Updated: Jun 21, 2021
If you have an email account you’ve no doubt been approached by a Nigerian Prince asking for money. Those emails are easy to identify as fraud but what about this one:
I like to make order please.
We have a store in Indonesia.
- Can you send curent products available?
- Can you send me your price sheet to view?
- Do you accept U.S credit card visa or master card?
- Will you accept pickup by private shipper?
Kindly get back me ASAP.
Mr. Jerry Smith
Working in International business its expected grammar and spelling will not be perfect, so that aside this email looks legit. He’s asking the right questions; product availability, payment terms, and shipping instructions. If you were to ‘play along’ with Mr. Smith you’d quickly realize he’s scamming you.
Here are seven signs to prevent you from being scammed:
Reluctancy to offer information or evasive on all questions you ask. They know nothing about your company and are evasive to share information about theirs.
Arranges payment or delivery someplace that doesn’t make sense. They ask to pay from a third party or deliver the product somewhere untypical.
Willing to pay cash. Paying cash for an order is very rare, even more so for International orders.
Unfamiliar with product characteristics, but still wants to buy it. When you ask specific questions, he has no clue about your product or what he needs.
Declines technical info, training, or assistance. He doesn’t ask or will decline any of your product technical data sheets.
Packaging is inconsistent with this product or destination. Unlike a legitimate customer, they have no input on product packaging.
They list a freight agent as the final destination. If the inquirier is informed on product information but is asking to ship the product to a third party or is vague on the end user, it could be going to a sanctioned country.
Its important to always do 'due diligence' with your customers. Know thei markets, end users, run credit reports and ask for references. Be sure to have proper wording on your contracts and all export shipping documents. Don’t be the next victim.
For more tips on avoiding scams, contact AgCultured Consulting.