Chinese workers' sick notes to watch early World Cup games
It would appear that hundreds of Chinese people are spending up to 300 yuan (approximately £30/$50) a pop on fake sick notes in order to watch the early kick-offs at this summer's World Cup.
Due to the 11-hour time difference between Brazil and China, the black market has been flooded with a variety of counterfeit hospital notes for football fans who fully intend on watching the 3am (local time) kick-offs rather than getting a good night's sleep before work.
Fraudsters have been selling the notes on Taobao (the Chinese equivalent of Ebay) for the past few weeks, with prices varying from 1 yuan (about 1 pence) for a pad of blank fake doctor's sick notes right up to 300 yuan for a top-of-the-line hospital record sheet complete with authentic-looking stamps, as seen below.
Chinese fraudsters are creating fake sick notes designed to help football fans skip work during the WC. pic.twitter.com/2QtyL1SlzN- footynions (@footynions) June 9, 2014
In the interests of investigative journalism, The Telegraph actually had one of their reporters purchase a knock-off sick note for 100 yuan from Taobao.
The note allowed the correspondent to skip his Sunday shift after watching England's opening match against Italy the previous morning.
"The apparently legitimate note and accompanying medical record purport to be from the respiratory department at Shanghai's Ruijin Hospital, one of the city's best," The Telegraph's report reads.
"Diagnosis: upper respiratory tract infection. Suggestion: one day of sick leave," reads a dark blue scrawl on the document, alongside no less than four official-looking stamps.
"Dated June 15, the note was actually produced more than a week earlier by fraudsters from a company called Shanghai Sick Notes."