Work in China

Beware of the Teach English in China Scam, aka the Jobs In China For Foreigners Trap

Are you thinking of working abroad for a year or two? If your first choice is Asia, beware of the Teach English in China Scam, also known as the Jobs in China for Foreigners Ad or Find a Job in China Scheme.

Some people who are looking for a change in their lives consider teaching English overseas or going to exotic countries for various humanitarian jobs. The Work in China scam comes along with similar opportunities. How does it work?

jobs in china for foreigners


Let’s say you are one of them and just found a tempting job offer. You contact the employer for details.

The scammers – who might not even be in China – promise to provide you with accommodation, meals, transportation and, indeed, a good remuneration. The only thing you have to take care of is paying for the visas.

Criminals require you to deposit a few hundred dollars through wire transfer, which should be a red flag.

Work in China Scam: How To Avoid

Always do your research and only accept jobs that are advertised and offered through reputable companies, with several reviews. Also, check the visa requirements of the country you are going to.

In the meantime, if you are really looking for a job and seek to make some money until you find the next ideal job, there is an option for employment online: – it is the world’s largest free online rewards program. You get paid by doing things online which you might do anyway, such as searching the web, discover products, take surveys, watch videos or play games. You can also get free iTunes and Amazon cards. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE. They offer a $5 sign-up bonus.

Teach English in China Scam: How To Report

Warn your family and friends about the Work in China scam by sharing it on social media. You can also officially report the questionable websites or employers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

15 thoughts on “Work in China”

  1. 7 Questions every China job applicant (especially ESL & TEFL foreign English teachers) should ask their recruiter or Chinese job agent… (Taken from China Scam Patrol’s April Newsletter)

    "Without a doubt, China is a fun adventure for expats who want to explore and/or work abroad. The Chinese people are mostly friendly, the food is absolutely delicious, and aside from housing costs, most everything is quite cheap. And your resume will look great with your new China experience on it. But you must be very careful to avoid being swindled. China is the land of 100 different variety of noodles and just as many scams that target expats. And, not all the cheaters are Chinese.

    When applying for jobs in China as an ESL or TEFL teacher you must ask certain questions or risk being scammed. Read this link first, and then you know why you should ask the following questions directly to your recruiter (if you are using one).

    1) What is your SAIC business license number?

    2) What is the SAIC business license number of my new employer?

    3) What is your complete legal Chinese name? (Ask for a scan of their national ID card if they are Chinese and a passport scan if they are foreigners)

    4.) Is my true employer the same party that is issuing my invitation letter for a Z Visa (work visa)?

    5.) Can you send me a signed copy of my contract to review BEFORE I come to China?

    6.) Will this employer provide free housing or a housing allowance, and if so how much?

    7.) What is the SAFEA registration number of this employer so I know they are legally authorized to hire foreigners since I do not want to get arrested, jailed, and deported?

    Agents who are running scams and plan to cheat you will refuse to give you this information. If they have nothing to hide they will provide it. If they change the subject or tell you that you do not need this information, you will probably find them blacklisted here:

    If they answer the above seven questions to your satisfaction, and the information checks out, Congratulations! You may have found yourself an honest recruiter, and yes, there are about two dozen honest recruiters operating in China who are properly licensed and accountable. They are the minority and not easy to find. If you are not provided a Z visa BEFORE you leave your homeland, you are dealing with a fraudulent recruiter and/or school. One American ESL teacher named K. Cox told her story at ESLCafe about how she was swindled out of 66% of her salary by the lady Rebecca T. who own China ESL. By asking the above questions and reading this here, you will never be caught with your pants down:

  2. Anyone who even thinks about working in China will be told at least a dozen lies for every truth they hear from a China job recruiter. Here are the top 10 lies below so you will know them when you hear them:..

    1.) You MUST have a TEFL certificate to teach English in China.

    2.) You do not need a Z visa to teach in China for your first 90 day probationary period

    3.) Foreigners have no employee rights in China for one year after arrival

    4.) You really don’t need a university degree to teach English in China

    5.) Everyone works 6 days a week

    6.) Marketing & Sales is part of every China foreign teacher’s job

    7.) The air and water pollution is not as bad as they say.

    8.) You will save at least $20,000 a year working in China

    9.) You cannot get a good job in China without a recruiter like me and TEFL certificate

    10.) Once you sign a contract you are stuck in that crappy job for at least a year and if you quit you will be blacklisted and
    have your visa revoked.

    Now here is the truth…

  3. ESL & TEFL Teachers as well as all uni grads need to be warned about Laowai Career Center and two companies in the UK owned by the same owner – and, both of which sell expensive but worthless online TEFL courses. Their certificates are only "recognized" in Haiti, Madagascar, and 23 other 3rd world countries – NOT China as they profess. Also people need to know that having a TEFL or TESOL certificate in China is NOT A REQUIREMENT of the Chinese government as a lot of sales reps tell the gullible job applicants. It is just a big fraud hustle to scam you out of a few hundred dollars.

    As for Laowai Career Center, they operate 4 different China job and internship scams under a variety of different alias companies that you can find here:

  4. Beware of China internship scams that want a fee. Real China internships are 100% free. It is now illegal for third-party brokers to hire foreign interns in China. Those that do are thinly-veiled frauds. YOU yourself can get REAL internships with Fortune 500 and MNC companies operating in China for free, simply by contacting the HR office off the company you are interested with your resume,photo, and cover letter SENT BY FAX to the attention of "Intern Coordinator". If you are applying for a summer internship, make your contact before April 15th since 30 day lead time is required by most companies. This here explains how most intern scams operate and the tricks they will use to persuade you to use their services. Although their their website and "testimonials" seem quite convincing, they are not genuine as over 500 victims found out the hard way in the last three years.

    For more information about the DIY free internships see:

  5. RE: Echinacities Resume Scam Alert: Tucker first posted about this in 2014 and my GF just learned the hard way that this scam is still going strong. Also be aware that the same owner of Echinacities (George Xu) also owns and and they also ask you to upload your resume. Spread the word ladies and gents. There are also other Expat forums doing the same thing so be sure to get china scam updates at

  6. In follow up to what Robert recently said about Laowai Career Center in Hangzhou and Beijing, I want to comment as follows…

    Imagine you want to make money in China as a foreigner. You live there for years and you see dozens of con artists cheating foreign tourists and expat workers every day and realize the cops never bother them, much less shut them down. How can this be? Well my cousin from Canada got ripped off in China through a normal job application process that required him to pay a processing fee after applying for a job through a job agency who merely copied the ads of legitimate jobs like this one here: and then mixed them in with fabricated jobs with huge salaries and great benefits on a beautiful website, with links to over a dozen "testimonials" and "third party reviews", not knowing that the praise was all fake!

    After he was swindled and already in China, he went the police with a teaching colleague who is fluent in Chinese but he never let on that he was. When my cousin showed the cops all these links below and told his story, the police pretended to be interested but were just mocking him in Chinese and calling him "another idiot".

    After meeting another teacher who had also become a victim, my cousin and him decided to make a scene at the Beijing office of the agency that claims they have an SAIC business license but won’t let anyone take a photo of it because they know it will not check out to be real with the government. Although they claim to be in Hanghzou, their real office is in Zhongguancun in Beijing. They do have a shared office space with a language company in Hangzhou, but why don’t they ever publish the address of their main office in Beijing? Are they afraid angry customers will go there and cause problems?

    My cousin went there looking for the Chinese owner and was shocked to learn the owner was a Russian guy with a Russian lady girlfriend who is half his age and my cousin said she dressed so trashy and had so much make-up he thought she was a prostitute. I told him not to jump to conclusions based on how people dress. He agreed. But he got suspicious when all the people working in the office (about 20) both Chinese and expats, would only give their first names. Not one person there would give their full legal name including the Russian owner who said he was "Yuri".

    My cousin demanded to know the name of the company that he applied for in a blind ad used by Laowai Career Center. Only real or copied ads now appear on the website, and they are very careful, to say all the right and legal things in writing. But verbally they told my cousin to lie on his visa application so he could come to China on an F visa (illegal to do this if you plan to work – a Z visa is required).

    Anyway, the job he applied for was advertised on Gumtree and, the latter of which has a history of cooperating with fraudsters as you can see here The ad promised a 5 day work week, paid 20,000 rmb per month and came with a furnished apartment. But after my cousin got to China all excited and ready to start working, "Mary" the sales rep who claimed to be from New Zealand on the phone (turned out to be Chinese) said the job my cousin applied for "was already filled" so they found him another job at a real school but the pay was only 12,000 a month, no housing, and he had to work 6 days a week! My cousin refused the job.

    Because I worked in China for two years, he called me and told me about his problem, and I remembered the name "Yuri" from some old internship scams in China that I posted about in the past. Google confirmed it was the same guy and I sent this above photo and link to my cousin.…79#post1944379. He said it was the very same guy.

    And the more we searched the more we realized he used the same tricks and fake testimonials that he did at his other scams: And the same "Mary" is the same "Mary" who worked for the same Gi2c fraud that many people wrote about here at TSR a few years ago. This photo of her in China was found in a very detailed scam report at this link:…scam-or-legit/ Meet Mary, the Chinese girl who pretends she is from New Zealand but only knows that the capital is Auckland and could not name any other city in Auckland and did not even know the name of the Prime Minister or their world-famous rugby team.

    I won’t bore you any longer with more details, but my cousin found out that only dummies like him were paying the processing fee. Those that refused to pay the up-front free still got the crappy jobs and those employers pay Laowai one months salary as a placement fee. But if you contact SAFEA, the Chinese government agency responsible for certifying foreign employees in China (like I did) http://safea,, will tell you that Laowai Career Center is not known nor registered with them and not allowed to hire foreigners in China, and they are not licensed to do HR work. Here’s more of what we found.

    The good news is that my cousin found a real job on his own and it did not cost him a dime.The people at SAFEA (where he went to complain) gave him a referral for a job that pays 18,000 a month and a free apartment (shared with another teacher). Here is more stuff we found on the internet and please read the letter from the other victim.…-tefl-teachers…03fe172830ded1

    As for the cops, a lawyer named Guo in Beijing, told my cousin that since Laowai is not cheating any Chinese people, only foreigners, the police really don’t care, and if any cop goes there to investigate, he would just be greeted at the door and handed an envelope with $500 in it and he would disappear with a big smile on his face since that is a month’s salary for a cop in China.

    One last thing, when you talk to Laowai sales reps (they call themselves "career counselors") they will boast that the company has been operating ten years in China but if you go to and type in the company website name, you will see the website was created just about a year ago.

    Is Laowai as legit as they claim? You decide for yourself. We did.

  7. The best way to make yourself scam-proof in China is to use both white and blacklists. Here are the ones now most popular in China. Note that some are updated daily (reddit) while others are updated every 90 days (CFTU):


    Please remember the 90% rule if you are job searching in China… 90% of the employers in China are honest and ethical, but 90% of the China job agents and recruiters are not. Best wishes in your China job search!

  8. Branislav Petrovic

    I have recived job offer from *THE MOORE’S SUPER MARKET* IN BEIJING CHINA.

    Address: No.5 Jinchengfang Street, Xicheng District, Beijing

    They offer a good deal but i must pay 200 dolars for the immigration registration fee of my travel documents.

    Pleas help me to decide.

  9. Dear Sir//Madam,

    I have received the following mail from "CHINA NATIONAL HEAVY DUTY TRUCK COMPANY" …Please help me out to confirm that this is a real job offer or a fake make to make money.

    No.39 Wuyingshandong Road,
    Jinan 250031 China

    China National Heavy Duty Truck Corp. Shandong Import & Export Co.Ltd.(CNHTC-SDIEC), subsidiary of CNHTC, is a foreign trade company, its former precursor was China Heavy Duty Truck Import & Export Corporation set up in 1985. With nearly 20 years of Foreign trade history, the company has gradually formed a comprehensive foreign trade system With integration of promotion, sales of product, after sales service and marketing information At home and abroad, its trade covers more than 30 countries and regions globally.

    The management of the China National Heavy Duty Truck Corp meticulously went through your resume
    and considered you for employment in our company. Attached to file is your application form

    Salary: $9,800 USD Monthly , Family accommodation, With additional allowances pending on the rate at which the company gain profit at the end of every month.You will be our RECEIVING PAYMENTS AGENT who will act
    As medium of reach between our customers and us in their area of
    Locality in your country and china.

    Attached to the file of this mail is a soft copy of your Appointment/Agreement contract letter. You are expected to fill in your acceptance and declaration information alongside your Reference Number: CNHTC 1 4 5 8 0 and send a scan copy of last column page to the China National Heavy Duty Trucks Company office via email and to the embassy department for documentation purpose.

    *Attached to this mail is a scanned copy of your application form , you are required to fill in the form.
    *Send Scan copy of your INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT .
    *Two Colored Passport Photograph.
    *Work Permit Processing fees will be made known to you by our Diplomatic Officer in New Delhi India.

  10. Just Google "China Teacher Scams" before you even think about actually moving to China to teach. Expat teachers in China are not only the lowest paid expats in the country but the most abused and scammed profession. Those three links given above, especially speak volumes about this subject. Take China off your list unless you find your own job or get hep from the CFTU.

  11. These scams are so common, it’s amazing how many people fall for this. I wanted to teach in China and came across at least a dozen of them. They want you to pay for visas, housing up front, recruiting services fees, and whatnot. Eventually I landed a good teaching job in China – but I went through an actual recruiter, Footprints Recruiting in Vancouver. They told me a real recruiter isn’t even allowed to charge the applicant, only the employer. I ended up teaching in Guangzhou with a great school who got me the visa, provided housing and reimbursed me for my flight, the way it should be.

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