Chinese Products from Wholesale Suppliers - The Online Scam History
China is a major exporter of goods and isknown for mass production of cheap products. How often do you see "Madein China" on toys, gadgets, or the latest "it" thing? Who doesn't wantto get these hot products cheap and direct from the manufacturer?Spammers are hoping that you do and have ramped up their game to gainbusiness. Below I'm going to give an outline of the recent history of"Made in China" wholesale product spam.
This spam type originated with bidding Web sites - online auctionhouses. Spammers opened accounts on these bidding sites and posted highpriced, hot products at cheap prices hoping to gain bidder interest.When a potential bidder asked a question through the site the spammerwould provide their "wholesale supplier product Web site," contactemail, and instant messaging ID for contact purposes. The email addressand IM are all registered with third party free email services.
If users don't ask questions, the spammer then sends a fake Q&Anotification to every user who has bid on their items. This messageincludes the same details as when users do ask questions (product Websites, contact email and IM ID's. These emails are all sent with theintention to draw users to the spammers actual wholesale site. Sellingthese products on their own site is a benefit for the spammer becausethey don’t have to pay the fees of the auction site and there are nolegal safety nets protecting bidders.
The next stage in the evolution with this scam was the collection ofbidder's ID's and emails. The spammer then sends fake system winningnotifications to this list of collected addresses. Included in thisfake winning notification is the Web site and contact details for thespammer. The hope here is that the recipient will click the link to theWeb site to see why they are receiving this winning notification. Ofcourse the Web site is just a marketing tool for the spammer's goods.Hey, they've now managed to get some people to their site. The hope isthat shopping will ensue.
The latest incarnation of this spam type is the direct mailing tothese same addresses of a wholesale supplier promotion. Sometimes theseemails contain icons of popular bidding and auction sites. This is anindication that the spammer had collected those email addresses fromthese sites. During the recent holiday season these wholesale Web sitesand the promotional emails that had spawned out from them werepromoting Christmas gifts.
A nutshell of the evolution of "Made in China" wholesale product spam as we’ve seen it is as follows:
• Spammer sets up shop on bidding and auction sites to gain customers for their wholesale "Made in China" products
• Spammer collects email addresses of people bidding on their products
• Spammer sends contact information to everyone bidding on their products
• Spammer sends fake winning notifications to these addresses
• Spammer sends direct mailings promoting their wholesale Web site to all addresses they have collected form the auction sites
• Spammer changes promotional emails to focus on holiday trends
Some common attributes of these spam wholesale sites include:
• Unprofessional composition of Web site. Looks flashy with hotproducts and low prices but general look is not on par with reputablecompanies
• Main contact information is instant messaging and email address. The email address will be with a free third party service.
• The ordering method is highly suspect. For example, on one of thesites we reviewed you were supposed to email the list of products thatyou wanted to purchase and then do a bank transfer of funds. This ishighly dangerous as you have no fraud protection on your purchase. Whatwould most likely occur is that the spammer would close all bankaccounts upon receipt of the money transfer and change email addressesleaving you with very little to get your money back.
To protect yourself, you have to find companies that are reliable.Check the company info as thoroughly as possible. Make sure you do notgive money to anyone without legal protection, which all reputablecompanies will have.