Scams in China

By | March 10, 2016

Being scammed is not a good thing. Many businesses are aware of the usual tricks and know how to avoid them. But, when dealing out of country with people and goods you can only inquire about through email, it is easy to feel some discomfort. Knowing more about who you’re doing business with is the best and most surefire way to stay safe in China. When thousands of dollars and business reputation is on the line, any shred of assurance can be worth its weight in gold.

Scams in China are plenty, and scammers are always coming up with new ways to swindle honest businesses, here are a few types of scams provided by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service which will help you visualize potential problems when conducting your own business.

1.The “Come to China Scam
This scam involves a Chinese scammer offering a new business deal for a company outside of China. They will send emails back in forth talking about a new business deal. Once everything is settled, they will ask the target business to send people to China for a banquet/ opening of business ceremony. Before returning home, the target company will be asked to pay a notary fee, but once they have returned home will find that there was no business deal, and no one to hold accountable because said company does not exist.

How to avoid the come to China scam? Always, always, always research any company before any deals or booking any plane tickets. CNBizCheck offers services that would be very helpful in this situation.

2.The “New Bank Account Scam”
This scam is notorious for duping even the most careful organizations around the world.

This scam involves two businesses already doing business, and a third party scammer. Business is going smoothly, but one day the Chinese business sends a strange email:

“Dear regular customer! We will ship your recently placed order once we receive the balance of $25,000 as per our long-standing arrangement. For tax reasons, we would like you to pay in a different account than our usual one. Many thanks!”

Having already trusted the Chinese organization, the foreign business may blindly oblige, resulting in lost capital. This is a very difficult situation to be in, with nearly no one to hold liable for damages.

How to avoid the new bank account scam? Before sending payment to any new bank account, first verify with someone of managerial status from the Chinese company. When all else fails, use the phone!


Before doing any type of business internationally, gives these suggestions:

  • Request a copy of the business license, check validity of address and phone number, license validity date, name of registered representative, etc.
  • Request a copy of the company’s certificate of import/export authority
  • Verify the company’s international trade experience and avoid firms that have less than two years of experience
  • Seek multiple references and check them. Request referrals to both suppliers and customers
  • Order an International Company Profile Report through the U.S. Commercial Service
  • Accept only secured forms of payment such as letter of credit or direct telegraphic transfer (T/T or wire transfer)

CNBizCheck offers a wide variety of services that can help internationally operating businesses with their operations in China. With lower costs, faster service, and reliable information, CNBizCheck makes doing business in China a breeze!


Scam information from:

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