Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fraud Alert: Beijing ChiWest & CUCAS Study In China Scams Impersonate Chinese Government With Fake Web Site Domains!

Thousands of university students around the world are being victimized by a very sophisticated scam operated by a fromer Chinese official name Peter Zheng and his wife Zheng Tian Ying of Beijing China. The Scam has been operating since 2010 when Zheng, a former official of CERNET (China's domain registrar) began illegally using .cn and .edu.cn domains for his privately owned and for profit company CUCAS.

This deception tricks students abroad and expats in China to falsely believe that CUSAS is either a government agency, or as some CUCAS sales people have boasted "part of the Ministry of Education".  This is patently false.  The deception is deep and has been used to bamboozle hundred of students to enroll in Chinese universities every month through an elaborate scheme...

CUCAS spams ads all over the internet luring foreign students to study for free in China with offers of scholarships. The applicants from America, Canada, Australia, India, Russia, the U.K. and every EuroZone nation are told that CUCAS works for "FREE" But that their sister company "Beijing ChiWest must be paid over $1,000 in processing and servicing fees. The applicant never realizes that Beijing ChiWest is also owned by Zheng according to Beijing licensing officials at SAIC.
 
The scam deepens when student applicants are told they have their choice of any Chinese university. But after their service and application fees are paid, the students get "bad news & good news" from CUCAS staffers who tell them they were turned down by their school of choice, but accepted by 10 other universities!  All 10 of these other universities have contracts to pay Zheng a substantial commission.

CUCAS collects over $2,000 from every foreign applicant who thinks that money is going towards tuition!  Foreign students are then led to glowing reviews and "testimonials" that are bought and paid for at six different web sites like gooverseas.com, studyabroad.com, etc.

CUCAS even uses legitimate expat forums and web sites like Chinese-Forums.com to advertise for him. Former clients of CUCAS who attempt to post complaints on forums where CUCAS advertises report having their warnings and complaints deleted within an hour of posting them.

Those who take the time to google "CUCAS, complaints, scam, problems, fraud" will find the company has a history of complaints going back to 2011, with over a dozen complaints at Fraudwatchers, and other scam reporting sites.

Our staff has advised Interpol and the Chinese authorities about this operation and we urge any and all high school and university students to avoid contact with CUCAS and Beijing ChiWest which solicits via email, Skype, and Google Adwords.  The company operates out of an office located in Shang Di which is on Line 13 of the Beijing Subway System on Beijing's west side of town just North of Wudaokou. Although their sales people sometimes brag that they are an American company our investigation reveals that they are staffed by nine young Chinese people, presumed to be recent university graduates. Domains used by the two scam operations are CUCAS.cn, ChiWest.cn, CUCAS.edu.cn, and edu.cn.