A woman from Hong Kong was reportedly tricked into marrying a total stranger in mainland China while she was training to work as a wedding planner.
According to the unnamed 21-year-old, she was asked to participate in a mock wedding where she thought she was merely acting as a fake bride. She would later discover that the marriage was actually legally binding, South China Morning Post reports.
In a bid to gain attention to her plight, the woman talked to local media and revealed that it all began after she saw a Facebook ad for a makeup artist apprenticeship.
When she applied, the company reportedly urged her to apply for a wedding planning career instead. She was told that more money can be earned in that field.
After taking a week-long free training course in Hong Kong in June, she was told that she must participate in a mock wedding ceremony in Fujian province in order to pass the course.
So she did take part in the ceremony with a man of a similar age at a local government office in Fuzhou. The supposedly fake bride was asked to sign a marriage certificate which the company claimed would be void after.
The woman said she only realized she was scammed after she told the unusual story to a friend back in Hong Kong.
Despite numerous cases of sham marriages in the past, authorities refuse to speculate that the motive for the scam is to allow the mainland Chinese man to reside in Hong Kong, as it is a right granted to those married to a Hong Kong citizen.