Pudong district police in Shanghai have detained a group of 108 people suspected of using fabricated educational background materials and resumes to secure job interviews, which led to them receiving job opportunities at multiple companies at the same time and then collecting salaries in exchange for no work, the police said on Wednesday.
The suspects raked in more than 80 million yuan ($11 million) combined from the alleged scam, police said while detailing the cases that were cracked last month.
They were placed under investigation after Pudong police announced that they had cracked a similar case, the first of its kind in Shanghai, in March, which involved 53 suspects. Soon after, the police received reports from several enterprises claiming that they, too, had been defrauded in a likewise fashion.
The police said that the group, led by two people surnamed Wang and Liu, searched for sales and finance jobs online and were able to secure interviews via recruiting apps. All the materials they used, including diplomas, resumes and work references, were fabricated.
Some suspects also forged degrees from renowned universities overseas to present themselves as elites, while others claimed that they had excellent sales performances in their past careers.
They used various means to deceive their recruiters and won their favor, according to police.
After signing work contracts with one enterprise, they used the same approach to get employed by several companies at the same time.
They submitted false daily work records, police said. Because of the type of work they were doing, including as salespeople, they were not required to be in their offices each day, which made it easy for their deception to go undetected.
Once the suspects were employed at an enterprise that was lax in checking the backgrounds and work attendance of its staff members, they would encourage other members of the group to apply for jobs at the company and would request a commission from these members if they were hired.
The 108 suspects were captured by police in Pudong, as well as in cities outside of Shanghai, on July 19, and were interrogated about their roles in the alleged scam. Subsequent investigations and expansions of the crackdown are ongoing.
Police reminded recruiters to be more diligent when conducting background checks on job applicants.
They said that some human resources workers at companies that were allegedly victimized recalled that they were surprised at the efficiency of their recruitment processes. Some said they received job applications quickly after posting the positions online, and that the qualifications of the applicants were impressive.
Police also reminded the public to be wary of telecom fraudsters on FaceTime calls. They usually pretend to be customer service workers at online stores or banks, the bosses of victims or even prosecutorial or court employees.
"In recent years, the police have continuously improved their technical defense measures and have effectively intercepted fraudulent phone calls and text messages, limiting the opportunities for such crimes. Thus, scammers have resorted to using the tactic of online phone calls," said Wang Xinwei, a senior Huangpu district police officer in Shanghai.