Don’t Let Illegal Fundraising Disturb the “Little Reunion” in Life

Source:    |      Date:2020-08-06

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The family drama A Little Reunion was definitely one of the TV series with high attention among people in China during the summer vacation in August. This TV series that focuses on the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) and parent-child relationship made people exclaim that it was so realistic and it was a true depiction of their senior year in high school! The never-ending exercises, the mom who's always nagging you, the teacher who's always talking about the college entry score, and even your dad's reasons for making you wear long johns are all exactly the same as shown in the TV series.

However, what we want to talk about today is neither the NCEE nor parent-child relationship, but only a tiny and easily overlooked plot, i.e., the parents of Fang Yuan acted by Huang Lei in the TV series encountered illegal fundraising and pyramid scheme and lost RMB 800,000, which almost turned the family’s little reunion into little sadness.

The family of Fang Yuan and Tong Wenjie was the happiest among the three families in the TV series. Their son was not good at study and was mischievous, however, the family was harmonious, and the four members of the family were happy together. The turning point occurred when Fang Yuan and his wife both lost their jobs, and they had to rent a room in the school district and also paid tuition fees for their child to attend a cram school and prepare for the art examination, which largely increased their economic pressure. They want to cover the expenses using their previous savings and compensation. However, as the saying goes, it never rains but it pours: Fang Yuan’s parents encountered illegal fundraising and pyramid scheme and lost their pensions and also several hundred thousand RMB borrowed from neighbors. Fang Yuan and his family had to sell their house to fill the gap.

In fact, there had been early signs for us to tell that the two old people would be cheated. Today, let’s look at which traps are used in illegal fundraising or pyramid schemes to deceive the elderly:

Trap I: Depicting a “cake” to attract attention. Lawbreakers will often fabricate high-end projects, using descriptions such as “new technology” and “new policy”, saying whatever is new and whatever is high-end, magnificent and classy, to give people the illusion that “this is an opportunity that cannot be missed”. Some will even organize site visits, forge various award certificates, and invite celebrities to endorse products, to dispel doubts, for example, the elderly in the TV series were deceived by lawbreakers using the “nanotechnology”; after Fang Yuan told his parents that it was a fraud, his father said confidently, “We have been way more experienced and we all went to see the company on site, so it can’t be false.”

Trap II: Touching and luring through affection. For example, as mentioned in the TV series, the salesperson called the elderly their grandpa and grandma and acted like they were closer and filial to the elderly than the elderly’s grandchildren and children. Living far away from their children, the elderly may often feel lonely and long for affection, which becomes an opportunity for criminals to exploit an advantage.

Trap III: Taking advantage of acquaintances. For example, as mentioned by the old man in the TV series, “We do it with your Uncle Zhang and Aunt Wang, so don’t worry.” The criminals precisely seize the old people's herding consciousness and conformity. Knowing that their acquaintances have invested and earned money, some old people will also follow.

Trap IV: Giving some benefits at first. To get people to invest more money, criminals will often pay the “dividends” in full and on schedule at first, however, the money they use to make payment is from the money people invest and is not sustainable. In the TV show, Fang Yuan’s parents also received dividends at first and they cheerfully used the money to share children’s burden, however, they found that their principal had already been squandered by criminals only a few months later. This is exactly, “You are greedy for his high interest, but what he wants is your principal.”

This was how the two well-educated old people were trapped step by step in the TV series. As a result, audiences are so anxious about them and call “Su Daqiang” (a character in the TV series All Is Well) to give advice by using his own experience.

We’d like to take this opportunity to act as “Su Daqiang” to tell you some practical tips against illegal fundraising. When encountering the above traps, the general public, especially the elderly, must remember the “four-three-two-one” method:

Four-check. Firstly, check the legality of the financing. Check whether the related enterprise has also obtained a financial license besides its business license; only formal financial institutions approved by the state financial regulator are eligible to raise funds from the public. Secondly, check the publicity content for any implication of “no risk, high yield, always earning”. Thirdly, check the business model for project authenticity and question about the fund destinations, etc. Fourthly, check the participating groups to see if they are mostly the elderly.

Three-consider. Firstly, consider whether you really know the products and market conditions; secondly, consider whether the product revenue is in line with the market rules; thirdly, consider whether your financial capacity can resist risks.

Two-ask. Firstly, ask professionals. Consult a financial professional through a proper channel or call the related government department to ask if it is real and legitimate. Secondly, ask family and friends. Be sure to consult with your family before making an investment decision; in particular, the elderly must ask their children for advice and don’t blindly follow suit.

One-night. Be sure to raise vigilance and give careful consideration when it comes to investment-related publicity and promotion, especially under circumstances where the related personnel urge people to seize the opportunity to rush to purchase, and it’s okay to delay the decision for one night so that you will not regret your decision made hurriedly.

Finally, as Tong Wenjie said in the TV series, “We, the children, are also responsible for the deception fallen into by our parents. Just think how long it’s been since we went home to see them.” We suggest everyone, after reading this article, pick up the phone and give your parents a call. Give them more care and greetings and jointly guard the hard-earned money, pensions, and tuition fees of the family so that there can be more “little reunions” in life.

Source: Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration