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Fake suppliers in China: scammers within the law

AQF_Fake suppliers in China- scammers within the law

Typical fake suppliers in China scam buyers using registered company, documents under some peasant’s name, website with a professional look and hire a few English speaking sales people (unaware their employer is a scam). When all is set, as soon as they receive around 30-50% deposit from a few clients they disappear.

How to check a company’s validity and identify fake suppliers in China

A. The supplier business license (营业执照) and export license (出口许可证) are two  important documents. They should be quickly provided by the supplier and the registration numbers can be verified with “State Administration for Industry & commerce of China”.

B. Supplier information and sender e-mail addresses on Google. By checking those information on search engine, it is easy to find out more about them.

C. Supplier details on large sourcing platforms
Real suppliers promote their business in all the most famous ones, such as “Global Sources“, “Alibaba.com”. There are also many online reviews, forums about suppliers.

D. Almost all suppliers and scammers have a website. The details are to be checked:

– The website whois and registration date: if it is created recently it could be a fake suppliers in China.
– A real supplier must have an address, office phone number and fax: to check, the best is to call and ask questions. The address can be used to view the building on virtual maps and check if it is a factory.
– Google drag and drop is also a great tool to check if the logo, factory and products pictures are their own or just copied from somewhere else.

E. Payment methods available
Real suppliers have an official bank account under the company name. If it is a private person account, something is wrong.
As an alternative payment method, Paypal is the only reliable one: the money is refunded in case of scam.

F. Samples
Fake suppliers in China usually find all kinds of excuses to avoid to send a sample. If their answers are slow regarding this topic, it is either a scammer or a middleman.

And you: what other tips do you have to find fake suppliers in China?

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AQF Team

We are a multicultural team of experts working together to secure import from Asia. Quality Control Blog allows us to share our expertise with the people in the industry, it is an exciting project! Meet the AQF team. PS: We are are always searching for new talented colleagues, feel free to contact us! ;)

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11 responses to “Fake suppliers in China: scammers within the law”

  1. Mohamed says:

    I have this guy that I have been doing business with for some months now I use to buy shoes from him his name is YIRONG CHEN I use to pay him on paypal and he will send me shoes and later now went back to western union and we will been doing business for long and now he take my 506 euro and never reply me again he give me excuse that the china government has stop people for shipping shoes of which is a lie I end crying because I collected people money to buy the shoes and now I don’t know how to pay them back

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @Mohamed: are you sure your contact used to have the export licence? did you ever check if he has a real company? The Supplier Qualification Audit is a good solution to verify all those aspects and ensure you won’t suffer any business loss.

  2. John says:

    yiwu airsun commodities in china is full of fake company..

  3. Michael says:

    Be careful of a company called DRWiper who sell auto parts . We placed an order through Ali Baba and dealt with an agent called Tiffany . Once payment was made to beneficiary ” LiLiLei ” we did not hear from them again . Contacting DRWIPER , they maintain the account Is not theirs despite being on their letterhead . Fortunately it was not a large amount but I strongly suggest any importer never pay to an individual or even possible use Ali Baba secure payment or check out suppliers in advance . Ask for their certificates etc .

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @Michael: feel free to inform our friends managing supplier’s blacklist! You will find the link in the article.

  4. gstringers says:

    When you ask them why they don’t go through Global Sources, they say that it is expensive. Some of them even go to the extreme to say that when you’re Western Union-ing the money, don’t say you’re paying for an order – instead, say you’re sending a gift. DWL.

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @gstringers: thanks for sharing your experience! We look forward to reading you again on the Quality Control Blog.

  5. Gavin zou says:

    For payment method, we are not agree with you.. Our factory also haven’t the overseas company account .. We use the private account for charge the foreigh currency or Through paypal .. We registration factory name , account and business license .. But Chinese company account can’t receive the foreigner currency.. Due to we haven’t the import and export license.. Apply for the import and export license is quite complicate in China and expensive..
    In fact, we can register offshore company in HK and open the HK company account for charge the foreign currency like the other trading company.. But part of the small factory boss don’t want to open it .. They are not convinient to HK or don’t want to waste the register fee..
    In China , that’s quite normal use the personal account as the payment method..

    • mm Claire Piccinno says:

      @Gavin: Thank you for sharing your experience from a local Chinese company point of view. International buyers usually pay from overseas to the companies holding the Import/Export License. In this case intermediary fees are involved.

  6. farouq says:

    Where do we report fake found suppliers.

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