Job scam leaves Hong Kong woman married to complete stranger
A 21-year-old claims she was deceived into marrying a stranger in a ‘mock’ wedding in Fujian Province, China.
According to the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, she was told she had to play the role of a bride in a wedding as part of her training to become a wedding planner, reports BBC.
The woman says she applied for a job as a make-up artist in May after seeing the ad on Facebook.
After applying, the company allegedly convinced her to switch to wedding planning, as this would allow her a bigger salary.
The make-up artist job, which required no work experience, offered a monthly salary of HK$14,000 (R25 750), including free training, South China Morning Post, reports.
The company then arranged for her to attend a free week-long training course in Hong Kong in June.
Before the end of the course, the young woman was told to act in a ‘mock’ wedding in order to complete her training.
She and her ‘husband’ signed a real marriage certificate at a local government centre in Fujian after she was assured the marriage would subsequently be ‘void’.
The woman only realised she was married upon arrival in Hong Kong when her friend made her aware of the scam.
She sought legal help, but the police were unable to step in due to lack of evidence, the Telegraph reports.
It’s unclear who the man she married is and she may have to apply for a divorce.
Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) rights and benefits committee, Tong Kang-Yiu believes she is just one of many victims.
“We hope that by sharing this case, those who haven’t realised they were scammed will be aware,” he said.
Although the motive behind the case isn’t yet known, it might have to do with the fact mainland residents with a spouse in Hong Kong can apply for a one-way permit to settle in the city.