How it works:
- Step 1: an innocent looking girl/group asks where you are from, then claims to have a relative there; or they ask you for help in taking a photo.
- Step 2: they then suggest doing an activity together so they can practise their English while you get to see local sights. Win-win!
- Version 1: you will be brought to a teahouse where you will be hit with a crazy bill for sampling a few cups of tea.
- Version 2: or you will be brought to a cafe to have wine/coffee and the same scam happens.
Places to beware:
- Beijing: Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Jingshan Park, Wangfujing, Houhai Lake, Tiananmen
- Guangzhou: Shamian Island
- Shanghai: The Bund, Yu Garden, Xintiandi, Shanghai Museum, Huangpu River, People’s Square, West Nanjing Road, Zhongshan Road, Old Town (Nanshi), Riverside Promenade (Bingjiang Da Dao), Yuyuan Old Street, Shanghai Temple Of the Town God (Chenghung Miao)
What to do:
- Decline such invitations. If you wish to try, test the invitee by suggesting another teahouse and taking a photo together.
- If caught in this scam, call the police, they know all about it.