Suspected job scammers arrested
Shanghai police have busted a gang of nearly 200 people who are suspected of conning more than 3 million yuan ($460,000) from over 30 victims by promising them jobs at Shanghai Disneyland.
Police announced the arrest of three suspected gang leaders on April 14, two months ahead of the highly-anticipated opening of Disney’s first theme park on the Chinese mainland.
A taxi driver surnamed Li was the first to report the scam to police in Shanghai Pudong New District, where Disneyland is located. Li said he once saw a recruitment advertisement and dialed the phone number printed to get more information.
After the person on the other line promised Li a management position at Disneyland, he soon quit his job as a taxi driver and paid 13,000 yuan in “brokerage fees”. However, the management position that was promised to him turned out to be a cleaning job.
Li later discovered that his other colleagues managed to secure jobs at Disneyland by sending their resumes to the company directly, and none of them had to pay any brokerage fees. Realizing that he was scammed, he made a police report on March 26.
Police soon began investigations and found a man surnamed Shi who was running a chat group titled “Join us at Disney Park” on the WeChat messaging service. There were more than 200 participants in the group. Shi was arrested by the police along with another two suspects on April 6.
One of the suspects, surnamed Xu, revealed during the interrogation that she once worked in an employment agency and believed she could make a big fortune by pretending to offer candidates job opportunities at Disneyland.
“She always told the people who called to inquire that she was a good friend of a senior executive at Disneyland and hence could ensure that they stand a higher chance of receiving job offers,” said Mi Yangjun, an information officer with the police.
Xu told the police that she would forward the resumes of these people to Disneyland whenever the company released recruitment notices and that some of these applicants were actually offered jobs.
For those who failed to get job offers from Disneyland, Xu charged each person more than 10,000 yuan and signed them up for a 20-day training course. More than 30 people have reported this incident to the police.
This is not the first time that Shanghai police have found people claiming they can provide job opportunities at Disneyland. In February, police caught a group of eight people who utilized major recruiting websites to post fraudulent job advertisements for Disneyland, scamming more than 100 people of money they claim was for registration fees and physical examination costs.
The police has reminded the public that the recruitment information for Disneyland will only be released on their official website and that the company will never authorize a third party to organize interviews.