Who are the victims of Chinese scams?


The victims of Chinese scams are diverse and include both Chinese nationals and foreigners. Initially, the scams often targeted individuals within China, but as awareness increased domestically, scammers expanded their focus to the Chinese diaspora and eventually to foreigners globally. These scams exploit vulnerabilities and can be exceptionally deceitful and coercive, sometimes leading to severe consequences such as cyber-slavery.

Here are some key insights into the victims of these scams:

  1. Chinese Nationals and Diaspora: Initially, many scams targeted local Chinese people. However, as these scams became well-known in China, scammers shifted their focus to the Chinese diaspora and, later, to foreigners to avoid crackdowns by Chinese authorities 1.

  2. Foreigners: Scammers find it easier to target foreigners due to the lack of repercussions from Chinese authorities. The xenophobic rhetoric within China often protects scammers from legal consequences when their victims are non-Chinese 2.

  3. Victims of Cyber-Slavery: In some severe scams, such as the "pig butchering" cryptocurrency scam, individuals, including some from Southeast Asia, have been coerced into working in scam operations under threats of violence or actual physical harm. These operations have been described as a form of modern-day slavery 3.

    Scams in China

    Winston shares the details of scams in China that target foreigners, including the tea house and whiskey bottle scams, which involve emotional manipulation and guilt-by-association tactics. These scams are often run by gangs and syndicates with connections to local police, making it difficult for victims to get out of paying exorbitant amounts of money.

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  4. Diverse and Intelligent Individuals: Victims are not limited to less educated or unaware individuals. Many scammers target highly intelligent people experiencing vulnerability or those simply seeking better job opportunities, manipulating their circumstances for exploitation 4.

The exploitation strategies of these scams are complex and deeply integrated into various socio-economic levels, often protected by systemic issues and international challenges in law enforcement.