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HomeCase StudiesA Chinese company has defrauded me.. Who can help me..??

A Chinese company has defrauded me.. Who can help me..??

image for chinaA Chinese company has defrauded me.. Who can help me..?? Hmmmmm, a deep sigh..!!!!

Sorry Saeed, we have heard this all too often.. There seems to be NOTHING anyone can do to assist you in this regard.. The shipping line surely cannot assist you with this.. There are no international bodies governing such issues..

If you have the money to fight this, you could involve a good maritime lawyer to see if you have a case to proceed against your supplier..

There have been a few discussions in blog about such issues.. These articles maybe of help to you in the future and also to others..

  1. Safeguards against shipping and freight fraud
  2. Business ethics vs Fraudulent behavior in exports
  3. Exercise due diligence when dealing with China

I do however have one question to the Insurance experts reading this article.. Is there any insurance cover that shippers like Saeed can take to protect themselves from fraud like this..?? There are several buyers being taken for a ride by such unscrupulous companies..

It would be interesting to see how many other readers have had such experiences and if anyone has been successful in getting back any of the monies from the people that defrauded you..??

Hi Manaadiar,

I have a question about fraud and I wonder if you can help.

Our company in Bahrain. Using email, we made an agreement with a shipping agent (counterpart) in China to bring a shipment from China to Bahrain.

After he loaded the cargo and took the BL from shipping Line, he sent me the invoice with agreed amount.

I paid the amount and asked him to send BL.Image of Fraud

Superiority, a women claiming to be his secretary, sent another invoice for around double the agreed amount saying that their company have a rule that we should pay within 7 days after the ship leaves and the attached invoice is for my delay in paying the original invoice.

This 7 day rule have never been mentioned in my correspondence with them.

I went to the shipping line in Bahrain, they said they can not do anything. I asked them to pay the freight charges again and to issue me a new BL, they said they can not do it unless China agent agrees.

This is a clear fraud case.

My question is that, China agent is blackmailing me, is there away to get my BL or an international body that could protect me and sort this out.

Many thanks,

Best Regards


  1. First of all you should have gone for ” Surrendered B/L ” before you process the payment . I guess there are only two things you can do now .First hire a good maritime lawyer and fight for it ,Second one -You can wait till the Shipping line keeps cargo for auction so that you can claim it for a low amount this will be applicable only when the goods are of non perishable items , still there will be a good amount of loss from your side

  2. I’m late to the party but would like to add my ten cents worth: As in any other country, there are always sharks out there that target uninformed people and companies . China is not the only country, its everywhere. There are lots of reputable companies – and good people – in China, but, as David said in his comment, you need to do your homework and ensure you are dealing with the right ones. I work in China and can testify to that.

  3. In your quest to get “cheap goods” from China, none of you out there will believe me, but I do business with China on a daily basis and have quite good relationships with Chinese companies . . . of course, it has cost me a fortune in travel expenses and the use of my Chinese partner’s language and cultural skills to achieve this. Don’t expect to deal with the Chinese without a Chinese face on your side and don’t ever think of suing anyone in China, unless you are a multi-national company with millions of currency behind you and the dispute is at least a half million US dollars.

    The bottom line is, if anyone believes they can order goods, sight unseen, from a Chinese supplier of any sort or kind over the Internet, and purchase them FOB, TT in full before shipment, they are just simply kidding themselves. The old saying goes, a fool and his money are soon parted, and sorry, fool, you have just been conned. Next time you will heed my advice: stay away from China unless you personally know your supplier. Go to the Canton Fair, go to trade shows, go to the factory . . . this is imperative,because some claimed Chinese “factories” do not exist at all.

    But believe me, I have been cheated, even when I took precautions . . . let’s face it, the Chinese, just as the Vietnamese and Africans (although I love all those cultures dearly, have spent substantial time in those countries and am married to a Chinese), are basically dishonest and self serving.

    Notwithstanding that they should be using Incoterms 2010 rule FCA, rather than FOB, virtually all Chinese manufacturers sell FOB TT payment in full before cargo loading, without using an inspection company, or their own reputable freight forwarder, but rather have the Chinese seller arrange all that in China for Freight Collect . . . that’s fine for the buyer if something goes wrong in the container yard before loading the container on the ship, but disaster for the buyer unless he knows and trusts the Chinese seller and freight forwarder, who very often is not even a manufacturer, but a middle man who will do anything to increase his commission. So what do you expect? Don’t blame the Chinese . . . as the circus owner PT Barnham said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” . . . Welcome to the sucker club.

    There is nothing wrong with doing business with the Chinese . . . just do it with knowledge and an understanding of how international trade and shipping works. Also, establish a good relationship with a freight forwarder that you can trust to handle your shipment door-to-door.

    But if things turn sour . . . don’t bother to hire a lawyer . . . accept the loss, learn from it and move on with your life. Don’t ever risk more than you can afford to lose.

    As I said, none of you will believe me. But what do I know, I have only been doing international trade doing import and export for forty years, practiced law for 36 years and been in the shipping business as an NVOCC for eight years. Go ask your friend . . . I’m certain his advice will be better than mine.

    • David,

      There are 2 things I’d like to say:

      1. You hurted me, an ordinary Vietnamese. Although I can agree that there are many dishonest Vietnamese as you can count, but it’s not fair to say “Vietnamese are basically dishonest”. We Vietnamese as honest as Bill Clinton when he said he did not have sexual relationship with Monica or as honest as George W. Bush when he said he invaded Iraq because mass destructive weapons but not oil.

      2. Why are Vietnamese dragged into this? The OP wants to talk about his case with a Chinese company, so why you bring Vietnamese in? If you think just because Vietnam is next to China then we have a lot in common then hell NO! We Vietnamese can be very dishonest, very stupid, very ugly, very… anything you want to say, but give me a break, don’t put us into the same bin with Chinese. It’s stink!

  4. This is becoming of Chinese companies. I was also defrauded of $25,000 up till now no solutions to my problem. I have hired lawyers , so far nothing is happening. It seems like the Chinese government are part of this fraud. When you try to contact their embassies they will not give you any useful information or any support. They will advice to contact Trade and dispute department or police department, knowing that you can not speak Chinese. Is a big mess doing business with China companies. Advice : run from any Chinese companies or don’t send them any money until you can verified your shipments.

    • David,

      If you want the people to hire you as a buying agent for them, Let do your business. But don’t get Vietnamese people involve when nothing related to them to say in your posts.

      If you use this way to get people into your business, You are also a type of fraudulent.

      Take care and bye,

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