In a move so brilliant, so masterful, and so perfect I can only hope it is real, a woman in China reportedly convinced her 20 different boyfriends (!) to buy her 20 new iPhone 7s (!!), which she then resold for money she used to purchase a house (!!!).
According to a report from the BBC, a person called Proud Qiaoba (not their real name) first wrote up the story on Chinese blogging platform Tian Ya Yi Du, about their friend, Xiaoli (also not her real name). According to the post, Xiaoli sold the new iPhones for about 120,000 Chinese yuan (approximately $18,000) to a tech resale company called Hui Shou Bao. From there, she used the money to pay for the deposit on a new house.
While the whole thing sounds fairly suspect and a bit like the blog post version of the Thinking-Face Emoji, the BBC did confirm with Hui Shou Bao that the company recently purchased 20 iPhone 7s from a woman earlier in October. Which means there is hope for this scam yet. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to steal 20 of your men and make them buy me iPhones.
Update 11/1/16: A new report from BuzzFeed News has officially killed my hopes that this scam could be real. According to BuzzFeed, the blog in which the story was published is a known hot spot for gossip. The blogger who wrote the story appeared to have only joined to platform days before writing the cell-phone-scam post, which is, obviously, suspect. On top of that, the tech resale company, Hui Shou Bao, recently posted a job opening seeking someone competent in “methods of media manipulation.” It’s likely, BuzzFeed notes, this whole thing was just a scheme cooked up by Hui Shou Bao for attention. A scammer can dream, though.