It didn’t take long for scammers to try cashing in on the massive prostitution sting that went down in Guangdong last week. Soon after the story was picked up and splashed across every media outlet in the country, fathers in China have reported receiving messages from people posing as their sons, claiming to have been arrested during the raid while ‘fooling around’ and asking for money to be wired for their release.
Chinese Securities Net reported:
After the police launched a massive “eliminate yellow” raid on the sex industry of Dongguan, a new scam message has begun spreading. “Father, I was arrested while fooling around in Dongguan. Quickly wire 5,000 yuan to the police officer’s ICBC bank account #XXXXX. Don’t call, we’ll talk when I get out. Be quick!” Internet security experts say if you receive this message, don’t be quick to respond with money. It is probably a scam message.
Police began posting warnings about the scams on Weibo after numbers of users reported that they had received similar messages. Weibo user 徐祯先生 posted:
“Recently a friend’s [father] received a text message: ‘Father, I was arrested while fooling around in Dongguan. Quickly wire 3,000 yuan to the police officer’s Agricultural Bank of China account #XXXXX. Don’t call, we’ll talk when I get out. Be quick!’ He quickly called and found it was a false alarm. An expert move.” (“近日有个朋友收到一则短信：“爸，我在东莞玩被抓了，速汇款3000元到x警官农行卡xxxxx，别打电话，出来再说，快！”，他爸赶紧打电话给他，虚惊一场啊，真是个高手啊”)
Police arrested 67 people and shut down 12 entertainment venues during the sweeping raid in China’s ‘sin city’. Two local police chiefs who were in charge of the districts where the venues operated have been suspended as well.
Figures have shown that some 10 percent of the city’s population are engaged in illegal sex trade activities. The crackdown in Guangdong prompted thousands of people to flee the city in a damn hurry, according to a Baidu heat map tracking migration patterns, leaving only these kinky relics in their wake.
The sting inspired heated debate among residents and human rights advocates regarding the legalization of solicitation in China. It also led to netizens’ interesting analogies between Chinese society and the German flag.
A few days after Guangdong was hit, Harbin dispatched a whopping 4,800 police officers to investigate 2,700 hotels, bath parlors and venues believed to be hosting illegal activities. Around 2,700 people were likewise inspected, although only 27 were held.