Help Me! I’ve been scammed in Thailand! What Can I do?
We receive every day 3 requests for verification of suppliers, most in A4 paper market. Majority of them comes from India, Pakistan, Middle East and Africa.
They all claim: you must help me to find genuine A4 paper manufacturers. When we reply that this is a pay service, many disappears, others argue on the price, some understand the benefit and process the payment by giving all the requested information. After 48 hours they get their report and are enabled to handle their business in Thailand in safety.
What happens to the other which wants to go alone?
Generally they are inexperienced small traders, attracted by easy-money. They pay the “deposit” generally asked by scammers, take a flight, and come to Thailand. Many of them come also attracted by the reputation of Bangkok as a Sex Hub and spend some good days here. Well, the funny thing is that the deposit asked by scammers is more than double of the cost for a professional due diligence. So?
So, it’s sad to say, thousand of self-styled traders or business man fall in the fishing net of scammers. Why? It’s a matter of over-estimation on themselves. They suppose they’re smart and experienced enough. But they think they can make, in case of A4 paper, easily 5-7.000 USD per container by buying paper at 1 USD and selling for more than 2 in their country. Considering that this is a commodity, not a common product, this should be enough to open their eyes; but they choose to be scammed in Thailand…
Also some European real importer, with experience, can fall into the fishing-net, because they think Thailand (or Indonesia) can be cheaper than other countries. The retail price in Europe is effectively cheaper than in Thailand, so they suppose the one-dollar-per-ream policy could be true… But… Again, why don’t they check with a professional, on-site, company?
In this case is a matter of selfishness. “Why should I give a profit (a really small one) to a consultant, to do a job that will probably be superfluous?”. Yes, this is right. Maybe it’s superfluous, exactly like to pay an insurance, or to wear a helmet riding a bike. If I expect nothing goes wrong, why should i pay an insurance?
But suddenly, you realize it happened…
- The man which promised you to come to your hotel for pick up and visit the factory did not show.
- Container for which you paid 30% in advance is lost (they gave you a tracking number, but on Maersk website you could not trace.
- The bank account you sent the money was under the name of a private person (but you investigated later…)
- Whatsapp number you always contacted (and that was so fast in response) now is blocked
- You’ve been scammed in Thailand…
YES, YOU’VE BEEN SCAMMED IN THAILAND! What can you do now?
Almost nothing. You could decide to hire a lawyer and pursue the account owner. But she will turn out to be a Thai girl with no properties nor money, living in Pattaya and working in some go-go bar… In this case the lawyer will ask you some tens of thousands of Thai baht, and you will start regretting the 5.000 you did not want to pay for the reality check of supplier.
You could also decide to take a new flight, come to Bangkok and go to police for a report. Well, they will basically say you: “sorry sir, you had to be more careful and the scammer already disappeared”.
Legally speaking it’s very hard to demonstrate that this was a scam. You sent money to someone you didn’t know, voluntarily, without a check. Don’t waste your time, Police will not help you.
Someone also come back to us, asking for help. Regretfully, answer is “sorry, we can’t do anything for you. It’s like t ask a swim instructor to teach you swimming after the ship is sunk.”
All you can do is make treasure of this article, and in case you feel a good opportunity ask us for a Reality Check / Due Diligence. The service starts from 5.000 THB, and includes a full report on the companies you want to check and a list of reliable manufacturers.
If you still think is not worthed to pay for your safety, kindly avoid to contact us asking for help. You’d better use facebook forums, where good advices are free.