I mentioned this scam to a local friend and she told me it's been happening for more than a decade. These guys must be making good money off this ploy.
John Doe Jr, why do you assume people who so these things would rather do something else? I always held the notion that those in developed nations who made such career choices whether it be selling their bodies, hustling whatever, or dealing drugs did so for fast money. I think if they had another way for fast money they might choose it. I don't think any of them want to do the low paying and labour intensive jobs (eg. street sweeping, outside gardening). Perhaps in under-developed countries with few options, I agree with your point of view.