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Job seekers, beware of the pitfalls of illusory offers

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-07 07:23

Job seekers share employment information at a job fair in Dongying, Shandong province, on July 15. [Zhou Guangxue/For China Daily]

In several big cities, including Beijing, a rather "creative" but vicious fraud has been targeting young female job seekers.

The fraudsters upload the name of a non-existent company on job-seeking websites, giving some details about it and saying it has vacancies for high-paying jobs. When a young female job seeker submits her resume to the company, they call her for an interview, which is programmed in a way that she emerges successful. But before signing the labor contract, they tell her she needs "a little image promotion", for which she requires a plastic surgery. And then they direct her to the contracted hospital.

The plastic surgery costs between 80,000 yuan ($11,780) and hundreds of thousands of yuan. The victim is cheated into signing a loan contract to pay for the surgery that they promise will be reimbursed by the "company" later.

The rest of the story is easy to guess: The entire "company" disappears as soon as the job seeker, medical gauze covering her face, emerges from the operation theater. The victim is then forced to pay back the loan with an extremely high interest rate, because she had signed on the contract that included such a clause. Worse, in some cases the plastic surgery is of poor quality, leaving the victim with a disfigured face and in trauma.

The Beijing police recently busted one such gang of fraudsters, detaining nine suspects who had pocketed 3 million yuan from 10 victims. According to the investigation, the gang, the hospital and the loan company colluded to trap the victims. The suspects detained in Beijing may face criminal charges soon for breaking the law, and we hope the police and judiciary in other cities would take similar action against the gangs running such frauds there.

Perhaps more importantly, young people need to exercise more caution to not fall prey to such gangsters. Young job seekers can avoid the "plastic surgery loan fraud" if they are alert enough to differentiate between a genuine job offer and an illusory offer.

First, they need to know that high-paying jobs are offered to only those candidates who have rich experience and a deep understanding of a particular sector. Since only a limited number of companies can offer such jobs, if an unknown company comes up with such an offer through a relatively easy interview, it is possibly a trap.

Second, experience tells us to never sign any legal document which we do not know enough about. In several of the reported frauds, the fraudsters required the victims to sign a loan contract, promising to reimburse the amount but without including the reimbursement clause in the document. Had the victims been alert enough to read the entire contract, they would have refused to sign it.

And third, in retrospect, a majority of the fraudsters who create the non-existent vacancies use "live-streaming anchors" to convince the job seekers. The fraudsters show the photographs of some popular anchors on livestreaming platforms and promise the victims they will get a similar job and become equally famous provided they undergo a plastic surgery.

Since live-streaming is rampant, the victims believe they can become famous overnight and earn lots of money. They don't realize that livestreaming anchors become famous only after making herculean efforts and investing boundless energy into their jobs, not because they have a "beautiful" face.

It is high time young people gave up the illusion about gaining fame and riches overnight. Only when they realize that hard work and creative energy are necessary to achieve success in any profession can they avoid being lured by frauds into taking "plastic surgery loans".

The author is a writer with China Daily.

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