soon leads to the girls inviting the tourist(s) to a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, where they will taste about eight different teas within fifteen minutes or so in a closed room in a backend alley teahouse.The tourists are led to believe that the tea that is served is inexpensive, but will later be presented with a bill of 650-2000 RMB (100-330 US dollar) or even more.Recently, it has become more and more common for people to be asked to join a group of friends they do not know on Weixin, writes.Because these groups have names such as ‘finances’, or ‘entertainment’, many people agree to add themselves to the group, as it is quite normal to ‘follow’ various groups on Weixin.The tea ceremony scam has been a common scam in China for years.It is aimed at tourists who are new to China, and are eager to experience something typically ‘Chinese’.The only way to handle these messages is to immediately delete them, without clicking the link attached.
(For more on Weixin, read: .) For many Chinese, the app has become an essential tool for everyday communication.Although victims of this scam will only lose a little bit of cash, this is now happening on such a large scale that these scammers are making large amounts of money.Tencent, the creator of We Chat, has responded that this specific scam is only happening to IOS users due to a software incompatibility.So how do scammers know the person they send a message to is a married woman? By sending the same message to as many people as possible, they enhance their chances of sending it to those that are female and married – vulnerable to clicking the link in the text.
Similarly, scammers also send out messages telling people that their daughter is a prostitute, providing them with a link for pictures as (non-existent) proof [one of our female Harbin friends was called by her father in the middle of the night, worried sick about his daughter].Many Chinese have installed apps on their phone such as Alipay (Chinese equivalent to Paypal).