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Signs warn shoppers of con artists

Bilingual signs have been put up at the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall warning shoppers about fraudsters.

Security guards are also set to hand out leaflets on scams that tourists should watch out for. Pedestrians are often harassed on this section of Nanjing Road E. by people offering fake luxury goods or other services.

Some visitors are offered free cosmetic treatments or bargain goods, but end up being forced to pay much more than they had expected for inferior merchandise.

Commercial scams on Nanjing Road were highlighted last year when a Swedish businessman complained that people claiming to be college students eager to practice their English persuaded him to go for coffee, and he was later handed a huge bill.

Since then, management authorities have raided dozens of shops and beauty salons, closing down illegal ones and driving out agents for those shops and others who annoy pedestrians on the street.

"We keep tightening our grip on scams," said Zhou Shunguo, director of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall management office.

In the latest campaign, seven signs have been set up in areas with a high percentage of fraud reports, such as the roads near Landmark Plaza and Shitan Lane. Shoppers said the situation had improved.

"Nanjing Road is one of my favorite shopping spots," said Doni Chen, a Hong Kong woman who has been in Shanghai for two years. "I feel the shopping environment is much better than before."

Fakes And Phonies - What To Look Out For

Nanjing Road management authorities warned tourists about the following scams:

1. If you are approached by someone promising low prices, do not go with them, you will be cheated. Some visitors have said they were lured to other streets with the promise of bargains but ended up being forced to pay high prices or buy fake goods.

2. Don't buy fake goods. If you're found in possession of fake goods, you may be required to cooperate with the authorities while they investigate the source of the fakes.

3. Don't agree to free cosmetic services. Visitors have complained they have been offered free treatments only to find they were forced to pay after the treatment.

4. Keep a close eye on all your possessions and bags at all times, in case you become a target of thieves.


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