How I got SCAMMED out of $5,000 in China

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serpentza : Not working on a tourist visa is probably the strongest lesson to learn from your experience, I have had to help so many expats in your exact position in the past. They either convince themselves or get duped into thinking that it's okay to work on a tourist visa (sometimes the schools take their passports and pretend to be processing a work visa), and then when they don't get paid or if there's any sort of issue, there's no recourse because the person working on a tourist visa is breaking the law and has no leg to stand on, you can't go to the police and say "I have been working illegally and breaking the law, but my boss didn't pay me"... You paid some school fees on this one, it sucks but I hope others who see your video will be deterred from making the same mistake, working illegally in China is not okay, especially now that things have gotten more regulated

Ye Geng : sorry, 你在中国经历了这样的事我也觉得很羞耻,的确,中国有很多诈骗团伙,比如电信诈骗,工作诈骗,金融诈骗等等。但是我想第一个骗局不是真的骗局,是培训学校经营不善,没人投资,使得其倒闭,这样老板自己没钱支付员工工资,但最后老板自己借钱支付了一千多元,估计他自己也很难受,这也是极其不负责的表现,可能他也真的没有办法了。中国有很多地方都存在拖欠工资的情况,你刚好遇到了一个,但是这几年在国内政府打压下,这种情况越来越少,如果遇到拖欠农民工工资的情况,请先报警,一般都能得到解决。在中国工作希望你找正规合法的企业,只要他雇用你,那一定要签署劳动合同,没有劳动合同在中国是不合法的,你工作被骗的就是这种不合法的企业。另外,如果你在中国没有工作签证就去打工赚钱,这是非法的哦。再次对你在中国的遭遇感到不幸,吃一堑,长一智,希望你以后总是有好运相随。

byKaja : That's absolutely horrible that are people like that out there who take advantage of others ;/ so sad, I'm sorry that this happened to you!

Ayla : Simple answer - never work on a tourist visa (in ANY country), but especially China. It’s the foreigner who will be blamed for flouting Chinese law. They have no obligation to pay you, when you shouldn’t be ‘working’ in the first place

Wy123 : Basically knowledge is you can't work in a foreign country with tourists visa.

Travellight : I'm SO glad that you are making these videos! You overcame the situation so well and you should be proud of that. And everyone the second scam really is CRAZY so I can't wait for tomorrow's videos!

Eric Bates : A misleading title as no money ever existed in the first place.You got scammed into donating your free time which is a hard lesson in life for you but not the same as losing your own actual money.This sort of foreign labour exploitation goes on right across the world and i'm sure America has done just as bad to people with no green card.Maybe not a good idea to go back to China any time soon after releasing this video Poppy.Just sayin!

NO pass : This video is a good warning about the 'highlight reel' nature of Youtube vlogging channels. Back at the time she was getting scammed and they were going broke, there's nothing but lovely, happy videos of them having a great time in China and swanning off to Malaysia care-free. The reality was they were eating nothing but cup noodles and hadn't been paid in 3 months, and they had student loans circling over their heads and were fast running out of options.

Beach Guy : The first one was not a scam. It was about a business that went belly up and could not fulfill the debt obligation.

Di Xiao : scam happens everywhere. People got scammed mostly because they do not familiar with the local culture. I got scam calls every few days in US, but i know the fact that they are scam calls.

Seninus : No paycheck problem ..... 1:you worked illegally first (No government protection) ----> your own fault. 2: There's scams in U.S also(renting, jog hunting), and nobody is sad about this country or its culture. most of people know how to tell if they are scam while you can't. so it's a lesson.

Deanna St : Why do you allow anyone to blackmail you like that! What you showed us here you should show to the Chinese police. Why did you not contact Serpenza about this? He lived there for 10 years and knows everything, his wife is Chinese he for sure could have given you the best and most valuable advice. It's not too late to contact him as a fellow youtuber and tell him your story

Felix Niederhauser : Never work on a Tourist Visa, no matter which country. With a Tourist Visa YOU are a Tourist.Period. NB: Have been an Expat for more than 30 years, also in COMECON countries.

jim kuan : Come on. There are so many foreigners (many of them don't even speak good English) teaching English in China for over a decade now. So teaching English in China is such a crowded and low barrier field. If you think that someone will pamper you to such an extend to make you teach English is quite naïve. I am glad you did not lose everything. So always go with reputable and established and personally referenced schools.

Bruce Chen : disclose the bad people

Cristian Gonzalez : Damn Poppy I love how you always reveal the real.... thanks for opening my eyes I'm sorry it went sideways

龚湘波 : As a Chinese,I am really sorry about this situation.Actually in China, the salary of the foreign teacher are better indeed,but you have to go to a ‘real’ school.At the end,Hope you like China!

Michael Jiang : I am so sorry to hear your story. I totally understand why you didn't tell it earlier and not willing to disclose more info now. Shenzhen is like the wild wild west for even Chinese, it didn't exist until 40 years ago. Everyone in Shenzhen is from somewhere else. So you should have done some research before coming to Shenzhen. And you need a local friend to help you get started. Some rookie mistakes I would say. Beijing and Shanghai are more friendly to first time foreign visitors. But anyway, I do hope you can report the case to local police if you have enough evidence. They will get those bad people I can assure you. We need all crime victims to come forward so China can be a better place. Always support you!

John O'Shaughnessy : Poppy, I’m so sorry to hear you had to put up with this. You have such a great, positive personality that shines through your videos - I hope you’ll be able to put this behind you. Hopefully most of humanity won’t let you down.

Alex Absolute : Schools here in China can be awful, I’ve worked for one dodgy place but have heard many shitty stories that are almost carbon copies of your story.

Patrick Wu : I feel you, so sorry to hear this story. I do believe in karma and golden rule!!! just move on, leave this behind, not worth being sad

Spider-Man 2099 Future New White Suit : Last month I lost $600, i got scammed. I was very upset and heartbroken. People theive out there are so rude and heartless.... It’s very hard to beware, we just have to be very careful out there no matter what, it was hard for me to get through. I learn from my mistakes and I’m not going to fall for it ever again. Anyway I’m sorry that happen to you. Just be careful. Hope one day the karma will go to them

Millennial Travel Confessions : Such an unfortunate situation, sorry for your bad experience. But, thank you for making others aware so they can avoid being scammed.

Sha・Ne・Ru : I applaud you for sticking it out 3 months though. There was a time where I got a job and 2 weeks they didn't sign a contract with me, I asked what was happening, didn't get a proper answer, so I quit xD I've quit over less so I'm quite proud(? lol?) about your ability to stick to something. But also, terrible experience, an i'm sorry you had to go through it... but i'm glad you've been able to come this far and move forwards

CHAO PENG : Hi Poppy, I suggest you to sign contract with the school directly. My girl friend is working in a primary school in Shenzhen. And she is now looking for English teachers for her school. It would be a long contract with good salary (Higher than you get from the agency)

Silentchrome : I wanted to go to China this year, so I did the interview with them etc. They sent me a contract, so I took it to a lawyer (that's my friend) and he read through the whole contract and he told me that something does not add up for him and that there a whole lot of stuff that they must stipulate, needs to be stipulated in the contract. They kept messaging me saying "When are you gonna sign the contract and send it to me" So ek replied them" I have sent the contract to a lawyer and a soon as his finish everything looks good then I will send it to you, signed also". After that they didn't answer me at all. From then I haven't heard of them. While I negotiated with them, my friend flew to China, she negotiated with another recruitment company. When she came in China stuff didn't add up for her. To wrap it up.. the Guy who recruited her, was locked up by the Police, caught for corruption theft of money. He left her alone with no money etc etc. Luckily she had family in China so she stayed by them. According to the government, she has illegaly entered China,that China Police was looking for her. That guy actually took her illegaly into China. When I heard that, I decided not to go to China at all. There was alot of young poeple that was recruited by him. That people got in contact with The South African Government (Where I live and they are from) And they took the matter to the China Government. That young people were helped put of China(with help from the China Government). Btw it is more that 10 young poeple that was scammed by that guy. At the end he was arrested for Fraud.

Liang Li : I am so so sorry that you got scammed. The first one I believe is a radical business woman who wants to create a business with you but finally bankrupt. It is a stupid business. Second one I don’t know but I am sure it is some disgusting expats cheating on you, you can call 110. Next time if you want to teach English in China, make sure you join a formal school, check information via internet and if necessary go to the school to check it out, then sign a formal contract. It will minimize the risk of cheat and get a good job. I am sure you can find lots of good job there.

Zeal Gao : I live in China,actually if you come across this situation again, just asking for help from Chinese police.they have a good ability to distinguish scam,they wouldn't confirm you as a spy easily. Because Chinese polices handle a lots scam like you have meet. finally I think you find a wrong website to get jod, no one use this website to find job in China.

melirose20 : After back to back ads, I guess I'll never know how Poppy got scammed.

Who Austin : OMG the second one really terrified me, so nasty. And as a local mainland Chinese, I feel so sorry about what you have been through. That ‘Bonnie’ was really good at scamming, and I’m so sorry this experience had hurt you and made you feel so naive... that shouldn’t have happened at the first place. Hope you never met this kind heartless b1tch ever. And some advises about Chinese politics, I hope I can make myself understood. First of all, You can totally criticize China, for its environment or people or anything as long as it’s truth. You won’t get in trouble for that even if you shoot the videos and uploaded it. Second thing is, by no means should you publicly taking side on sensitive issue (like supporting the secession of any region)or anything that makes you suspicious for intending to split this country .(trust me that’s not a joke and not just for foreigners) Nor should you spreading the hateful words about CCP or leaders of China or some sensitive people to Chinese people publicly, (especially a person related to media.) The best tip is to just stay away from politics if you don’t know the red lines. I have seem almost every single one of your videos about China, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be just fine. I was also afraid with my words when I was younger, since there are rumors floating around and I didn’t know too much about CCP by then. But then I got to know it, and realized this party or this government has its won standard which are strictly obeyed. it was by then that I felt cool with my speech. Hahah and even feel kind of free now. (Some might laugh at me about this, but it’s true , I a ordinary person here feel good and safe and hopeful with my life. ) Looking forward to your second story. Poppy you are doing an amazing thing, to share the truth and share the real first-handed full-scale views about this world. I have learned a lot (including English lol). Thank you so much for your sharing.

Maldini Paolo : Sad to hear that...

Hanging With Sam : OMG... I'm scared to see tomorrow's video but I know I'll be watching it. This sounds like a nightmare. I had no idea you went to teach English in China! I thought you just went there because rent was cheap and you could travel all over Asia easily being so close to the major airport over in Hong Kong. I'm glad you're safe and I hope no one else has this happen to them.

Scott Stockdale : Really brave of you to share this story Poppy and I'm so sorry you and your boyfriend had to go through this!!

Weiting Shan : I am so sorry for what happened to you! To make you feel better, I can tell you that lots of workers from country side in China who work for a whole year in the cities without pay! It sucks, but it happens! Hope it won’t happen again to you! And hope you will still make some awesome video in China! Take care and be safe! Warm greeting from Australia!

NPC 01001011 : 3 months? Oh kid.. you gotta be more demanding from the get go. Never go forward without it being in writing. Also why didn't you go to the police????? They are so great in China. You got the job as soon as you put yourself out there?! So It's not like you couldn't find other work quickly. I appreciate how open you are so this won't happen to others! Don't trust ANYONE

ZT Ying : Well, Poppy, as you've said, the red flags were there, yet you still decided to jump into the trap. If I were you, I'd go to the police, but problem No.1 is, it seems to me that you're holding a tourist visa which doesn't entitle you to work in China, or in any other country, unless you want to clarify that you have actually obtained a legitimate work visa there. Problem No.2 is, perhaps it isn't news anymore, that reputation about police in China isn't that positive, although I heard that they'd treat foreigners far much nicer than to the locals, while their efficiency is hard to comment. As some other people have pointed out, scams can be anywhere in the world. That's very much the truth. Personally I've got scammed too in China a few years ago while I was volunteering there, helping out the underprivileged. Retired, I've been teaching free English for a decade now since I came from a British Grammar School, not just free, but periodically making small donations (I'm no Bill Gates) to some really poor students who can't afford their tuition fees. On one occasion I was alerted a "student" not in the city where I stayed ran into difficulty of paying up the TOEFL exam fee plus etc, so I instructed one of my fellow students who acted as my translator (while I was learning how to speak Mandarin / Putonghua and upgrading my Chinese) to teletransfer or wire altogether about RMB 2500+ (approximately US$400 at that time) in two transactions because I didn't and still don't have Alipay or WeChat Pay (I gave my local student cash first). But when more funds were requested later, I realised it wasn't for education but something else. Then I immediately instructed my student to ignore that "student", incidentally also from Shenzhen, which is giving the city a bad name as it looks there are quite a lot of crooks over there (again, not a stereotype). Later another student of mine literally had that bogus student "caught" by "someone he knows in Shenzhen", however most of the money could not be recovered. So, besides Poppy, everyone should be aware of what's happening around you. Well, it can be elsewhere in the globe.

Internet Ranger : Oh so Sad 😢

cunzy null : I am so sorry for you loss. Since Bonnie had run away, I think it’s merely impossible to find you money back. I would suggest every foreigner call the police immediately if you had problems in China. The police would be afraid of losing face (Our government being care of diplomatic image)and might try their best to help you, which is ironic for we local Chinese because we would hardly be treated as foreigners do.

Andrew Jackson : Hi, Poppy! I am sorry to hear your sad story in China, and as a Chinese, I am also ashamed of your bad experiences in China. I don't want to excuse ourselves or my country by saying that scams can happen in every country though it is true. What I want to tell you is that those scams are not only targeted at foreigners, but at local Chinese themselves, and they always happen in small private schools or companies. The scammers may think foreigners like you are easier to be cheated since you don't know the true conditions of China or those of the company you want to work for. I have to admit many local Chinese working for small private companies have got scammed though the government has tried to crack down on these kinds of scams. However, when they really happen, the government and the police even won't lend a hand to the workers if the loss of the workers or the case is not so serious or influential, because there are so many that they can't manage all of them. Under such conditions, you yourself will have to accept your bad luck and give it up, except that you want to get even with that at any cost. From all of your videos I have watched, I feel that you are a very positive and optimistic lady full of positive energy, so I am very happy to find that you have overcome such bad experiences successfully and still look at China and the world in a very positive and objective attitude. You're a great lady, and welcome back to China once more, but please keep alert and try to avoid various scams here and there.

Donald Knoblet : This might be your best video! I wish you had identified "Bonnie", because she has probably claimed more victims since then. Dishonest school owners deserve to have the light of truth shown on them. They're ruining it for all the good schools in China.

Laviniu Caba : Whenever someone mentions Romania, I'm just like OMG. (Because it rarely gets mentioned and I'm Romanian)🇷🇴🇷🇴🇷🇴🇷🇴 I also feel so bad that you got scammed.😥😣😔

shidifen yang : Sorry to hear that. In china there are too many cheaters. 防不胜防啊!

Eric Liu : Scams are everywhere. If something is too good to be true, it is not true. If something isn't what it's supposed to be, it shouldn't be. For either case, you should be really cautious. Never work on a tourist VISA. It is illegal in almost every country. You might lose more than what you think you might make. If you are doing everything legal, but still threatened or scammed by others, you should report it to the local authorities. In case of China, you should go to the police. They have the obligation & authority to handle it. For most cases, they are in favor of foreigners. It is a horrible experience for you, but a good lesson for not only you but all us to learn.

Mooncake : Hey Poppy, so sorry this happened to you I know it must feel awful. Sadly it is a common scam in China but I do agree, there are scammers in every country and it isn’t a reflection of China or the people here. You have a really positive attitude and it’s shown in your reflection here! Hopefully by sharing your video others will know what to look for and will be able to avoid it happening to them. Thank you for telling your story!

Jeffrey Tong : Sorry you got scammed. She is NOT a school! Definitely not legitimate! But contacting the police was the RIGHT thing to do! The scam artists are trying to play upon Western fear of PRC as a totalitarian government - NOT TRUE! I got scammed too - on my last day in China. But I didn't lose too much because I went to the police.

Trinh Nguyen : Thanks soo much for sharing and I would love to hear about the second scam. I am planning to come to China in the very near future to teach English so this was very helpful to me. I have heard about these for years and am a bit scared but will not let that stop me. I guess it also depends on your luck as I heard many positive stories from honest schools and people too. It felt like your “school” was non existent and reminds me of this scam I once saw on TV. This one lady was tricked by scammers to give them $2000 US dollars saying that they will help her use it to get more money. They then took her to an old building that was closed and empty and told her to go and get her money. But they then drove away with all her money. It was so sad... I hope you will share the second scam story to inform us all so no one has to go through this again. I must say that when something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Also, I always knew you should secure your position before you arrive. I personally would not just blindly go over to any country without already having all of the paperwork done in advance. It is scary to be stuck in the middle of no where with no job and no money.

Ken Yup : So sorry to hear that,poppy,You should call the police,poppy,you don't even paid for the lawyers in China,police would do everything for you, especially you are a foreigner Dear friends if you ever had such scam cases or being scammed,don't hesitated,call the police

xov leader : you cannot use agent for job, you have to go to a good school, university or company and hand in your CV in person, I was a English teacher to a engineering school in Guangzhou and then they took me to Bangladesh 2 years ago to be a translator, now in Bangladesh I am a partner with a Developer company and my own Export and Import company call XOV TRADE INTERNATIONAL and a member of DCCI you can google it

JINDA JIANG : Be careful Poppy when finding a teaching job, especially in mainland. Hopefully it will never happen again.

mutou qing : When i first moved to Toronto, Canada. I got scammed out of $27,000 Canadian dollars. It was horrible experience. Those money was all I had. I had to call the local police, but they didn't solve the case. I was 17 years old back then. Back in China, my teacher and parents told me all of Americans and Canadians are nice, obey the law. I guess bad people are everywhere. Sorry you experienced something like this in China.