Australian Import / Export Resources

Information on frauds, scams and dishonest conduct

Below are the details of some dishonest schemes that have been brought to our attention, operating in certain markets. This is information on such schemes, is not offered as advice nor is it a comprehensive list of such schemes. Austrade provides this information to highlight the importance of being aware of such practices and validating the credentials of potential buyers and partners.

Email scams

In the case of emails/letters the author may say they have obtained your address from a mutual friend or some other way. The author may identify him/herself as the widow/son/ daughter/nephew etc of a recently deceased Tribal Chief/President etc who has in their possession a large sum of money (usually US$10 million plus) that they need to get out of the country. The offer is a request for the receiver to advise bank account details to receive 20 per cent of the monies plus the opportunity to help the author invest the rest.

Individuals and companies should not respond to these requests for funds. Some authors will mention some government organisations as a reference and the receiver should be aware that these are never true.

Gift giving scams

The ‘gift giving’ scams that we are aware of have been operating in some parts of China. The scams generally operate as follows:

* An Australian manufacturer is contacted direct by a potential customer. 
* The customer expresses interest in the product/s on offer and invites the Australian manufacturer to visit the market 
* The Australian manufacturer does visit the market and meet with the company claiming to be a customer. There are several meetings and dinners and the customer suggests that the Australian manufacturer should pay for these events and also offer gifts as a sign of the new partnership. While in the market the customer promises to order large quantities of product. 
* The manufacturer returns to Australia and follows up with the customer seeking to confirm details of the promised order. The manufacturer does not hear from the customer again and in monetary terms has lost the costs of the travel to the market and gifts provided..

If you have any other experiences of any fradulent behaviour or scams operating in international trade please contact us so we can add the information to this page and awrn others. Thanks!

18.11.2011. 01:40