Sheep A Sheep

Woman Scammed $12.5k While Playing China’s Most Popular Mobile Game

Netizens have urged the developers behind the hit mobile game ‘Sheep A Sheep’ to assert more responsibility when selecting advertisers

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Hayley Zhao
5:58 PM HKT, Fri September 30, 2022 1 mins read

Sheep A Sheep is, without a doubt, the most popular mobile game in China at the moment. The concept of this game is straightforward: clear a pile of overlapping tiles by matching three identical ones. The highly addictive game has gone viral for how easy it is to play and how difficult it is to finish.

Players struggling to complete the game (most people, frankly) have the option of watching a short advertisement to gain a second chance at winning. The ads are usually about other online games, but one, in particular, happened to be about an online platform for loans — this just so happened to be the ad that captured Ms. Yan’s attention.

Hailing from Changzhou, Jiangsu province, Yan was short on cash, so she clicked on a link in the ad that directed her to a website. After scrutinizing the company’s business license for granting loans to small businesses and start-ups, she followed instructions on the website and downloaded an app to apply for a small loan.

The app stated that she had a balance of 26,000 RMB (about 3,600 USD) with the company, which led her to believe that her loan had been approved. However, her attempts to withdraw the money failed.

Next, customer service informed her that she had entered incorrect information for her application and that her account had been frozen; it seemed she would have to pay a deposit to unfreeze her loan, so she did.


A screengrab of the fake business license. Image via Jiangsu News’ Weibo

Yan eventually realized that the whole thing was a sham, but a little too late. By then, she had already wired 90,000 RMB (about 12,500 USD) to the scammer. She immediately called the police, who discovered that the business’ license was fake, reported Jiangsu News.

Some netizens have criticized Yan’s gullibility, saying that one should never click on any pop-up ads, which are often scams. Others have sympathized with the victim.

“That’s really tragic. The scam is making things worse for her when she really needs money,” commented a Weibo user.

Many have debated whether the developers of Sheep A Sheep should take responsibility for having scam ads in their game.

This is not the first time the popular mobile game has caused legal troubles for its users.

Last week, state-backed broadcaster CCTV reported that vendors are selling game props that supposedly give players an advantage at winning. As part of the scam, gamers are sent a QR code granting them more ‘lives’ in the game. Instead, scanning the code allows malware — which steals personal information and data — to be installed on victims’ mobile phones.

Cover image via the official ‘Sheep A Sheep’ Weibo account

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