BLACKMAIL IS THE NEW BLACK: Red Loan Sharks, Yellow Bellies and a 24-Carat Gold Digger

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Blackmail is the new Black. If money is the root of all evil than China is a concrete jungle balancing on shaky foundations. Web-based loan sharks operating in China’s tier 1 & tier 2 cities have allegedly been targeting vulnerable and borderline defenseless female university students in a loan sharking blackmail scheme involving abrupt demands for nude and or explicit photographs to change hands for use as a primitive form of collateral to leverage the security of the loan in question. The loan sharks demand copies and in some cases even originals of ID cards and other such sensitive personal documents. In some extreme cases pressures have been applied to instigate sexual favors as a form of settlement commodity for those with loan debts in serious arrears.

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Threats are circulated that nude photos will be posted to the public domain if debts and or favors are not settled as negotiated and many of the students have insufficient support structures in place for advice, counselling or assistance with a topic that is known to be extremely taboo within Chinese society and the Chinese family dynamic, it is exactly on this need to maintain relative ‘silence’ that the blackmailers prey upon. Finally when some of the victims of the cold exploitation spoke out about debts spiraling upwards of $10’000 due to the 30% weekly interest rates, a reporter for a local publication went in undercover posing as a naïve student, the story was published and thus for fear of prosecution and penalty the loan sharks have ceased to trade their manipulation and misery.

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A Guangzhou based newspaper revealed that one student borrowed 500 yuan (AUS$100) from a shady loan provider and due to the 30% weekly interest spike eventually she wound up with debts totaling AUS$11’000 and participating in the exchange of nude photographs. Many female students were in identical predicaments and literally caught between a rock and a hard place. Some reported they had taken out the loans to fund small business ventures and before long were being blackmailed to make steep re-payments to avoid having their naked photos made public. The loan system became known as naked loans or naked IOU’s, Chinese law enforcement ruled that said actions represented illegal use of online platforms and unfair exploitation of the civil liberties & human rights of the paying customer. The small print being that various forms of ‘loan sharking’ in the People’s Republic of China are for the most part legal although debt collecting by such unethical means was most certainly illegal, especially given that university students or migrant workers already exist in an environment flush with instability and risk etc. An official survey on the issue polled 55% suggesting the students were at fault, possibly reflecting a drop in moral standards , 44% found the loan sharks to be culpable of taking advantage of a minority group of young, vulnerable women. Reports indicate that the Jiedaibao website, a money lending platform usually for friends and acquaintances, was where the bulk of the bad deals took place. Another local newspaper reporter for Southern Metropolis Daily also infiltrated a chat room used by the loan sharks to expose them from the inside out and publish the incriminating materials gathered. When a spokesperson for Jiedaibao was contacted and questioned in official capacity they agreed to work alongside local police investigators and regulatory members of the authorities etc

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Here in Australia there is an official standard practices act for both small and large business trading across our online platforms and the message is clear to all, bait the customer all you like but do it in an ethical and respectful manner and the integrity of your actions will bear fruit. At Australian Lending Centre the attentive and friendly loans team understand the customer’s need to tread carefully through the loan acquisition process and are there to support you throughout the duration of the claim. ALC can quickly turn multiple payments into one convenient monthly payment to match business finance needs with competitive plans and flexible terms etc.

Money as commodity, as symbol and facilitator is a powerful engine in this the modern age of technology. Thanks to an international online dating site named Miss Travel, Natalie Wood 30 from Canterbury Kent, has been jet-setting around the globe from Istanbul to Dubai, Maldives to Miami, Perth to Prague, the list is long and distinguished and the hosts willingly pick up the six-figure tab. “Most of the men, who are usually a little older than I am, are successful business men who are tired of travelling alone and have enough funds to be able to share their trip with me” says Natalie proudly. Around the World in Eighty Dates!

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All flights, accommodation, dinners, champagne even Spas and boat trips are paid for, so what is Natalie Wood’s secret? She says her dates also provide her spending money for clothes and perfume and take her out in sports cars to extravagant parties, she estimates that over $120,000 has been lavished on herself though rejects any idea that she is a gold digger for easy hire preferring the term ‘luxury traveler’. I like the finer things in life and this lifestyle allows me to have them” she admits somewhat shamelessly. After joining Miss Travel two years ago, Natalie has been flown around the globe to stunning places she never dreamed of visiting. “I flew to Perth in Australia to meet a different guy who owned private planes, he had a huge collection and we flew in one. There’s no pressure to have a sexual relationship with the men I date but I don’t rule sex out, I always make sure I am attracted to them first, the connection has to come naturally, Miss Travel has been pure gold, it has changed my life!”

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