your guide to fake chinese sellers
WEBSITE SCAM CHECKLIST
WEBSITE SCAM GUIDE
The odds that the website is legitimate are 1 in
is more likely, with odds of 1 in
By comparison we think you could trust this website just as much as :
If you move your mouse over each option you will see more information or you can also check out the "Website Scam Guide" in the menu at the top of the page for more information on the options. You can also change the images by clicking on them to use a different set.
Generally these websites can be lacking in quality and professionalism. Certainly you should expect a far greater quality website especially when they express they are such a large and successful wholesaler. You might see a PayPal image, but the websites Payment options make no mention of PayPal.
People who have English as a second language may only a rudimentary grasp of the language. They copy impressive-sounding pieces of text into their site, with little or no knowledge of what the words mean. A professional business would not allow such errors to appear on what is essentially their store front.
Cell phones are completely anonymous, which is obviously useful to someone doing illegal acts who doesn't want to be identified. Many scammers use cell phones or redirection service and can pretend that they are in any location, or part of a larger company when they are sitting in their parents basement.
There is no such thing as cheap branded electronics, clothing, or other such products sold from minor websites from China, but there are hundreds of scam sites feeding off this dumb myth. Companies who produce the product are bound by agreements with the brand owner and are not allowed to sell the products to just anybody. Brand owners, in turn have their own authorised distribution networks.
Many of these will also scam you, sometimes only depending on which salesperson you are talking to. These companies are operating outside of the law already so they have little incentive to actually deliver anything, and frankly it's a lot easier to just scam people.
If it's too good to be true, then it probably is. Check prices against well known local reatailers in your own country. e.g. Amazon
EBay and other auction site users are a great target for scammers, as they believe they will be able to make large amounts of money peddling the junk on the site and not having a real job
All these sites have some sort of paid members who are verified in various ways. For your own safety you should not assume that this means anything at all. Many sellers (including the fraudsters) have a "Gold Supplier" Seal or something similar that is being obtained by the trading site. These "shiny" seals are more or less worthless though and prove nothing
What is the website name? How does it lend itself towards the company? Often these websites are just junk phrases like shoe776539.com, or they use brand names in the website name as an attempt to impress. Domain names like googlenike.com are simply illegal as these are names are copyright-protected.
A great deal of these scams began to surface in early 2006, and due to slow Chinese authorities many of the websites are still running. You should compare the dates in the WhoIs results against the dates on the website itself, as often dodgy sites claim they have been in business much longer than they actually have, or they claim to have thousands of customers even though the website might only be very new.
If a scam website does get shutdown it is easy for the scammer to setup another, as a result, new websites are appearing all the time. You should compare the dates in the WhoIs results against the dates on the website itself, as often dodgy sites claim they have been in business much longer than they actually have, or they claim to have thousands of customers even though the website might only be very new.
The scammers are often too cheap to register the website for more than a year at a time knowing it could be shutdown at any time. You should compare the dates in the WhoIs results against the dates on the website itself, as often dodgy sites claim they have been in business much longer than they actually have, or they claim to have thousands of customers even though the website might only be very new.
If the address is lacking you should be suspicious. Often they only give a name and a postcode. You need to ask yourself if you trust someone who intentionally hides information
Fake phone numbers are a dead giveaway, there is simply no excuse for fake information
Free email services while convenient are also easily abused. Reliable and honest internet companies should not use free services for email. Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo, Gmail, should all be warning signs if they use that for their points of contact.
Credit Cards are one of the best means to purchase for the buyer, as they often provide protection. Do not pay by Credit Card if you are paying into someone's bank account or purchasing a Money Order. This is treated as a Cash Advance from your Credit Card, which means that the funds sent to the account are sent as cleared funds which are unable to be stopped, as a result you are not protected.
Saying they accept Credit Cards but only for local purchases is a way of pretending to accept Credit Cards, since they are only targeting foreign victims.
Western Union is being used because it's totally anonymous and there's no way to recover the losses. Western Union itself has a warning on their website that their service should only be used to send money to someone you know
When you use a Credit Card to pay in this manner you cannot reverse the charge as it is treated as a Cash Advance
You do not have to pay any money for the goods to leave the country. They are simply fleecing you for more money
Paying by an unsecure means offers you no recourse or protection if anything goes wrong, which is exactly what the scammers want
Fake shipping numbers are used to distract you and allow the scammer more time to make more excuses why your delivery has not arrived. They will even supply tracking numbers from previous clients (victims), some of whom were actually sent empty boxes.
Scammers create fake documents using programs like Photoshop or MS Word. These look artificial... there are no creases or shadows as would be present in a scan of a real document. They also doctor passport images. Again, different fonts or colours can be seen in these fake images
Many anti-scam sites keep forums where common scam websites are discussed. So doing a Google search for keywords in the website (e.g. the person's name, the name of the company, or even the events described) will often find a historic record for you to look view
Here you can confirm the validity, and if the company is legally registered. You can also check if it has certificates for foreign trade. If the company you check turns out to be illegal or fraudulent, then the local relevant authorities will take action to terminate it
It is common for the sellers to mislead over the quality if the items. They will use terms such as A++++ quality, or high grade, high quality etc...
It's difficult for scammers to use services like PayPal and they often make excuses why they cannot accept this method
Once a scammer gets your money they have no reason to have any further communication with you
In the real world competitors do not blackmail each other
Trying to encourage you to increase your order size can be a risk, and the scammer attempted to take more money from you
Many of these scams orginate in China, where corruption and disinterested Law Enforcement means that fraudsters are unlikely to be prosecuted
Involves an Asian country:
Other Asian country
The website is poorly designed
Incorrectly spelt words, bad English grammar
Uses cell phones or a redirection service. You can verify telephone number/services at
International Numbering Plans
They sell quality branded goods, Nike, Rolex, Tiffany etc..that they say are genuine
They sell quality branded goods, Nike, Rolex, Tiffany etc..that they say are replicas
Prices seem too good to be true, such as half price iPods or Xbox Units
They initiated contact with you via EBay messaging system or spam email
They only have a web presence on B2B or Auction websites
This section requires a WhoIs lookup, be sure to check the
The website name address has no relevance to the 'company' name, uses odd or branded names like google-nike.com
The website was registered after March 2006
The website was registered in the last 3 months
The website registration was only purchased for a period of one year
The physical address provided in the website registration is too vague to be an actual address
The phone number provided in the website registration appears fake. e.g. 12345678 or 11111111
The email address provided in the website registration is using a free email service such as Yahoo or Hotmail
Instead of referring to the goods as counterfeit or replicas, they use terms such as 'high quality' or 'A+'
They are reluctant to accept PayPal, or make excuses why they cannot accept PayPal
Once you have paid for the items they seem to ignore your emails and instant messages
If a third party suggest they are a scam, they say this is because they are the competition
The seller uses heavy pressure for you to increase your order quantity.
Does not accept any form of Credit Card
Only accepts Credit Card for local purchases
Requires money to be sent by Bank Transfer, Western Union or Moneygram
Only accepts Credit Card to fund Bank Transfer, Western Union or Moneygram
After purchasing goods has asked you to send more money for goods to clear customs
Offers no method of payment using a proper secure means
Once paid you are provided with a shipping number that is 'not found' or 'invalid' on the shipping companies website
Provides 'documents' which have been produced by Photoshop
A Google search finds their name associated with a scam
Local Administration for Industry and Commerce
cannot confirm this company is legally registered, and has certificates for foreign trade
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