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Don't be a pawn — that's the FBI's latest warning aimed at college students.
"The FBI says they've seen increased attempts by foreign intelligence networks to recruit American students abroad. That's why the agency made this movie to help students when they are being targeted." (Via CBS)
Now, it looks kind of like a parody, but really it's supposed to be taken seriously. Check it some of the dialogue:
"Life is like a game of chess. ... And to win the game, you must often sacrifice your pawns. ... Working for CIA would be beneficial for both you and us. Think about it." (Via FBI)
As a writer for Bloomberg points out, "It sounds like the beginning of a clichéd kung fu flick," especially since it's quite heavy on the "hokey Chinese music and a wise, sage-sounding voiceover."
But it's actually based on the true story of Glenn Shriver. He was on a study abroad trip in China when he became the target of Chinese intelligence officers.
Fox News says the Chinese eventually paid him $70,000 to apply for jobs with the U.S. CIA and State Department in hopes of getting classified information. But in 2010, Shriver pleaded guilty to espionage.
"The biggest thing was how friendly they were. Just: 'Hey, no problem. You want some money? It's OK. Hey, don't worry about it.. We just want to be friendly about it. ... It's important for China and America to have strong relations.'" (Via FBI)
NPR reports this isn't the first time the FBI has made a movie to send a message. The agency actually spends between $500,000 and $800,000 each year on videos, both for training and development.
This film's screenwriter told NPR, "They really demand accuracy. They want something that is as close to reality as possible."
So cheesy or not, the message is clear: If you study abroad, be wary of these types of offers.