Greed is Universal – a human trait

August 21, 2012

It appears from what I have read in the media and a few comments I’ve received on this Blog that many believe the Chinese are the emperors of greed, but they aren’t.

In fact, greed is everywhere—even in the United States.

For example, ABC’s Good Morning America reported, “Phantom Debt Collectors From India Harass Americans, Demand Money.”

GMA reported, “Hundreds of thousands of cash-strapped Americans have been targeted by abusive debt collectors operating out of overseas call centers suspected of links to organized crime in India, law enforcement officials told ABC News.”

Working through call centers in India, the commission estimates that the criminals have dialed at least 2.5 million calls, persuading already cash-strapped victims to send them more than $5 million

In another example, we learn about A New Crime Wave of Identity Theft: Is Your Child in Danger.

“It’s undetected and undetectable. They’ll use your child’s Social Security number with a different name and a different birth date,” In the last three years, there have been 57,000 cases of child identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission. A new report from All Clear ID estimates that one in 10 U.S. children are victims.

“Olivia McNamara was starting her freshman year at Vanderbilt University when she applied for her first credit card. After being rejected twice, she did some digging and found that someone had stolen her identity and had run up massive debt – to the tune of $1.5 million. when she was 9. Someone had stolen her Social Security number and set up false identities and more than 42 accounts. All of them had defaulted.”

Then in June 2012, the AARP Bulletin reported (on page 20), Locked out of Luck by Sid Kirchheimer. The piece said, “The overwhelming majority of locksmiths with an 800 phone number are not legitimate … In reality, the pro arrives in a van with no fixed address and a scam in mind. … The work is faulty plus expensive—often $1,000 or more, and demanded in cash.”

AARP even has a book out by fraud expert Doug Shadel, Outsmarting the Scam Artist. Shadel and a team of scientists interviewed thousands of victims and dozens of scam artists who revealed their trade secrets.

The Federal Trade Commission warns, “Consumer frauds pose a threat to consumers and the economy. Even the most wary and sophisticated consumers may fall victim to fraudulent offers – in the mail, in the media, and on the Internet.”

The FTC report stated that in the year prior to the survey the number of victims of the most common types of consumer fraud reached almost 36 million with 53 million incidents.

In fact, in 2010, the Better Business Bureau reported, “$2.9 trillion is lost to fraud annually.” In a decade that adds up to $29 trillion or more than twice the National Federal debt.

So, next time you read in the media or in a Blog that China is filled with crooks and corruption, remember that China is not alone.

Discover the facts about Riots


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Shanghai Scams – Assisted Shopping – Part 1/3

January 26, 2011

While researching another topic, I discovered the Shanghai Scam Series produced by a 30-year-old expatriate that goes by the on-line name of Serpentza.

Although I’ve been to China many times, I’ve never experienced the scams the narrator of this series talks of.

However, to be fair, the reason I haven’t experienced these scams is that I don’t drink (gave it up years ago) and do not frequent the popular nightclubs and bars.

In fact, my wife is Chinese and usually warns me of suspicious behavior. It also helps that I’m the distrusting sort.

In Serpentza’s video, he takes us for a walk in the rain in Shanghai to show us how the”assisted shopping scam” works.

He says, while shopping, you will be approached by a number of people who speak English that will tell you where the best bargains are.

Hmm, this has never happened to me. Do I look that forbidding? While in China, my wife isn’t always with me. I have gone shopping alone and no one has asked if I needed help and I do not buy anything from street vendors.

However, I have been approached by street vendors selling watches, which Serpentza warns of, but I don’t wear a watch and don’t want one.

On one trip, a Shanghai street vendor followed me for several blocks trying to sell me watches, wallets, dark glasses, etc.  He didn’t know what the word “NO” meant even when I used the word in Mandarin my wife taught me. Maybe he didn’t speak Mandarin. After all, there are about 60 different, spoken languages in China.

Had to go into a bank to get him to leave me alone.

I even found a trip advisor Website warning of Shanghai Scams, which says, “The majority of these scams happen at tourist spots around People’s Square, on Nanjing Pedestrian Street and at the Bund.”

General rule: Shanghainese are very friendly and always willing to help if you ask them, but they would seldom approach a foreigner without being asked (as probably anywhere in the world).

On his Blog, Serpentza calls himself “forever an expatriate”.

Discover Shanghai


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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