We are receiving several reports on scams reported at b2b trade websites but are hesitant about posting them here. There are always 2 sides of the story in any trading or transaction, so we will take it with a pinch of salt.

Recently one email came in from a Chinese company claiming that they have been cheated by an Ethopian company, alleging that the latter did not pay up after receiving the goods. On the other hand,we always thought that the sellers often insist on upfront payment, especially from foreign buyer whom they have never dealt with.Even so, experienced scammers may resort to confidence trick, by doing a few good transaction before going in for the kill. Eveyone should be careful about the possibility of such cases, irregardless of how many successful transaction in the past.

On the other hand, buyers often complain that they never receive goods, or received goods not as stated after they send their payment. This is the most widespread scam in ebay, involving paypal, etc.

There are ofcourse other reasons for claiming a scam has taken place, one of which is business competition. In a recent case, someone reported that a website is scam, which in fact it isn’t and there are legal documents and photos shown to us as proof.

How should we then handle and prevent such cases from happening, or rather minimize the risk? One way is to use escrow services for the transaction, using a 3rd party as a mediator. That would increase the cost of the trade depending on who is paying for it, but nevertheless its better than nothing. Secondly, the seller can ask for a downpayment to cover part of the cost.

Any suggestions or reports, please post in the comment below.

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