'Sexy Girl' Bots Scam ¥1 Billion from Dating App Users in China

By Gary Bailer, January 10, 2018

4 0

In possibly the oddest news story to have come out of China so far this year, police recently revealed that chat bots posing as bodacious babes have scammed dating app users out of a collective fortune.

The investigation began last August, when Guangdong police picked up on an app asking users to pay to view pornographic videos that, alas, did not exist.

From there, the investigation expanded to apps run in 13 provinces across China. As of January 8, over 600 individuals had been arrested and 21 companies shut down in cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Changsha and Wuhan.

READ MORE: Scam Artist Uses WeChat to Steal 1 Million RMB from Guangdong Women

On the dating apps they formerly operated, some of the so-called single women were in fact chat bots programmed to flirt with users, especially ones that were new to the platform.

In at least one case, Sixth Tone reports, app users could exchange a few messages with a 'sexy' bot before being asked to upgrade to VIP status for RMB200. Once they forked over the money, they could continue chatting, with some caveats – the bots would continue to attempt to lure users into topping up their accounts or sending virtual gifts of up to RMB1,000.

If a user asked to meet in person, though, it was game over: the chat bot would block them.

READ MORE: 5 Things: Online Asian Dating

Although it seems farfetched, the bots were able to con enough unsuspecting users to make a hefty profit. Police estimate that some 100,000 were scammed every day, handing over a total of 1 billion yuan to the fraudulent app companies.

The assets of the companies, valued at 100 million yuan, have since been frozen.

[Cover image via Guangdong Public Security Department]

more news

Beijing Police Officer Sentenced to 10 Years For Illegal Hukou Registrations

On top of his 10-year prison term, the court fined the officer RMB300,000 and demanded that he return the rest of his illegal revenue.

That's Beijing 2018 Lifestyle Awards Winners, Plus Photos

Take a look at the full list of winners from the fourth annual That's Beijing Lifestyle Awards.

Heavy Rainfall Continues to Wreak Havoc on Beijing Streets

It's raining, it's pouring and it doesn't show signs of stopping anytime soon.

Beijing's 'Wolf Hunt Squad' Goes on Prowl for Sexual Predators

Initiative against Beijing subway creeps is bearing first fruits of success.

Beijing's Hospitals to Improve Foreign Language Capabilities

Hospitals and other major public medical institutions are taking measures to broaden their foreign language services.

As Beijing Restricts Private Taxi Drivers, Didi Users Are Left Waiting

On July 1, Beijing authorities announced a new policy restricting private taxi drivers from operating in the capital.

606 Foreigners to Receive Permanent Residency Status in Beijing

Since April, China has approved permanent residence permits for over 1800 foreigners.

Nanotechnology to Purify Air Inside Beijing Subway

Just in time for the sweltering summer heat.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsBeijing for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Beijing With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Beijing!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.