Is your supplier asking you to transfer money to a personal account in China – RED FLAG

When making a payment to a Chinese supplier for the first time, you probably are at least a little concerned about getting scammed.  There are a number of ways that you can reduce this risk when making payments which I’ve written about here.

But I’d like to highlight one major red flag which is wiring money to a PERSONAL account.  This means that the supplier’s salesperson asks you to transfer money to a personal account rather than there company’s account.  In other words the company name on your invoice and the name on the bank account DO NOT MATCH.

For example, let’s say the supplier’s company name is “Shenzhen ABC technology Co. Ltd.”  When it’s time to pay they send you their bank transfer information and the name of the account holder is an individual’s name such as “Li Zhenghe.”

Why is this risky?

In some cases an unscrupulous salesperson can have a payment made to his personal account and run off with the money.  Cases like this are not uncommon in China especially with high employee turnover rates and lack of clear ethical standards in today’s society.

Moreover you have little recourse in getting their money back since the individual’s name was never in writing on the invoice or sales agreement.  This means there’s little you can do besides try to contact them.  But often they conveniently disappear and/or quit and stop responding to emails.

If the company name and bank account do not match… an unscrupulous salesperson can have a payment made to his personal account and run off with the money. 

What can you do to protect yourself?

BEST PRACTICE: Make sure that the company name on the invoice matches the bank account holder’s name when transferring money.  This is the least you can do to protect yourself.

If they don’t have a legitimate reason and the amount of money is not insignificant then I would think twice before wiring that money.  Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Author: Gary

I work with many Amazon sellers to help them source from China. I’ve managed multimillion dollar sourcing campaigns and have been sourcing from China since 2008. I also am an Amazon Private Label seller myself so I know what you’re going through. My goal is to teach you how to source from China quickly and easily so you can own a 7-figure online business.

7 thoughts on “Is your supplier asking you to transfer money to a personal account in China – RED FLAG”

  1. Hi Gary, when I took the Amazon bootcamp on Long Island , I was told that sourcing is the toughest part, oh they were right. Help!!

  2. Hi Gary i wanted to source clothes from has 10 year and is goldsupplier on alibaba.The salesperson told me to send money on saving accounting for samples.should i deposit the money on western money or be suspicious.please help.

    1. Hi there,

      Good question. 10 years Gold Supplier on Alibaba is a good sign. Not sure how much the amount is but assuming it’s low cost since they’re for samples, I would suggest you ask if they accept Paypal. If they indeed have done 10 years of business via Alibaba there’s a good chance they’ve used Paypal before. I hope that helps.

      Good luck and keep me posted!

  3. Hi Gary,

    when ordering a sample, the company name on Alibaba doesn’t match the company name of the invoice of the sample. Is it common? They said it’s for holding different currencies.

    1. Jordi,

      Great question. If the names don’t match that’s normally a red flag. I would ask for clarification why that is. You said that it’s for different currencies so I would ask them what is the relationship between the two companies and get it in writing especially if this is the first time you’re doing business with this supplier.

      I hope that helps.

  4. Sending payment from a company account to a personal account in China for a friendly purpose and not business will it go through.

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