How to avoid Fraud and Scams in B2B marketplaces?
Julie | 15 Apr 2008

Simple safe trading tips and guidelines to prevent Fraud and Scams in online B2B marketplaces

With the rapidly increasing use of Internet, business fraud is becoming more common nowadays and fraudsters try to use new tricks to cheat businesses and people. Major B2B Portals follow strict rules to monitor and remove fraudulent information posted on their sites. But still, fraudsters use new tricks to cheat buyers and sellers and most of the frauds can be prevented by making use of following simple safe trading tips.
Spend enough time on Investigating your potential partner: Always remember that one of the most important safe trading tip is that you should spent enough time to know more about your business partner before making a business deal. Many cases of frauds happen due to short time of consideration and lack of care.
Be careful of Over-generous Offers: You should be cautious of potential partners who offer a particularly high or low price in the first instance. It is easy to be tempted by such offers, but they are most often attempts to defraud.
Make a Clear Contract based on mutually decided terms & conditions: Be straightforward and transparent and make a clear contract with your trading partner. Make sure that you have covered all the important points in the contract such as sales conditions, payment method, arbitration clause, quality inspection, etc. It’s also advisable to keep the duly signed copy of your contract safely for a specific period to prevent any argument arising afterwards.
Avoid Western Union which is one of the most common payment method used by fraudulent companies: Most of the fraudulent cases reported to B2B Portals involve payment via Western Union. After a buyer sends funds, the receiving party just disappears and with Western Union, you cannot trace the real name of an account holder.
Get Written confirmation from seller about Original Products: You can also request the seller to put in writing that he is selling original items and not selling any fake or counterfeit products.
Verify the Contact Information of your business partners: Always verify that address, phone number and email address given by your partner is real and correct. The contact details should be consistent and as a first step you can check whether contact details given by your partner on their B2B home page profile matches with one posted on their company website.
-         E-mail Address: Do not rely on e-mail to contact a business partner. Even if the company has its own domain name, you may not be able to trace its owner.
-         Fax Number: Look out for companies that use the same number for telephone and fax. They are likely to be small businesses and you need be careful in dealing with them.
-         Website address: An impressive website does not guarantee the honesty or existence of a company. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security.
Call them on phone and stay in frequent contact with your business partners: Call the company's phone number to check that the person with whom you are in touch through email/messenger actually works for that company. Be suspicious of any trader who uses only an e-mail address and cell phone and is reluctant to reveal a telephone number. It’s also not wise to contact with partner only through messenger.
Exchange regular e-mails to judge a particular company/person: Also exchange regular e-mails to judge a particular company/person. Maintain frequent contact and ask them regular detail about price, quality, payment method, contracts, etc. and try to obtain as much contact information as possible.
Order Credit Report to check which company is Real and which is a Scam: And lastly you can also order Credit Reports on portals like EC21.com to check which company is Real and which is a Scam. EC21 provides a range of quickly investigated Credit Reports, using which buyers and sellers can order credit report for any company worldwide and check whether that company is real or fraud. Credit Report provides you key information about ownership, details of capitalization, credit worthiness, financial and legal status, and past/present trading analysis on various companies, all around the world.
For more information on Credit Reports click here