Corporate Sponsors
China Sourcing, Assembly and Packaging

Will the Embassy help me get my money back from a supplier who cheated me?

I am seeking help and advice in recovering my money from a cheating company. We have been scammed $8400 in a cash deposit just before Chinese Holidays when visited China and meet the seller for a second time.

My bank issued LC to this company but canceled after seller’s disappearance next day after deposit was paid. We have a hard copy signed contract as you seen, PI, seller s ID  card photos, seller s  full bank details under his company  name, Business reg.  copy, export permit copy.

We have Penalty conditions in the contract enforceable in CCPT in Wuhan-Hubei.

They are not contactable any more by phone, mobile, Skype, but I know they are a fully legitimate and registered company, with current bank account under the same name in Bank of China.

Will the Embassy help me and what are my options?

 

Chinese Embassy

You can try to contact the Chinese embassy in your country, but in every case I have witnessed in the past 15 years, they will give some excuse why they are too busy or why they aren’t the right people to help you.  Basically, they are so overwhelmed with requests like yours that they can’t possible get involved unless the loss is massive, like in the millions of USD. So they will suggest you contact the police in China and the police in China will most likely say they can’t help you or maybe they will ask you to file a report, which must be done in person. That means you fly to China or appoint somebody. If the seller has not disappeared and is a real company with real assets, you may have a chance to work with the police and/or have a local lawyer issue a demand letter.

Your Embassy in China

Depending on what county you are from, your Embassy in China may be a bit more helpful than the Chinese Embassy back home.  I’m sure they also get lots of mail from companies in situations like yours. Most of the time they will suggest you contact the police and they may give you a list of lawyers and some English speaking Chinese government offices that are in theory supposed to help you.  So it can’t hurt to contact your Embassy. But unless your loss has political implications or is very large, I would not expect the Embassy staff to lead the charge to get your money back.

Demand Letter

In China you can sue for lost revenue caused by supplier’s poor performance. In most countries you can only sue for direct damages.   Your case will be strong because you have a contract in place, but the seller simply stole your money and didn’t ship. I have witnessed buyers in similar cases issue a demand letter (in Chinese, from a real China lawyer) for the full amount of lost revenue to shock the seller into negotiating a settlement such as replacement products or a refund.    So you go in asking for a big number, and then negotiate down to something that is still acceptable.

But there is one potential road block.  If the seller is a scam, meaning not a real business with no license…just some guys pretending to be a company, then a demand letter doesn’t have much impact.  The supplier needs to be legit with assets to lose for a demand letter and fear of the law to have effect.   In your notes you did the due diligence and confirmed the seller was a legit company. That’s positive for you.

This link will explain the typical steps and cost structure to issue the demand letter: http://asiabridgelaw.com/dispute-resolution-negotiations-demand-letters-litigation/

If you are sure the seller is a real company, then you can skip the initial due diligence. But if you are not 100% sure, then I would recommend the initial due diligence first before spending money on the letter.

Blacklist them!

Regardless of which option you select, please register this company ASAP at www.SupplierBlacklist.com to expose their poor performance and warn other buyers. At least you can get some emotional satisfaction now, even if it takes some time to get your money back and catch these crooks.

 

Update

Hi Mike

Thanks for the message and detailed options. I took your advice and I received from Australian High Commissioner in China the following feedback. Please read what he said and let me know if this changes your suggested steps or procedure in that situation.

Dear Mr. XXX

We have completed our enquires on your behalf and can advise that the Chinese company that you have been dealing with has been previously identified by the Wuhan Commerce authorities as conducting fraudulent transactions and has been suspended from their register.

We have also contacted the local police in Wuhan concerning the matter. Unfortunately, we are advised that your only recourse in this matter is to file a formal complaint with the local police.  In order to do this, you must physically attend or appoint an in-country representative under a power of attorney to file this complaint on your behalf – again, this must be done in person in Wuhan.  Complaints cannot be lodged by email or any other remote means.   Your complaint must also be lodged in Mandarin.  We have been advised that only when a complaint is made in this way will the local police investigate your complaint.

As you can see, this is far from an ideal process and will involve a large effort and further expenses on your part.

Going forward this is clearly now a legal matter for you to consider.

XXXX XXXX
Commissioner – Greater China
Victorian Government

Mike’s Reply

Thank you for the great news. I am glad to see your government working for you.

Can you ask the Embassy to confirm if the Chinese company is a “real company” scamming buyers or if it is a fake company?  If it is a real company, then I could introduce and affordable English speaking lawyer in China to serve as your appointed representative to coordinate local police and issue a demand letter  if needed. If it is a fake company, then your options are limited.

 

Related content

“They took the money and ran!”

Free tools for due diligence (China’s courts compile first ever blacklist)

Learn from this foreigner buyer’s experience with Chinese courts

Video 8: Avoiding Scams

Video 10: Resolving a Dispute

Safe Payments = Safe Sourcing

Common Mistake #6: ‘Payments not liked to performance’

How to lower my exposure to risk when sourcing?

 

Wishing you successful China sourcing!

About the author: Mike Bellamy

Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center (www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org). Author of “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.

 




33 thoughts on “Will the Embassy help me get my money back from a supplier who cheated me?

  1. [email protected]

    i lost money to some fake binary options merchant , was devastated because i used my savings to invest in it , but with the help of some good samaritan i was able to recover my money.

  2. Sandra Guillen

    Well, the fastest means to get back at cheaters or cheating companies will be to hack them . I strongly recommend a pro as he helped me track the location of an online scammer who ripped me off . The scammer was south African by name ilumsa , an internet scammer . You can check online to see how he exposed him and the feds claimed all the glory . Well, thanks to him , i discovered a fraud on my credit card too . His contact email is godisthewaytoheavenATYAHOODOTCOME . Kindly figure out his email and I hope he is able to be of help to you .

  3. SUBHAN M

    Dear Sir We are from M/S Jayanth Traders Chennai. We are seeking help and advise in recovering my money from a cheating company ( TIANJIN WANGFUHAO METAL MATERIALS SALES CO.,LTD ) address ( AVIATION INDUSTRY SUPPORT CENTER BUILDING ROOM 645AK, BAOHANG ROAD, NO.1 TIANJIN FREE TRADE ZONE(ECONOMIC ZONE)”). We have been scammed 20%advance TT deposit sum of USD 20000 through bank transfer against PROFORMA INVOICE and balance 80% through USANCE LC as per agreed terms on PI. we made just before Chinese New year holidays.

    My bank issued USANCE LC on JAN 12th to this company and after couple of months i had re[lay from seller saying that we will not load materials on this payment terms, we need balance 80% payment through TT if you want to load otherwise will cancel this business. Later we both parties agreed to take materials against our deposit made but after one week seller’s disappearance , either we receieved BL, shipment details, documentation as per agreed.

    We have a hard copies atttached below for reference,

    1. PRO-FORMA INVOICE
    2. ACCEPTANCE LETTER
    3. INVITATION LETTERS
    4. DECLARATION LETTER ( LC CANCELLATION)
    5. STOCK PHOTOS
    6. SAMPLE COURIER COPY
    7. TT COPIES
    8. LC COPY
    9. FLIGHT TICKETS

    They are not contactable any more by phone, mobile , Skype, mail, but I know they are a full legitimate and rigistered company, with correct bank account under the same name in Bank of Tianjin ( China).

    Will the Embassy help me and what are my options?…. Kindly do needful to us

    With best Regards

  4. Mike

    Pravesh,
    thanks for your comments, but as i mentioned before, my blog is not a place to list your grievances with Chinese suppliers. But http://Www.SupplierBlacklist.com is a place where you can expose a bad supplier to the world. Please do not post your comments about this supplier on my blog again as you have done so 3 times already. The redundant comments hurt my google ranking and i will be forced to delete them if you continue to abuse this forum. Thanks for your understanding.

  5. pravesh kumar dashmukhe

    I am pravesh kumar Indian one Chinese company cheating fraud me sir thay send duplicate bl copy Co certificate sir I losses my amount 6760 usd sir the company name is qingdao Shensheng Imp Exp Co Ltd add 3 room no 2244 shouguang road shibei district qingdao Shandong China tell no is 86-0532-8580105 sales manager Mr dami mail address [email protected] the company not reply mail and not reply phone calls I am pour business man first time import paper from china sir

  6. Mike

    Hi Farhan,
    Thanks for your commnents.

    1. Check out the Dispute Resolution/ Loss Recovery options at http://www.AsiaBridgeLaw.com as their lawyers can contact the supplier to fight for the return of your money.
    2. here is a video tutorial i did about “what to do when thing go wrong”:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7c0lgIfa07XodpGFpPiKa2AO41LmnyFR

    Check out the videos called:

    How to return defective merchandise to China
    by Mike Bellamy

    How to resolve a dispute with a Chinese company
    by Mike Bellamy

    3. If you order from China again, i would like to suggest you do some due diligence on the supplier before making payment. Here are some tools for you: http://www.asiabridgelaw.com/due-diligence/

    Glad to help,
    Mike

  7. farhan aslam

    Hi boss
    I have deal chine company regarding the electric item when we agreed the rates
    So i will sent money but after receving money chine guy run
    I am full avidance
    So how can i do my money back
    Thanks

  8. Ibrahim

    Hello

    USASM Compant bought one load of Chestunts from that Stuoied Grace Tang

    Cheateted from china
    We buy 3 container copper scrap against 100% sight LC value usd 315000 from below company.

    Grace Tang
    TIANJIN FENG YAN LAI TRADING CO.,LTD
    China
    TEL:022-58137389
    FAX:022-58137389
    Mobile:18920028318
    Email:[email protected]
    Skype ID:grace.xiaotang
    After reached destination there is no copper wire scrap and we seemed Concreate blocks inside the container and we lost 3,15000 USD.They are cheat us and lost USD 315000 .

  9. Mike

    Thanks for your comments. In our experience the local police are not very helpful and sometimes you need to hire somebody local to coordinate/push the police into action. You should also consider issuing a demand letter. http://www.AsiaBridgeLaw.com can help with both items. Keep them in mind and let them know CSIC sent you. They’ll give you special attention. Glad to help! BTW, list the bad supplier at http://www.SupplierBlacklist.com and expose them to the world.

  10. Kamal ahmad

    I have imported inverter value $13200, which never run a day, company is still there ,I have also mail they accepted their design mistake, but they are not refunding and call back defective inverter, China consulate issued me a letter to go to police. If I go to police can you tell me what will be processed by police.

  11. Viral

    Hello Mike,

    I have a copy of paper compliance
    To the local police, China
    That is demand latter? ?

  12. Viral

    Hello,
    We are payment to Chinese company
    Tianjin rainbow t import & export co ltd
    For a Copper wire scrap,
    Before i visited to china, i Mail to indian Embassy beijing on 2nd April, for credibility check of four chines company, & Indian Embassy Reply in 7 april short details of company& registration.
    After I hv PI, sales contract, and invention letter, i reach on 10 april china, they pick up me from hotel to there warehouse & office, they drop me at hotel,
    After as PI i tranfer 30% amount 10800$ to Chinese company, but after they stop reply me, so i try to rich there office as on PI, but didn’t find, after i report to local police, & infrom to Indian Embassy also,
    Advance pay amount 10800$.
    If any one contac pls reach me at
    virald4ugmail.com

    China company
    Tianjin rainbowt import & export co.ltd
    Add no 8, pingying street, dingli district, Tianjin city, china, http://www.tjrainbowt.com
    Contac no 0086-22-60963769 / 0086+17095451905( judy) / 15900303733 (liu bo)

  13. Mike BellamyMike Bellamy

    Detectives and lawyers will cost more than the amount you lost. But if you are willing to spend more money to win a moral battle with an bad supplier, I would be happy to introduce lawyers and detectives who can help you.

  14. Mohandas

    Cheateted from china
    We buy 3 container copper scrap against 100% sight LC value usd 315000 from below company.

    Grace Tang
    TIANJIN FENG YAN LAI TRADING CO.,LTD
    China
    TEL:022-58137389
    FAX:022-58137389
    Mobile:18920028318
    Email:[email protected]
    Skype ID:grace.xiaotang
    After reached destination there is no copper wire scrap and we seemed Concreate blocks inside the container and we lost 3,15000 USD.They are cheat us and lost USD 315000 .

  15. marcos

    I got scammed.
    What is the solution??

    Payment: money gram
    amount / date: $750 06 April 2016
    what i did: i sent e-mails to blacklists
    What about a detective in China?

    ============================================
    ============================================

  16. dwipen singha

    Hi Team, I have got cheated from a friend. He is from Malaysia and we have been knowing for more than 13 years. Suddenly one day he approach telling his friend company is seeking worker and the first year the worker had to pay work permit 4500 ringett and then from 2nd year the company will take care till 5th year. I trusted him and paid for three worker when they had send the Offer letter and then when i ask for work permit he refuse to take call nor reply. Please help me out how to get back the money. He is in good position in malaysia.

  17. Nilesh Bhandari

    I have deposited money for items to company situated in China through bank on 18.06.13 but they aren’t supplied me

  18. Mike BellamyMike Bellamy

    Thanks for posting your comments to my blog. Because I don’t want to get in the middle of conflicts between buyers and sellers, I am afraid I can’t post the name of the supplier you wish to expose. So I blocked out their identity to be fair. But if you are looking to expose a scam or under performing supplier, please list that company at http://www.SupplierBlackList.com. It’s great site that I read regularly. Your listing will help warn other buyers.

  19. Lito ocampo

    Please do not trust this, this is a certified chinese scammer

    XXN ELECTRONIC CO. LIMITED is a professional supplier for all kinds of world famous IC electronics components, our company has achieved great successful businesses from all over the world based on best quality ,competitive price, fast delivery and excellent after-sale service. Pls offer us a chance to service for you!
    Any more questions or concerns, pls feel free to contact us.
    Best Regards
    Lucy
    XXN ELECTRONIC CO. LIMITED
    Tel:852-55340XXX
    Fax:852-55340XXX
    Email:[email protected]
    Skype/MSN:[email protected]

  20. Mike BellamyMike Bellamy

    I’m happy to help. I’ll send an introduction via email to the lawyer/investigators who could help you. You mention the seller is a scam and not a real company, so probably you will need an investigator to gather evidence and present to the local police. The other option is to hire a local lawyer to coordinate the police. In my experience, the investigator charges more than the lawyers, but they are very effective because the investigator does all the hard work on the case and makes the job of the police easier. The lawyer on the other hand only serves as your representative in coordinating the communications w the local police as the local police only communicate in Chinese with you or your appointed representative (the local lawyer). Let me know how things work out for you. Glad to help.

  21. Mohammed

    Dear Mike,
    I don’t know how to thank you for replying to my post. This is the first time we got cheated by our supplier who sent us completely the wrong goods. It is very difficult to do business now a days and it becomes next to impossible to earn a good profit. So in this situation loosing 118750USD means like a big shock for us. BTW I forgot to tell you that before I went to China and met them about this matter, I went to China Embassy in our country and told them about this matter but at that time I didn’t know that they were blacklisted. Later the Embassy called the company and asked them to solve it. After coming back from China I informed the Embassy in what we agreed.

    It would be very helpful for us if you can introduce any law firm from where we can get help for police or lawyers etc. But it is my personal request to you as a younger brother to help us in any way you can or think possible to get us out of this. You won’t believe but you are the first person I felt writing about this matter on a web. But as you said to list them, I will but after I get my money back or get a solution because I feel that they always stay updated with these blacklist websites and know who are posting about their company. But yet I didn’t tell them anything that I know they are fraud.

    I am sorry for my big posts but I hope you understand my problem.

    Thank you again for replying and guiding me.

    Regards
    Mohammed.

  22. Mike BellamyMike Bellamy

    Mohammed,
    Thanks for posting a comment on my blog. Sorry to see this supplier took your money! I have a couple of suggestions for you:

    1. if you need help w dispute resolution, i can introduce a law firm in China that speaks English.
    2. if you would like to outsource your future supplier verification and management, check out http://www.SourcingServiceCenter.com
    3. Please list this bad supplier to http://www.SupplierBlackList.com and warn others to stay away. BTW, http://www.supplierblacklist.com/loss-recovery-and-help-for-victims/ may offer you some ideas on how to recover your lost money.

    Hope these resources help you!
    BTW, my new sourcing tutorials are now online at http://www.ChinaSourcingAcademy.com

  23. Mohammed

    Dear Mike,
    recently we imported SODIUM SACCHARINE from a company in China but they gave MONO CRYSTAL ROCK SUGAR instead of SODIUM SACCHARINE. Later we contacted them and in reply they said it was impossible and the mistake is from our side because they clear government inspection and clearance.

    We went to China and met them and tried to solve the problem when they agree to give us a discount price. But after we came back they are not working with us according to what we finalized in China.

    We can prove that they cheated with us with their packing and container size. Our packing was 450g x 100bags = 45kg Drum. So according to our order it was 556 Drums in total in a 40 feet container. But they sent us 26kg Drums in average of 556 Drums in total but in a 20 feet container and also there were no 450g of 100bags inside the drums, it was loose. We already paid them the whole amount of the contract which is 118750USD.

    Recently company’s sale manager gave birth to a baby so she is not responding for the past 10days now. We are seriously feeling helpless because it is a big amount of money for us and we even don’t
    know what to do with the goods they sent us.

    The goods are in our warehouse now and we already contacted China embassy in our country but with a light response from their side, telling us they don’t get involved in these issues but they will try to help us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Login

Register | Lost your password?