Scammers are being quick to capitalize on the publicity of the huge prostitution raid in Dongguan, Guangdong on February 9. Messages are spreading from people claiming to be sons who were been arrested in the city and need money to get released. To those Chinese fathers out there who might have received such a message, you can relax: It’s (probably) not true.
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.
Anhui News reported that a related scam is spreading on QQ with a message stating that the boss of an enterprise has been arrested and new orders must be placed on a different website. The link directs visitors to a fake Taobao website used for phishing.
Malware programmers are also taking advantage of the renewed interest in Dongguan. The same Anhui News article reported that on the day after the arrests, trojan horse attacks from searches containing the keyword “Dongguan” increased by 11.6%.
The Qingdao Public Security office posted a warning about these scams on Weibo. One Weibo user named 紫蓝都 (Purplish) commented,
“Haha…..There’s no place where scammers aren’t. Scammers keep up with the current events, abreast of developments. But your father wouldn’t want you.” (“哈哈……诈骗无处不再，紧跟时事，与时俱进。你爸不会要你了.” )
Weibo user 徐祯先生 (Mr. Xu Zhen) 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”)
The sting, which involved 6,000 police officers raiding 12 venues and arresting 67 people, was prompted by a CCTV report that showed prostitutes dancing and strutting on stages at hotels and karaoke clubs in Dongguan, the so-called “sex capital of China.”