Lately I got so many offers on wechat I find it just plan odd, did some research and here it is:

Chinese students in Vancouver and Richmond are being targeted in an international “sex-for-credit” scam run on the Chinese social networking app WeChat.

WeChat is a texting service which Chinese international students in Vancouver use not only to chat, but to locate other users in public areas and trade food, cosmetics and toys.

Ming Pao News has reported male students are also being tricked into believing “hot body” Chinese university students they meet on WeChat want to trade sex.

The WeChat scam reported to Ming Pao by one student in Richmond and two students in downtown Vancouver appears to be identical in its method and players to a WeChat sex-for-credit scam being reported in cities with large Chinese populations, including Singapore.

How the scam works is this: male students are approached on WeChat by what appear to be sexy female students; believing the person associated to a WeChat photo avatar is real, the men are engaged in friendly chatting, sometimes exchanging sexy pictures, and eventually the WeChat friend mentions that she dabbles in prostitution and will offer “services” for a fee.

What they don’t know is the person they are texting with is a scammer, and likely a man.

In the case of “Mr. I” — a student interviewed by Ming Pao News who did not want his name revealed — he was told two hours of sex would cost $300 and he could enjoy services all night for $600. He was directed to wait for his date in front of a Richmond convenience store.

When he arrived and texted to his expected date, she told him to purchase an iTunes online shopping card inside the convenience store, claiming that to avoid police scrutiny a transfer of ITunes points would be safer than cash. He agreed and transferred a deposit of iTunes points to the woman’s email address.

Mr. I told Ming Pao he waited for a long time and finally got a call from a man who claimed to be the woman’s boss. Speaking Mandarin with a “Guangdong” accent, the man claimed to be a “Big Circle” gangster and demanded that Mr. I transfer more iTunes points if he wanted the girl to show up and give him sex. The man said that if Mr. I tried to back out of the date gangsters would track him down and cut off his arm.

Mr. I told Ming Pao that he went home to hide, and he did not report the alleged extortion to police in Richmond or Vancouver.

She said she was from Sichuan (in southwest China) and was studying at a university here in Singapore

A Ming Pao reporter told The Province two more students in downtown Vancouver reported being stung by the same scam, including being threatened with an attack by gangsters.

It’s not clear if the scammers involved in the cases reported to Ming Pao are based in Vancouver, China, or elsewhere. But The New Newspaper in Singapore has reported that over 200 men have fallen for a WeChat scam with identical elements.

“She said she was from Sichuan (in southwest China) and was studying at a university here in Singapore,” one target told The New Newspaper. “She also told me that she was a prostitute and asked if I was interested … (but when she didn’t show up) I was called by a man with a Chinese accent. He demanded more money and started scaring me by saying he had gangster connections who could track down my address.”

Vancouver police Const. Brian Montague said that police have not received reports of the alleged WeChat sex scam, which appears to be criminal extortion.

Scams like this are probably under-reported, Montague said, because men are embarrassed by being duped or fear telling police that they were involved in a potential crime of soliciting prostitutes.

“These types of scams are only limited by people’s imagination,” Montague said. “It’s just a question of a different medium — in this case instead of Craigslist they are using WeChat. It’s important for people to know in any situation that whenever they contact or agree to meet someone online, you don’t really know who it is.”