Posted October 29, 2018 09:19:51 In the early hours of the morning, I’m at a reception desk in the office of a Chinese-owned hospital in Newport Beach, California.
It’s an early January morning, and it’s raining.
In the office, a man sits in front of a computer screen, reading a Chinese medical manual.
Behind him, a woman is frantically scribbling notes.
She is dressed in a bright pink shirt and pants.
She speaks Chinese with an accent that sounds like a Chinese accent.
I ask her to translate the manual.
She says it’s called the Chinese health insurance card.
It says, “I don’t know anything, but I will take care of you.”
She takes a copy of the card out of her purse and shows me the instructions on how to insert it into the machine.
She then asks me to follow the instructions.
I’m a little stunned.
I don’t understand what they’re talking about.
She explains the card, then tells me she doesn’t want to do anything because she knows it’s a fake card.
I tell her I’ve seen one before, and that I have to check it.
She looks at me like I’m crazy.
“It’s fake,” she says.
“I will not take care.”
The woman in front tells me there are three types of fake health insurance cards, and she says there are five types of Chinese health cards.
She has a Chinese card.
Then, she explains to me that the fake card has to be purchased from the Chinese consulate in California.
“The Chinese government will not accept fake cards,” she tells me.
“So you have to come with us to China and find a fake doctor.”
This sounds ridiculous.
I get a few questions from the receptionist about the fake cards and what they are.
“They are all fake,” one woman says.
It sounds like they’re looking for someone who is a criminal.
“How did you get the card?”
She tells me that it’s in the mail.
“A doctor with a fake ID,” she replies.
“Is that true?”
I look around the office.
“What is it?”
“It is not a Chinese ID card,” she responds.
“But we will take your picture.
We have a camera at the front of the office.”
I ask the reception worker if she knows what the Chinese government does with these fake cards.
“If they find them, we will send you a letter and you will get your card back,” she answers.
I start to panic.
Is this really happening?
Is this a scam?
Is it happening in China?
But there’s another receptionist, who looks older than me, and says, she does not know about it.
“This is not China,” she explains.
“We don’t even know who these people are.”
The receptionist tells me I have a couple of days to get rid of the fake Chinese health card, but she does want me to come back to China with her on Saturday.
She doesn’t even let me ask her the question I asked her the day before: “Do you know who this person is?”
I explain that I want to find out if there is a scam going on, and ask her if she is in contact with any other receptionists in the facility.
“No, not really,” she finally tells me, when I ask if there’s anything else she should know.
“There are some people who use fake cards, but not very much.”
I tell the receptionists I’ve talked to other people about this, and I ask what the reaction has been.
“People think it’s not real,” one of the reception staff tells me before heading out.
“And they don’t think there’s a scam.”
She tells my translator that she is aware of the issue and that the person who sent me the fake health card is an employee of the Chinese company.
She also tells me about an incident where someone had the fake medical card but never got their money back.
“When the person had the card and they got a letter from the company, they called me and told me that they have no business card, and they have the card,” the reception manager explains.
She told me she was told by the company to stop calling the Chinese person.
“After that, they didn’t get the money,” she told me.
I have no idea how much money the person in this situation has.
I call the Chinese hospital, and after a short call, a nurse calls me back and tells me the same story.
“At the end of the day, it’s just an identity card, an insurance card,” he tells me from behind the desk.
“Why do you think we use them?”
I tell him that it could be because they’re cheaper than the real card.
“Because they are cheap?” the