Last week, I got a sms from a supplier.
The boss asked me if i have been in touch with my buyer from Europe recently.
He told me he hasn't got the balance from my buyer after he ship out the goods so long and also no emails from my buyers recently.
FYI, my buyer has been working with this supplier on some customized products for years.
I have worked for my buyer as his coordinator and quality controller in China.
I informed this boss that I do contact with my buyer everday and it sounds odd my buyer didn't reply him and also didn't pay him the balance. That is not his way.
I told him i would contact my buyer about this.
Later, I got an email from my buyer as follows.
"What? I have paid him long time ago – and been waiting for the original BL/ as the container #3 have arrived in Denmark.
I have paid first to his old account, then he asked med to pull the payment back – then I paid to his new bank in Hong Kong and have sent him bank transfers note for the documentations.
Could you pls. check with him what goes on? – I have no outstanding payments with him."
I was awared that something wrong happened and they are both in big trouble when I read the above text.
I rang that boss immediately and asked him on phone: "if you have asked the buyer to wire payment to your new HK banking account?"
The boss said he never do that.
Then I understood this supplier was suffering the phishing website. The swindler has read all his emails and his business has been revealing.
Yes. all the truths proved my guess.
Let me show you how it was going.
After the swindler went into the supplier's mailbox and knew all his business, they used a similar mailbox(close to the supplier's mailbox) to write to my buyer like this:
Dear XXX (my buyer's name)
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, we just got a call from our bank that we are having some little problems with our old banking information due to some unseen transactions and any payment that is made into it for now, will not reflect in our account. So please do not send the payment of the (container 3) into our account you always used in making payment to us. Kindly use our new subsidiary affiliate banking information in attachment and below.
My buyer and the swindler has communicated with each other by several emails to settle up this business.
The swindler seemed to be professional and patience. Nothing special/odd appeared and my buyer had no doubt about the role the swindler played.
So my buyer did wire the payment to the new banking account instructed by the swindler at the end.
I explained the whole case to my buyer. My buyer was shocked and wrote to the supplier at once as follows:
"Pls. see enclosed mail – which I received the same night (I was going to Milano, Italy the next morning) where I had already made the original payment to you (xxxxx,- USD) (see first bank transfer). After receiving this mail , I asked my bank to stop the payment to your original account , because of the mail. My bank retrieved/stopped the transfer and therefore you have never received it even though there is a bank copy. The second bank transfer copy is the same money (minus banking fee) send to the new account.
All in all I have made the payment to the wrong account (believing it was on your instructions) – so therefore I have advised you several times that payment was done from my end (as always)."
Since this transaction was did many days ago and my buyer already can't retrieve the money from the swindler account.
I was considering who should be responsible for this fault? Who should bear this cost?
My buyer is a super good businessman, and i think he also admit he wasn't carefully enough.
Although he wrote to me this: actually, the problem is in supplier's end – lacking security in his system. I am the one being hurt the most even though he have offered to cut the amount down to 15.000 USD instead of 18.460 USD, cutting his profit.
That is the end of the story. My buyer paid double to get this order.
To avoid such case happen at your end, pls open your eyes.
Dear seller, pls don't access to the website which it requires you to login with your mailbox and password.
Dear Buyer, pls pay attention the every details about your supplier, like new mailbox, new banking account, new salesman, even the writing way....Pls detect with your sharp eyes and sense about any new things and new details.
Pls ask your seller to offer you a new invoice/certificate with new banking account with their company stamp and signature if you receive email about chaning to a new banking account.
If possible, you can also ring your seller to confirm this on phone.
Let me also show you how the swindler get access to your mailbox here.
The phishing website will send you some emails, and ask you to link to their website to check the products they required in details.
It will require you to login with your mailbox and password after you visit their website.
There are many emails sent like this from fake alibaba. They pretend to be business inquiry from alibaba. but they are not real alibaba.
Good luck! I hope i share some useful information with you!
Jasmine from 3w jasmineservice org
I posted the above story in May. But now I would like to update the story...
In Fact, the story was not the end....
I was too lazy to report the final result after i posted the above story.
Everyone here thought it was an end and felt so sorry for its happening. My client and his supplier both suffered the loss.
But It is my responsibility to tell the whole story and let the readers know the new situation.
2 months after I published the above post, my buyer gave me a big surprise and said his bank caught the phishing cheater and his bank refund his payment.
My buyer also informed his supplier about this and refund the extra cost to his supplier.
I was shock that it happend like this. It was been 2 months after my buyer sent the balance of the order to his supplier and no one expected his bank could still do something and called back the payment. I said to him that his bank is very powerful and be responsible to their clients.
My buyer was a nice and lucky businessman.
Anyway, I still would like to remind all the buyers and sellers to open your eyes when your business contacts' usual email address changes and the banking account change without any official notification.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Life is so bright...