Global Sources
Ready to import from China? Find verified suppliers on Global Sources.
Share / Recommend:

How to protect yourself from this China sourcing scam epidemic

by Mike Bellamy in 'China Sourcing Information Center'

We sent a TT payment to a factory in Qingdao, China and they never shipped my order, and they will not respond to me. How should I proceed? BTW, the first 2 shipments were fine, but they never shipped the 3rd order and my TT was for $4,040. Should I try to hire an attorney in that city? Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Your situation sounds very similar to that of 3 other buyers I have heard from recently. In all cases, the supplier was doing fine, then suddenly disappears without shipping the goods.  In those cases it turns out a hacker hijacked the factory’s email account and tricked the buyers to make payment to a new bank account in PRC or HK.

I’ll be happy to recommend a lawyer if the factory has done you wrong rather than the hacker, but first, I would suggest you reach out to the factory via a channel that is less likely to have been compromised like the original phone number, fax or fed ex.  If it was a hacker, the factory may be as surprised as you about this order.  Let me know how it works out.

For your reference, there are two simple ways to protect yourself as a buyer from these hackers.

ONE: Be very sure the name of the supplier is the same for the following:

1.      on your contract

2.      the bank account where you send them the money

3.      the business license of the location of production.

TWO: More important, do an inspection (yourself or a 3rd party) before final payment is made, even with regular suppliers. It only costs a few 100 bucks and very hard for a hacker to fake an inspection at the factory.  I’d be happy to recommend the inspection agents I use if you like.

I have one of the guys who got ripped of giving me the details of his case in hopes we can inform others.  In the scam he fell for, it turns out the hacker was a Brazilian in Beijing pretending to be the factory! The police got his identity from the bank, but he has left the country. The police said there are 100’s of scammers doing this, many are not Chinese! In the past, the scammers went after new buyers, now they are going after big buyers who have established relations with existing suppliers. Very clever.

Best wishes on your sourcing program.

Answer written by Mike Bellamy, an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center. Mike is also the author of "The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing" and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.




0#Eimis2013-07-19 04:36
this web is cheating:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0#mike2013-07-19 13:07
Thanks for alerting readers to your under performing supplier. If you really want to tell the world about how bad they are, please post the background at which is a forum run by buyers helping other buyers avoid scams and cheats.

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0#Mike Bellamy2013-06-14 16:13
Hi Tyrone,
I would be happy to make introductions, but I found if I list the contact details in a forum, there will be a wave of spam to all parties involved. Please contact me via and I will make the introductions for you.

glad to help,
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0#Mike Bellamy2013-06-12 23:01
Thanks for reading my article and I am glad to see you are taking steps to protect yourself. My list of endorsed service providers is open to the public at
To avoid the spam, I'm not posting my email here, but if you contact me via the service center, i'll be happy to introduce you to the inspection agents i have used in the past.

Glad to help,
Mike Bellamy
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0#Joe Rodriguez2013-06-10 20:01
Would you please recommend a 3rd party inspection agent(s) who would be able to inspect my product before my final payment is made.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0#Tyrone mullins2013-04-02 05:39
Please send contact information of inspection agents that you use.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0#Tyrone mullins2013-04-02 05:37
Please give me the contact information of inspection agents that you use.

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment

Security code

Stay Connected

Get Import from China Headlines by E-mail

Attend the Global Sources Summit

  • For online & Amazon sellers
  • Interactive training led by sourcing & Amazon experts
  • Learn how to source profitably, avoid pitfalls
  • April 17 - 19, 2017 in Hong Kong
  • Co-located with Mobile Electronics and
    Gifts & Home shows

Learn More

Join the Smart China Sourcing Facebook Group
  • Connect with other buyers
  • Ask questions
  • Get advice from experts

Join Group

Join Global Sources on Facebook

Be our fan now for the latest sourcing news, practical sourcing guides and expert advice.

Follow Global Sources on Twitter

We'll keep you updated with tweets on sourcing news, trade resources & more.