Chen Shi glanced at Wang Haitao in surprise and said over the phone, “Sister, this is against the law. We can't help with that.”
“No, no, I don't mean that I wish to ask you to get it... I just want to know if anyone can get the university entrance exam papers in advance?”
Chen Shi suddenly remembered that the university entrance examinations were being held the next day. He asked, “Your child is in the third year?”
“Sister, have you been deceived? Did someone tell you that they can get you the entrance exam papers?”
“I... I don't know. I’ve paid 20,000, but I haven't seen the exam papers yet. I suspect that... My son's grades aren’t good. He might not even get into a third rate university. It was like I was possessed and actually believed in it.”
“Can't the scammers be contacted anymore?”
“No, I can reach them. They said that they will get the papers tonight, but there’s a condition...”
Chen Shi thought that he understood. The scammers still had an ace up their sleeves. He felt that he could take this case. The client didn't dare to report it to the police and had nowhere that she could turn to. He said, “Sister, don't worry. Why don’t you come in for a chat? If we can help you, we definitely will!”
“Thank you, I will be there this afternoon.”
“We’ll wait for you.”
Hanging up the phone, Wang Haitao said, “Look, we got one.”
“This is just pure luck. We won’t be able to get this kind of case every day. Let's see what the lady says when she comes over in the afternoon!”
After lunch, a woman in her forties walked into the agency at two o'clock. She looked around and saw that the environment wasn’t too bad. Her hesitant expression more or less went away.
Chen Shi poured her a cup of tea and invited her to sit down. “How should we address you?”
“My surname’s Chen.”
“We must be distant relatives since we have the same surname. Let's talk about the situation first!”
Sister Chen sighed and began to recount how her son Little Lei was in his senior year at his high school. He had always had poor grades. He bought all the tutorial books, entrance examination lectures, and even brain enhancement supplements, but he was always at the bottom in the mock exams and her son was very frustrated.
A week ago, Little Han's mother in the parents’ chat group suddenly revealed a piece of news. She knew a person that claimed that they could get the entrance exam papers in advance. Although this kind of news didn’t seem reliable, temptation caused her to lose her head. The parents of several children, including Sister Chen, were convinced, so Little Han's mother set up a meeting with the mysterious character in a hotel as the middleman.
The person referred to himself as “Teacher Gao” and had an elegant aura. He claimed to be the former teacher of a certain prestigious school and to have participated in creating several exam questions. He claimed to know the entire process well and that he had connections who could get him the entrance examination papers.
Teacher Gao said that the leak from xx exam papers in 2010 was done by their team. The failure back then was not their responsibility. A parent wavered at the last minute, leaked the secret, and caused the city to switch to the back-up paper. This incident could be searched and found online. In fact, they’ve been in this business for 20 years and only accepted forty orders a year. If they were to expand the business, they were afraid that the police would take notice. Except for 2010, they’ve never been unsuccessful!
Teacher Gao strictly emphasized that this matter must be kept secret. Once the secret was leaked, their team would be arrested, and these parents would also be out of luck. If it wasn’t handled well, they’d all go to jail.
Although the talk of going to jail frightened the parents, people have a certain mentality. For example, when a product is said to have been smuggled, the buyers are all the more convinced that it’s a genuine product.
Teacher Gao said that if they wanted to join in, they must pay a security deposit of 20,000 yuan, and then pay a service fee of 200,000 yuan when everything was a done deal. Of course, the 200,000 yuan needed to be prepared in advance. After the end of the entrance examinations, they’d have to pay it.
Some people handed over the money immediately and some expressed doubts, but due to the strong peer pressure from the others, they paid for it anyway. After all, in that environment, if anyone left without paying, there would undoubtedly be a risk of the secret being leaked. Other parents were naturally unwilling for that to happen. Besides, the parents who went there were all in the same boat. Their children had poor grades and there was almost no hope, so why not take a gamble?
After receiving the money, Teacher Gao asked them to go back and wait for news. Sister Chen returned home, and the more she thought about it, the more she felt that it was fishy. She confessed to her husband about what she had done. Her husband said that she was stupid and had been fooled. The scammers must have already escaped with the money.
There were other parents who thought the same way and they anxiously went back to the hotel to look for Teacher Gao again. He was actually still there and calmly told everyone, “You’ll definitely get the exam papers. If not, you will get a full refund of the deposit.”
After that, whenever the parents looked for Teacher Gao, he would always repeat the same thing. Seeing the university entrance examinations looming around the corner, everyone became really anxious when they didn’t receive the exam papers. They became more and more impatient. The day before, Teacher Gao sent a group message to inform them to meet up.
Everyone went to the designated place with excitement but didn’t see any exam papers there. Teacher Gao revealed mysteriously why the exam papers were so confidential. In fact, they were printed in prison. Their team had a man inside the prison system who could get a copy before they were delivered. Although the process was extremely dangerous, Teacher Gao promised that they'd done it for twenty years and had never messed up.
The exam papers would be delivered that night, but the examination candidates were only allowed to memorize them and were not allowed to take the papers away. If the secret was leaked, the entire channel that they’ve spent 20 years developing would be lost. That was why they would send transport to pick up the candidates to take them to a certain place that evening. For security reasons, the address was absolutely confidential. Parents were not allowed to go or follow them. There would be professional teachers who would guide them there and there were places to rest at the location as well. They would be sent to the test centers by special transport the next morning.
Some parents believed that it was true, but the others weren’t very convinced. Sister Chen was one of the latter. Last night, she had stayed up all night thinking about it, wondering if the whole thing was a scam. Would the child never come back after being taken away?
She had been contacting the other parents the whole morning. Those parents advised her not to worry about it. It was normal for people to use such practices when they were conducting risky business. She could only clench her jaw while she waited. Once everything was over, the child would be admitted to a good university and they’d live blissful lives thereafter.
“The more I thought about it, the more afraid I became, but I didn’t dare to call the police. I happened to see your advertisement and came to you with the mentality of giving it a try. I hope you can help me with this.” Sister Chen said with her face full of worry.
“Stealing exam papers?” Wang Haitao furrowed his brows. “This is illegal...”
Chen Shi asked Sister Chen, “How do you want us to help? To investigate whether the papers are real or fake, or to destroy this group of scammers?”
“I... I don't know.”
“Actually, you still have a glimmer of hope in your heart. You are hoping that the entrance examination papers are real and that your child can be admitted to a good university, aren’t you?” Chen Shi asked.
Sister Chen had her heart’s desires exposed and she nodded desperately.
Chen Shi said, “This is cheating! Taking a step back, let’s say that they can really get the exam papers in advance. Is it fair to those children who’ve been studying hard for over ten years and the parents who had tightened their belts to get houses in the school zones and worked hard without complaining for over a decade? You must have educated your children to be honest. Now that it’s profitable, you’re teaching him to cheat and deceive. You will all bear the burden of this lie for a lifetime, and the whole family will suffer from guilty consciences. Even if he is admitted to a prestigious university in the future, will he be able to keep up in the courses of that prestigious university given his real grades? Even if he graduates successfully and finds a good job, all of this will be based on lies. Imagine your child working hard for more than ten years and then becoming famous and successful. If the examination fraud is suddenly exposed, how would he pay for it in the future? The more people who know the secret, the more likely it will be exposed. How many people know about this secret? Do you think paying 200,000 yuan for this entrance exam is really a pass to a happy life? No, this is just harming your child!”
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