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13 convicted in bogus job agency case

THIRTEEN people who ran a bogus job agency that recruited migrant workers and stole nearly 25,000 yuan (US$4,006) from victims in administration fees, were given sentences ranging from five months in detention to eight months in prison, the Hongkou District People's Court said yesterday.
Prosecutors said 28 migrant workers fell victim. They read recruitment information for factory work requiring few skills on a well-known job-hunting website. The website's name was not made public. The victims applied and the agent gave them interview appointments.
The ring rented an office in Hongkou District. Three were in charge of posting recruitment information on job websites and four filled the roles such as receptionist, usher or accountant. The rest pretended to be human resource specialists from the agency and individual companies, prosecutors said.
The interviews looked real, victims said.
"I thought they were very professional and trustworthy in their work process." said one victim, surnamed Wang, who came from Jiangsu Province and paid several hundred yuan to the agency.
Wang told the court he was asked to pay for an ID badge, a uniform, a health certificate and commission fees to secure the position, all included in the so-called administration fees.
"I hesitated but I was too afraid of losing such a great opportunity to work in a big company in Shanghai," Wang said in court. Other victims had similar experiences.
As more and more migrant workers come to Shanghai to seek a living, the number of such fraud cases is also on the rise.
Officials suggest migrant workers look for a job at government-backed job fairs or seek help from local authorities to avoid being defrauded.
The court gave the fraudsters reduced sentences since they had returned part of their ill-gotten money while detained.


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