Shanghai Gang Jailed for Scamming Foreigners into Paying $11,000 for Massages

A gang composed of at least 13 men has been locked away for bullying foreign tourists in a massage scam.

According to Shanghaiist, the gang would entice the weary, sore foreigners into the massage parlors by advertising low rates. Thinking they were getting a good deal, the travelers would agree and receive a massage. After the a good rub down, the foreigners would be surprised to see that the previously agreed upon price had suddenly skyrocketed to ridiculous amounts, upwards of tens of thousands of yuan.

Some foreigners wouldn’t dispute the charge and, upon payment, would be on their way. Others would argue, prompting the salon to bring in the big guns — a menacing group of thugs would surround the tourists, threatening to do physical harm, lest they pay the new price.

Thugs or not, the foreigners would be escorted back to their hotels via drivers and warned that they should not report the incident to the police. Of course, some travelers didn’t listen; the gang was arrested in June 2017, one day after extorting 70,000 yuan ($11,000) from five tourists. 13 men received prison sentences ranging from one to six years for the illicit activities, according to Shine.

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