WeChat Scams: How They Work
WeChat (or Weixin) is an iOS and Android app that has gained popularity around the world, with 438 million users worldwide, 368 million of those users hailing from China. With such a large user base, it’s no wonder that scams have finally popped up. This comes after China has closed 20 million WeChat accounts, which were reportedly involved with prostitution.
Watch the video below to see the WeChat prostitution crackdown:
WeChat Crackdown Over Prostitution Video
WeChat allows users to text, voice message, or even meet up with other users in the same area. You can also send pictures, videos, and your location. These abilities have caused concern on both the national and individual level: countries are worried that top secret information may be compromised by the app’s omnipresent nature and its ability to access texts and contacts lists on its user’s phone.
The rise in the app’s popularity throughout the World has given politicians and dissidents concerns on the matter of security and privacy outside the realms of China.
According to Wikipedia, voice messaging, a feature on WeChat, has caused users to fear that the service will allow the monitoring of users’ movements in real time by security officials. WeChat as well contains the ability to access the text messages, contact books of its users and users’ location through the GPS feature.
Countries such as Taiwan, India, the United States, and China all fear that the app poses a threat to national security for various reasons.
On an individual level, well, just imagine this: you’re walking along the street on your way to the grocery store when you get a text through WeChat from someone nearby. They say they want to meet up, and you agree so they send you their location and you start walking. The street you’re walking on gets progressively smaller and darker, until you find yourself in a secluded area. You turn around to leave, and then there’s a gun pointed at you and your WeChat contact is asking for your wallet.
This scam is a particularly dangerous one, and is exactly what every parent these days warns their kids about online dating and meeting up with internet friends. Robbery, rape, blackmail, and other such crimes have been committed using this scam.
Another version of the WeChat scam targets male victims looking for jobs. The latest ‘job opportunity’ is to be a host at a host club in China or Taiwan. Host clubs are similar establishments to hostess clubs where primarily male staff cater to female customers.
Scammers use photos of attractive women as their profile pictures and invite the victims to come out for an interview. Lured by the double opportunities of meeting an attractive woman and getting a good job, victims are to pay hundreds of dollars (or the equivalent in Taiwanese or Chinese currency) to buy suits for the job. If the victims are extremely gullable, they are asked for more money, for “training fees”.
How to avoid:
Officials have stated that users of this app must stay vigilant and aware. Do not meet up with anyone who refuses to identify themselves or asks for something.
How to report:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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3 thoughts on “WeChat Scams”
Yes, they are also very active in Minneapolis and it is not difficult to imaging in many other cities of USA, they may ask you to photo the iTunes gift card after you bought them and you can block the first two letter/digit, but they can still redeem it since the first letter of the gift card code is always X and followed by a digit (only 0, 1, 2,.. 9), so it is very easy to try all 10 numbers. If you search the internet, you will learn they can cash the iTunes gift card in many different places in addition to the Apple store and iTunes store. This needs to be cracked down soon.
This wechat and Itune gift card is very much active in Los Angeles. Chinese students are very persistent in itune gift card as form of payment before meeting up.
First, they will introduce themselves as a student and doing part-time ‘compensated dating’ as what they call or even a service of $200 for 2 hours of sex and $500 for overnight service.
Second, they will text you their address or where to meet and only to find out it’s a CVS or 7Eleven store. Once there, they will ask you for picture of the store just a proof that you’re there already.
Then, she’ll ask you to buy itunes card with the amount of what you had agreed to pay for her service.
She’ll ask again you send her the picture of the card and receipt.
Finally, she’ll ask you for the code of the card and saying she needs to check if the card you bought is valid and the agreed amount.
I stop at this point because I got suspicious. However, she’s very persistent and will still try to convince you but when I tried to ask if we can video call at least I can see her if she’s for real. She will decline it and will never give any information about herself, not even her phone number.
Hope this helps with the reader who got or came across the same modus operandi of this syndicate. I just wonder what can they get out of itunes card since you cannot return it anymore.
Some people ask to buy a itunes gift card send a picture of code so they meet with you for sex and other but they never show up ..which is very common here in sydney