今天我又了解到一个手机诈骗短信的新变种，事关假资格证书的制售。只要6,000元人民币（需预付20%）就能伪造一张逼真的资格证书，用来应聘医生等职业。他们号称制作的假证和卫生部（the Ministry of Health）颁发的证书一模一样。
Mobile Scams: Kidnapping, Extortion, Forgery
A few months ago while in Beijing I received a short message on my cell phone, in Chinese, informing me that my kids had been kidnapped and telling me the first steps I should take on getting them back by paying a ransom.
I was shocked although not alarmed, because as it happened, I knew this was not true. Later I mentioned it to various local friends and colleagues, all of whom had the same reaction: this kind of mobile phone scam happens to them fairly often.
Then there was the extraordinary news a month or so ago about unprecedented cooperation in an international police investigation which resulted in the arrest of some 600 alleged crooks in a variety of Southeast Asian countries.
This well-organized gang had targeted wealthy mainlanders by randomly cold-calling cell phones and trying out a variety of phony explanations of how the called party was in big trouble with the law and needed to remit funds to get out of trouble.
It may sound unlikely when you read about it, but they were expert in catching people off guard and verbally intimidating them with plausible sounding stories.
I know someone who was scammed in this way, and apart from the lost funds, it was a very scary, unpleasant and unsettling experience. These folks were very well-organized, and it’s good they got nabbed.
The latest new twist I learned about today is an SMS offer to sell fake qualification certificates. For RMB 6,000 (20% in advance, please), they offer to produce a certificate real-looking enough for you to get a job, as, for example, a doctor. They claimed their fake doctors’ certification looks just like the ones issued by China’s Ministry of Health.
They also have a variety of other certificates available for you to choose from: teacher, airline pilot, engineer, etc.
That’s a pretty scary thought. Even allowing for the fact that it would normally take more than just a certificate to get a job as a brain surgeon or jet pilot, opening the door to this kind of misrepresentation by imposters is hugely risky.
My wife called the number offering the fakes which was texted to her mobile phone, and obtained some more information. Her next call was to the police, who were very appreciative of the tip.