The international transactions made via internet has increased exponentially due to the lack of mobility caused by the covid-19 pandemic. The personal meetings seem not to be necessary as the deal could start and be closed simply by a mere email conversation.
Due to the “new normal” and restrictions to travel, most business people may take less time and care to check the background of their business partners. Recently, H&P lawyers in Bangkok have alerted to different embassies, on a dramatic surge of fraud cases as we found that some of the foreign purchasers end up with enormous losses because they made transactions without knowing that another party was involved in fraud schemes.
In this scenario, the perpetrators have developed more sophisticated techniques, used a more complicated scheme to increase its credibility. For example, using the real name of an existing company and its directors, providing fake documents which are mostly identical to the authentic documents issued by the Thai officials, creating a professional logistics website where you can track the delivery of products, showing fake information combining accurate facts with some that are misleading and posting offers of different goods under the market prices. In some cases, the perpetrator even conducts the fraud through a company incorporated in Thailand but without any actual business operation.
Although no investigation can uncover all potential risks, however, there is a way to effectively eliminate main risks for your transaction, which is to engage a law firm in Thailand such as H&P to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the company that you are purchasing the products from. In our professional opinion, conduct a company due diligence is today an essential tool for protecting your interests before making any transaction. In other words, the basic function of company due diligence is to access all possible information of the seller company in Thailand and check whether that transaction is real and not part of a fraud scheme.
In H&P professional legal practice, our lawyers found common patterns. For example, when the fraud involves big sums of funds, then the perpetrators use existing companies but usually these companies have no real activity and a Thai lawyer can check and confirm this to you before you do any business.
When the transaction only reaches a few thousand euro or dollars, the fraudsters use personal bank accounts of Thai Nominees, Crypto or even Western Union as a platform to receive the money from abroad before disappearing. It is comprehensible that the pressure on the victims is substantial and the buyer think that they can miss a good business opportunity if they don’t accept the terms of the sellers.
In many occasions the fraudsters in Thailand claim that the goods are experiencing problems with Customs and the buyer needs to pay more and in other cases they even impersonate Thai IT Police officers to claim for more money to the victims.
If you need to conduct a legal investigation on a company in Thailand or you have already being a victim of a fraud, please contact our lawyers in Bangkok at [email protected]