As we’re all too familiar with at China Checkup, the rise of “Made in China” has been accompanied by the rise of the China scam.
We are contacted on almost a daily basis by businesses that have fallen victim to a China scam, asking what they can do. This article provides some guidance on that.
Although we really don’t want to say "if you talked to us earlier none of this would have happened", the truth is so many of these transactions would have been called into question if a simple verification on the Chinese company had been carried out BEFORE the payment was sent.
Are You the Victim of a China Scam?
If you have fallen victim to a China scam you have likely sent money but are receiving one of the following replies:
- No reply
- Delayed shipping
- Faulty / broken items
- Wrong items
- Requests for more payments that don’t make sense
If that sounds like the situation you find yourself in, we have below a step-by-step process in case you have been scammed by a Chinese company and are seeking guidance.
Dealing with a China Scam can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, so first of all you need to carry out a realistic evaluation to determine how significant your loss is and what you are willing to do about it. In many cases it might be better to just write off your losses and learn from the experience.
For Purchases of Limited Value
Steps to perform:
- Make sure you provide a clear report of the issue to the Chinese supplier via email and phone, preferably to a company Manager.
(Mistakes do happen, so we have to eliminate this possibility first)
If you receive no reply after 5 business days then…
- File a report to related organisations, e.g. Alibaba (if the supplier is listed there) and whoever facilitated your payment (e.g. PayPal or Western Union)
- Report the transaction issues to scam-alert/fraud-list sites in order to protect future customers.
For Purchases of Significant Value
Steps to perform:
- Provide a clear report of the issue to the Chinese supplier via email and phone, preferably to a company Manager.
If no reply after 5 business days then…
- Do not inform the scammers you intend to make a formal complaint
- Prepare a comprehensive file of evidence without delay. Make copies of all correspondence, documents presented, any photos or licenses etc.
The relevant authorities will require formal evidence in order act on a China scam.
- Contact the trade division of the Chinese Embassy in your country and your country’s Chamber of Commerce in China.
- Inform them of your situation, provide the evidence you have compiled, and request that they contact the relevant Chinese officials.
Where to Report a China Scam Online?
If you want to vent some steam and report a scam, one way is to leave your comments on a scam-alert/fraud-list website (see point 3 in section “For purchases of limited value”).
China Checkup has prepared a List of Chinese Scam Reporting Websites where you can report scams.
Reporting a China Scam on China Checkup
It should be noted that China Checkup is not a service which can directly assist with the recovery of financial assets resulting from scams or fraud.
We have a policy of not publishing any details about Chinese companies that are accused of being fraudulent or dishonest. If you want to leave comments about a specific company you can Report a Chinese Scam, but we will not publish the details on our website.
We do encourage readers however to leave comments about any scams they have experienced as a warning to help others. If this has happened to you, it would be great if you share as much detail as possible about the circumstances of the China scam, but please understand that any details about a Chinese company you make will be redacted.
How to Avoid a Potential China Scam?
Verify details of, and documents provided by the Chinese company in question using China Checkup’s online verification services.
Some examples of what China Checkup can do:
- Confirm that the subject company is officially permitted to engage in the business activities it claims
- Verify the authenticity of ISO documentation shown to clients by Chinese companies
- Confirm that the Chinese company is permitted and able to engage in foreign trade services