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Increasing fraud in international trade transactions online

13:35 | 22/03/2021

VCN- Recently, many regulatory agencies have warned businesses about fraudulent offers to sell, buy goods, sign international commercial transactions online with new companies. Many businesses have "fallen into a trap", so they must raise their guard in the difficult context of trade because of the effects of the pandemic.

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Enterprises must be careful in all transactions with foreign partners. Photo: Internet

The systematic fraud

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected global trade transactions, the Trade Office and the Embassy of Vietnam in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have continuously received, discovered and adjudicated many casesin whichVietnamese enterprises receive offers to sell, purchase or sign commercial transaction contracts with signals of fraud from some enterprises based in the UAE. This agency has examined a number of businesses such as: Green Light Foodstuff Trading LLC, Climax General Trading LLC, Loyalpur General Trading LLC, Choice Global FZC/Vital Fresh General Trading LLC, International Dragon Food Trading LLC (IDP).

According to this agency, some forms of commercial fraud that the businesses mentioned above use such as: unpaid delivery; counterfeiting papers, even bank papers to retrieve goods, set the person to get export documents; using hackers to infiltrate the email addresses of the two sides of the business that are conductingtransactions, track the process of negotiations, when the buyer is going to transfer money to buy goods, "hack" the email or create a fake email account to send account information, when the buyer transfers money to the fraudulent account, the suspect will immediately withdraw the money and disappear.

In particular, these businesses take advantage of carelessness and lack of professionalism of domestic enterprises, such as not requiring a reputable inspection organization to check goods before delivery, not verifying information about partner enterprises, no Vietnamese people come to work to transfer goods with no value, not in accordance with the contract, or to report damaged or poor-quality goods to force prices, deduct debts or claim compensation.

The deal in the Netherlands also made a note of Vietnamese businesses dealing with new acquaintances, taking addresses online.

In mid-December 2020, the Dutch Trade Office received an offer from a Vietnamese enterprise to check a Dutch enterprise before conducting a business transaction of importing beverages and food under the name AFF BV. When visiting the website, there are advertisements for products related to drinks and food, the form of the website is relatively eye-catching, the contact phone number and the full picture of the contact person. However, when the deal calls to the mobile phone number registered on KVK, it is known that this company has gone bankrupt and has not had any transactions, the company is being stolen by some people to conduct fraudulent behavior.

De KhangPhuThanh Import-Export Seafood Processing Co., Ltd. said it was deceived by foreign organizations in the import of goods, though they had studied the correct name based on the list of companies that arepermittedto import into Vietnam by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and transacted through Vietnam Customs. During the transaction process, the partner continuously changed the payment terms, which requires the transaction to pay 100% of the money for delivery to Vietnam. De KhangPhuThanh Company paid for this company US$9,800. After learning from another partner and an intermediary bank receiving money from Bank of American, the business knows that it has been cheated and is unable to get money back. The representative of this business affirmed that this is a scam and systematic organization via social networks,they have experience in international transactions and a thorough understanding of the import and export of the seafood industry.

Businesses must be careful

According to the representative of the UAE Trade Office, there have been warnings and precautions for domestic enterprises.

However, due to subjective psychology, high profits, limited foreign trade, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic causing the interruption of travel, meeting and working in person or checking goods, they had to change to online trading, so many Vietnamese enterprises were deceived and sustained losses.

Therefore, according to Vietnam foreign trade deals, domestic enterprises need to focus on improving the quality, professional skills, foreign languages, legal knowledge of human resources engaged in foreign trade and development of the market.

Regardingbusiness experiences, according to representatives of BigPhone Vietnam Trading and Service Co., Ltd., to limit risks when making payments with international partners, businesses should ask their partners to use L/C irrevocably opened at reputable banks.

At the same time, it is limited to deferred payment customers. Enterprises must also request Vietnamese banks to check the authenticity ofL/C before handing over documents. This person also said that, when working with a partner, the enterprise restricts the payment of a deposit to the partner in advance, does not accept adverse payment terms such as D/A (thanks to collecting and accepting documents), D/P (delivering money, delivering documents) or giving customers to owe money for goods.

In addition, the management agencies under the Ministry of Industry and Trade also noted that enterprises need to verify and appraise their partners, especially partners that have just transacted for the first time and requested to provide documents such as: business license, ID of business owner. For orders signed for the first time, via online form or with doubts about the authenticity, enterprises should contact Vietnam Trade Offices in foreign countries for support and provide necessary information.

By Binh Nam/Quynh Lan