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Be cautious! Email Hackers are Stealing Your Payment!

9 / 23 / 2014

You were emailing with your overseas suppliers about the new orders. 

The supplier was replying with their bank information. 

You were arranging the payment via wire transfer…

Your purchase seemed to be going smoothly as usual until a few days later the supplier was asking you for the payment. Why again? You sent them the bank slip and were surprisingly told that it was not their bank account! What’s wrong? Is the supplier lying? No! The suppliers are innocent. It’s the cheats that have hacked the supplier’s email account and stole the payment from you by providing the wrong bank information.

This is a true story and is happening to some overseas buyers in recent years. Such new criminal measures have successfully cheated many buyers of their money, as neither the buyer nor the supplier was aware that their emails could be hacked and monitored by the thieves. The hacker will pretend to be the supplier, and start replying to the buyers emails when you are closing the deal, sometimes from an email which looks very similar to the supplier’s email name, for example, @vip163.com and @vip.163.com, sometimes from the supplier’s email name directly. No one will notice the risk arising at this moment as there are previous email records at the bottom of this reply. The buyer will then follow this email’s instruction to arrange the payment, which will result in the loss of the full payment amount.

Sadly, the money can seldom be gotten back even when the police get involved. In order to avoid such loss, we would like to share with you three tips before you settle any payment,

  1. Do not accept the bank detailed listed in the email only. Request the supplier to send you the bank details in the form of official payment instruction document with signature and stamp.
  2. Talk to the supplier by phone or Skype to double confirm the bank details. It happened in some cases that the cheat could copy the supplier’s format and stamp from previous email record and made faked payment instruction document to send the buyer. The double confirmation via phone call of Skype could help solve the problem. 
  3. We suggest you keep the contact information of not only the supplier’s sales representative but also his/her supervisor. When there is a need to verify the supplier’s bank information, there is one more person you can turn to. This is an effective solution also for the case if the sales representative intentionally cheating the buyer and then leaving the company after getting the money. 


V-Trust team
Grace Wong
Bachelor Degree in Business Management and MBA student
Over 15 years of experience in the supply chain sector
Account Director at V-Trust Inspection Service Group

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