In international trades, where emails are widely used for communication between Chinese suppliers and international buyers, fraudulent cases are frequently reported.
Here is a real case that happened to one of my friends who worked as a foreign trade salesman in a big Chinese company. In the picture is the message he sent me and a simple translation.
From this example, the foreign customer of his was cheated out of 7,2000 USD due to mail fraud.
So, How Does Mail Fraud Work?
1. Deciphering email passwords.
The first step for fraudsters to steal a mailbox is to get a password. Common ways to crack a password include:
(1) Trail and error. This way is just suitable for simple passwords.
(2) Phishing mail. Scammers will pretend to be an email service provider and send emails to the email accounts of targeted foreign trade enterprises, usually saying that your email is full, locked, and so on. These emails tend to end up with a link, and if you click the link, you’re hooked. Example:
2. Tracking transactions.
Foreign trade fraud criminals are proficient in trading routines. They lurk in target mailboxes, keeping a close eye on what’s going on in their business. They will prepare for the scam as soon as they find information about money.
3. Counterfeiting e-mail address.
From the example I mentioned above, some fraudsters counterfeit e-mail addresses by technical means like the mentioned website Emkei’s Fake Mailer.
Email addresses with similar domain names. For example http://163.com and http://l63.com. The only difference is the number “1” and the letter “L”.However, due to the negligence of the recipient, it may not be found.
4. Carry on fraud.
At this step, the scammers would send a message via fake emails to trick the customer into sending the money to their account.
Actually, from the steps of mail fraud, we can see that there are some loopholes that can help us to avoid being cheated since precaution is more important. Once cheated, it is very difficult to recover the loss, especially when using a Bitcoin account to cheat because a bitcoin account doesn’t provide any useful information at all.
How to Prevent Mail Fraud?
1. Change passwords frequently and set a password as complex as possible.
2. Don’t click on links in emails unless you’re pretty sure since they may be phishing emails.
3. For payment, confirm the account with the customer in various aspects, including email + phone +Skype.
4. The payment account is not directly placed in PI. An encrypted PDF file could be made for payment. The password can be told to the other party by phone, SMS, or Skype.
5. When sending and receiving emails, pay more attention to the email address so as not to miss the subtleties.
Although the steps mentioned above are easy to implement in your daily life, they can help you avoid losses.