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China warns job-seekers to beware of pyramid schemes
Updated: 2009-03-12 15:46

Chinese officials have warned the rising number of job-seekers to be wary of pyramid sales schemes.

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In a joint circular issued Thursday, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Public Security warned job-hunting students and rural migrant workers to be alert for pyramid schemes that were disguised as recruiting assistance programs.

People should also be alert for online pyramid schemes, which were often perpetrated as e-commerce or online training opportunities, the warning said.

The economic downturn has made it difficult for new graduates and many laid-off migrant workers to find jobs. According to official estimates, about 20 million out of 130 million migrant workers have lost their jobs. Further, 7.1 million graduates will seek work this year, including 1 million who failed to secure jobs last year.

Last year, law enforcement agencies cracked more than 2,500 pyramid scheme cases and 941 people were prosecuted. The schemes involved more than 400,000 people.

Pyramid sales were banned in China in 1998.

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