Portrait of a Chinese as a Scammer
My uncle received another e-mail solicitation offering to sell products from Apple, Nokia, and Samsung for way below market prices. Again, it came from a company based in China.
When he asked me for my opinion, I thought it was a scam right away. But I decided to give the company the benefit of the doubt. I went to investigate and tried to find out what I could on the internet.
When I clicked on their online address, www.yinbos.com, I was directed to the Central Electronic Shop web site.
It looks very professional and even includes testimonials from satisfied but unnamed customers.
I used the whois service to get some information on the domain. I found that it is a new one having registered through godaddy.com on Sep. 17, 2012 by a certain Mage Chen in Shenzhen, Guandong, China.
As part of my investigation, I asked my uncle to get a quote for a 16gb Ipad 2 with wifi. It would be $140 including shipping. As an incentive, it would come with one free case and one micro SD card 64gb/USB flash drive. What a deal! But wait, there was more. The invoice would also state that it was a “gift” or “free samples” to avoid paying the customs tax.
I then told my uncle to ask them if he could pay using a credit card or Paypal. A sales person named Erica answered that they could accept only bank to bank transfer, Western Union, or Money Gram. It was to avoid the exorbitant fees charged by credit card companies and Paypal and pass the savings to their customers.
Finally, I told my uncle to tell the sales person that he was amenable to Western Union on condition that she provided him with a copy of the identification card of Qingxiu Gan, the person who would be picking up the money. She sent the following id putting a face on the company bagman.
Since I can’t read Chinese, I asked a friend to translate it for me. The name on the card was Shuiji Fen which didn’t match the name given by the sales person.
Further research on the internet using the Chinese language search engine, baidu, revealed that it’s likely an invalid card. It has also been linked to many consumer scams.
My friend suspects that the id might have been downloaded from the link below:
These findings led me to believe that the company is a fraud and operated by not very nice people. I advised my uncle to stop dealing with them at once.
At this point, it would be unfair to say that all Chinese businessmen are scammers out to take your money. It’s just that a few rotten apples tend to ruin the entire barrel.
Moving forward, there are many resources available on the internet that anyone can use to identify and report potential scams. here are a few of them:
Lastly, always remember if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Forget about the possibility of buying heavily discounted brand name electronics in China. It simply doesn’t exist.