Methods Of Scamming In The Import/Export Trade

Methods Of Scamming In The Import/Export TradeAn old saying says, “A great minds are a terrible thing to waste.”  The problem is, there are those who use their “great minds” to deceive others.  It would be difficult to find anyone that has gone through life without knowing at least one person who works hard to avoid work.  There is more than their share in the import/export world.  Great minds have created interesting, convincing scams you need to look for in your import/export business.  Here are a few of them:

  • Fake/Fraudulent Companies—When dealing with people you don’t know on the other side of the world, it is always risky.  It is always possible that the person you’re dealing with is fake or fraudulent and is only looking to con you out of your money.  That is why you need to obtain a background check for each company you deal with.  It should include that company’s credit record and verification of legal registration, and be done by a third party.
  • Check Scams—Since the beginning of checks, people have been using them to cheat others.  There have been many different kinds of check scams, but the newest one has a stranger who sends you as a victim a check.  They ask you to take it to your bank and cash it.  Once you do, you wire money back in return.  Some of them start with a person offering to buy something you promoted for sale or give you an advance on a lottery/sweepstakes you’ve won.  If anyone wants to send you a check and have you wire money to them, it’s a scam.
  • Buyers Samples—A buyer should be aware if a supplier requests a sample from a buyer saying they want to produce the product according to the necessary requirements.  Sometimes, the supplier will use the sample themselves and not deliver the product to the buyer.  If a sample is necessary for production, it is customary for the supplier to pay for the sample and shipping costs, and be refunded when production is completed. 
  • Supplier Free Samples—If you have an unknown buyer who wants samples and hints at a large order, you should request a prepayment.  To make sure the product meets your necessary requirements, you should order a sample before you commit to a large purchase.  The buyer should pay for samples and shipping.
  • Substandard Product Quality—Sometimes, a buyer provides samples that are very high quality, the products they receive are very poor quality.  After payment is made and the product is received, the supplier will not compensate the importer.  Sometimes they won’t even respond when they receives complaints.  To avoid this, it is wise to use pre-shipment inspection services and require the inspection before payment is made.
  • Long-time Firm Fraud—This is a very well organized and planned fraud scheme.  It usually has substantial financial backing.  Generally Their goal is to get large amounts of merchandise and not pay a thing for it.  The scammer will order from a few suppliers and appear to be an excellent client by always paying promptly.  They use these suppliers as credit references and place large orders.  They begin to pay slower and eventually, don’t pay at all.  Other times, create false references or use businesses they control as references.  With today’s technology, this is easy to do.   They usually operate from rented locations, so they’re difficult to find.  Police investigating usually find that suppliers didn’t do checks for credit worthiness or their trading history.

hese are only a few of the many scams created from today’s “great minds.”  As technology continues to grow at a rapid rate, there will no doubt be more. When it comes to avoiding scams, remember another old saying—Better to be safe than sorry!


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