LIJIANG, China – During the National Day Golden Week, Lijiang in Southwest China’s Yunan province, known for its romance and bars, becomes a hot spot for holidaymakers. However, visitors who are in the mood for a love affair with strangers there are more often than not finding themselves the victims of shill fraud.
Peng, a visitor from South China’s city of Shenzhen, said that he has lost 5,000 yuan (around $786) to such a shill fraud.
A girl searched “people nearby” on WeChat, a population chatting app in China, and found Peng. She said that she was a lonely tourist who wanted to drink and Peng took her to a bar where he spent 5,000 yuan on six bottles of wine, but eventually, when Peng came back from shower in the hotel, the girl was gone. Never heard from again.
Peng was note the only victim. The reporters from thepaper.cn experimented several times and got the same results: each time they spent a lot, but the girls were always gone.
Behind the bait of Lijiang romance are the shills of the bars. In July this year, Lijiang government investigated some cases and fined two bars. But the shill fraud trade still thrives in Lijiang.