Shanghai Scam Stories

Interesting note from a tipster regarding the previous post discussing Shanghai scams. To recap, tourists wandering the Nanjing Donglu shopping street are frequently approached by coquettish young local girls who ask for some conversation time in order to improve their English. Once entrapped in a coffeehouse or teashop of the girls' choosing, drinks and food come out regardless of ordering, and a huge bill is presented to the would-be English tutor. As expected, this is a pretty common grift:

Just wanted to let you know this happened to me and my friend. I knew they were scamming us but my friend said he would pay (he likes trouble) so we went. It was in the back of a department store, on the 3rd floor or so. They started bring all this stuff to the table. The girls were ultra flirty. I was dying laughing cause I knew what was going to happen. So anyway the bill comes and it was like $200. We start trouble but they kind of suggested they weren't going to let us leave, and shut the doors. My friend paid. We went downstairs to some customer service type of booth in the department store. I decided it would be fun to get my friend s money back so I started going crazy, making such a scene. They were losing so much face. My friend spoke some Chinese so they were getting worried that the people in the store were understanding everything. All these managers came out, and instead of name tags they had numbers. So I started writing down all of their numbers, and telling them I was going to come back tomorrow with my dad s friends from the government. The girl at the booth translating was shaking, and the managers started sweating. People were on their phones yelling, then the people from the place that scammed us came down, saying they would talk to us back in their "coffee house." Yeah right, no way I m going back in there. So were started getting louder and all of a sudden somebody hands me the money and tells us leave now, so we left. I thought we were going to get stabbed or something. Good times on Nanjin.

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