Chen Shi, who didn’t like to lecture people, actually said quite a lot in front of Sister Chen. Wang Haitao was stunned and worried that he would frighten away this precious customer.
Sister Chen felt guilty and bowed her head without saying a word.
Chen Shi's purpose was to dispel the gleam of hope in Sister Chen’s heart and let her understand that even if the papers were real, it was not worth the risk.
He said, "I'm sorry, I'm a bit emotional. After all, I've walked across the single log bridge that is the entrance examination... Ah yes, you said that they were in the news. I’ll try searching for that."
Chen Shi turned on the computer and typed in some keywords. There was indeed a leak of the xx university entrance examination in the year 2010. It was on the first page of the search engine. Chen Shi quickly browsed through it and looked through the other news on the same site. He said, "Sister Chen look. All the articles on this website were ripped from other websites. The click-through rate adds up to only a few thousand, and the dates when the articles were uploaded were very close together."
"This... What does this mean?"
"The website is fake. It's very easy to make a fake website these days. Through the search engine’s bidding system, you can spend a little money and become a top-ranking website in searches. If there was really an examination leak, it would definitely be enough to shake the city. I'll search for it on other web portals now... Look, there isn't anything about it at all. This news is unique to this site!"
Sister Chen completely believed him. "They’re really scammers?"
"Professional scammers will constantly deceive you, so that you’ll fall deeper and deeper into their trap. They collected 20,000 yuan first, and then took the children away on the eve of the examinations. You just said that they asked you to prepare 200,000 yuan in advance. Do you have that money prepared?"
"Yes, it's money I borrowed from my son’s aunt and it’s stored in my card."
Chen Shi snapped his fingers and said, "Then the scammers’ next step is already clear at a glance. Once the children get into the transport, you will never be able to contact them again. Tonight, they will indeed get copies of exam papers, but they are definitely not the real entrance examination papers. The actual focus is tomorrow when the exam starts. They will call you to deposit the money. If you don't, your child will be late and miss this year's examination. That’s their real purpose."
"Wouldn't that be kidnapping?" Wang Haitao said.
Chen Shi smiled and shook his head. "They just used some means to delay the children on the road. As long as they are 15 minutes late for the university entrance examination, they will be disqualified, but it won’t constitute kidnapping. However, the loss on your end would be immense. Even if you transfer the money, the children will not be able to arrive at the examination venue on time. The scammers will never show up again after getting the money. They will leave the children in the middle of nowhere and make their escape."
"No... It wouldn’t be that serious, right?!" Sister Chen asked in panic.
"Do you know the true information of any of these people from the moment you got involved with this group?"
Sister Chen widened her eyes in horror and shook her head.
Wang Haitao said in admiration, "Mr. Chen, you’re like a psychic. How can you guess all that?"
Chen Shi smiled, "I thought about what means I would use to minimize risk while getting the highest return if I was the scammer. This is their optimal solution."
"Oh no!" Sister Chen said in horror. "In two hours, they will pick up the children!"
"Get into my car!" Chen Shi instructed.
"Thank you. Thank you so much."
After getting into the car, Sister Chen composed a message on her mobile phone and said, "I have to quickly notify the other parents. There are forty children!"
"The scammers can make over eight million dollars at once? That's more than my father's expenses in a year..." Wang Haitao said.
Chen Shi coughed and glared at him so that he wouldn’t show off his wealth, and then asked Sister Chen, “Is Little Han's mother involved?"
"It's impossible, right? Her daughter Little Han and my family’s Little Lei are in the same class. I’ve known her for many years. Little Han is an art student. This year's art school entrance exam wasn’t ideal, so they wanted to take the normal entrance examination. But her grades were not that great... By the way, Little Han's mother is very trusting. She often gets involved in investment schemes and also recruits other people as well. Last year, she asked me if I wanted to invest in a massage ball. She said that if we invested 100,000, we’d be able to earn 1 million."
"It seems like she’s very naïve and isn’t very calculating." Chen Shi said.
After Sister Chen's message was sent out, it caused a great uproar in their temporary chat group. Little Han's mother actually said, "Little Lei’s mother, what nonsense are you spouting? Would I lie to all of you? Surely, you aren’t just hoping for the best for your own child and don’t want our children to pass the exam, right? Aren’t you just making up lies to sway our hearts?”
Sister Chen replied anxiously, "I hired private detectives and they found out that this group of people are scammers. Don't send the children out. If you do, it's all over!"
"You say that they’re scammers, but they clearly have teaching qualification permits and a company registration number. You can also see the news on Baidu. You say that they’re scammers so confidently, so you should show the evidence! I think the private detectives that you hired are the liars! People like you are the most hateful. Your will isn’t firm, and you want to drag others down with you. If you want to succeed, you have to take risks. Everyone is waiting for good news while you’re hesitating. People who take no action are destined to be losers in life! Nobody’s begging you to believe it. I beg you not to broadcast rumors here and sway the hearts of other people! If the rest of you believe her stupid words, then quit now. You deserve to lose 20,000 yuan. I believe Teacher Gao in any case. When my son is admitted to a prestigious university, I will enjoy my blessings at home. It’ll be too late when you guys start to envy me. Let’s see who’ll cry and who’ll laugh in the end.”
Persuaded by Little Han's mother, some parents who were hesitating decided to continue. There were still around 30 people who were willing to believe in Teacher Gao, and only more than ten people said they’d like to quit.
"This woman! She’s suffering from mind control!" Sister Chen scolded angrily.
"What did they say, Haitao? Read it out!" Chen Shi said.
Wang Haitao began to read aloud in an emotionless tone, "Little Lei’s mother, what nonsense are you spouting…” Halfway through, the message disappeared. "Sister Chen was kicked out of the group."
"Haii, no one believes the truth. They only believe in liars!" Sister Chen said sadly.
Chen Shi thought about how people were always willing to believe whatever is advantageous to them. This is why no matter how awful the scammers’ skills were, there would always be someone who will be fooled.
Chen Shi pulled out his mobile phone, contacted KK and Sun Zhen one after the other, and told them to go to the agency to wait for him and for Sun Zhen to bring along his own computer. Time was running out and these two great talents had to be utilized.
He thought about how they wouldn’t be able to find the scammers right now. If they didn’t do anything, 30 children would lose their chances at the entrance exams. At the same time, their families would lose 200,000 each. Most of them were not wealthy. The loss of 200,000 would be huge.
Chen Shi asked, "Sister, have the scammers ever seen your child?"
"No, they haven’t."
"Okay!" He called Lin Qiupu and asked, "Captain Lin, can you lend Xiaodong to me for a day?"
"Ah? Borrow Xiaodong? How do you plan to use him?"
"Please, please, this is an urgent matter. I’ll explain it to you afterwards. It’s a big case."
"Where is the deceased?"
"It's not a criminal case, but it's also a life-threatening matter. I guess I’m a busybody. Can you tell Xiaodong to go to the address that I’ll send to you in a while?" Chen Shi hung up the phone and threw the cell phone to Wang Haitao. “Send Sister Chen’s home address to this number."
Sister Chen whispered, "This little brother is a policeman?"
"No, but he has strong connections with the police." Wang Haitao replied.
"Thank goodness!" Sister Chen clasped her palms together. "It's really a relief to have met you both!"
1. A bridge made from a single felled tree. Shows how difficult that path is when you have to balance yourself on the tree to get to the other side. It’s a straight path as well.
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