SCAMS

The Real Runaway Brides

These women bring new meaning to the term "criminal ring." Hardly the blushing brides, an increasing number of Chinese women are running scams designed to exploit the nation's surplus of young men. In rural towns like Hanzhong, women are getting married, collecting their dowries--and then heading for the hills. The region's influx of bachelors has driven up the "bride price." After being abandoned, one groom, however, was still naive: "I feel I can't hate her," he said. "She must have her own troubles."