Warning issued as trade fraudulent activities on the rise

Monday, Jan 29, 2024 10:38

A farmer during the pepper harvest season in the southern province of Bình Phước. — VNA/VNS Photo Sỹ Tuyên

The Việt Nam Embassy's Commercial Services in the Netherlands has issued a warning regarding a surge in online fraudulent activities against Vietnamese exporters as global demand for petroleum products increases.

The service said that fraudsters have chosen the northwestern European country as the Netherlands is reputed for its stringent legal system and reputable foreign partnerships, which can then be used to exploit the trust placed in its business environment.

The embassy said fraudsters have set up fake websites and employed impersonation tactics to deceive unsuspecting victims, who place excessive trust in the legal systems of importing countries and may forego thorough verification processes and hastily enter contracts with enticing terms, escalating the risks of disputes and fraud.

According to the Vietnamese trade authorities, fraudulent activities were not confined to the Netherlands alone. Various commercial services have also reported a growing trend in major markets including the United States, Canada, and Europe. As Vietnamese businesses seize opportunities in the expanding global market, the complexities and sophistication of trade disputes and fraud have increased.

As the global economic slowdown has reduced demand for goods and services across the world, some Vietnamese businesses have been prompted to neglect careful examination of contracts and partner verification, according to trade experts. Rushed negotiations could result in unfavourable terms related to payment methods, deposit percentages, and delivery conditions in international trade contracts.

Representatives from various industry associations have expressed concerns about fraud risks in payment and a lack of experience in negotiations among Vietnamese exporters.

Hoàng Thị Liên, chairwoman of the Vietnam Pepper and Spice Association said the risks in large markets including conflicts, wars, and political instability were significant as foreign partners might struggle with their cash flow and payment method.

This could and had resulted in sizable losses for Vietnamese exporters.

She advised Vietnamese businesses to invest additional resources in the early detection of fraud and securing information on foreign partners, as well as the value of widely disseminating warning information, advice, and legal consultations through various platforms.

According to the association, businesses in connected countries must coordinate closely with Vietnamese commercial services and embassies to compile a blacklist of potential fraudsters while conducting businesses with increased caution.

Earlier, the association issued several warnings to its business members, which called for stronger support from Vietnamese commercial services and additional information provided to businesses trying to break into new markets. It highlighted the importance of a two-way identification method to help Vietnamese exporters verify and screen their foreign partners, mitigating fraud risks.

In addition, the association has called for the establishment of reference rules to protect Vietnamese exporters in high-risk markets, which may include a minimum deposit amount and preference of payment method across the entire industry.

According to the association, while some exporters have been sticking to full payment before delivery in high-risk markets a lack of common agreement and uniformity in the industry may expose some of its members to potential frauds. — VNS

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