Invite to go to China to sign documents scam.

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De Master Yoda

There appears to be a rise in the instances of this type of scam.
A common theme is that a Chinese import and export company offers a deal worth a lot of money, a large order for goods, an offer to train pilots, or ships crew, an offer to pay for musicians or artists to perform in China, etc.
THESE ARE ALL FAKE. One such scam ordered 240,000 wooden pallets. I would think that they would be a lot cheaper to purchase locally than to ship from overseas.

A mainstay of these scams is the insistence that you must go to China to sign documents. Once in China you are at a big disadvantage as you do not speak the language and do not know your "hosts"

Once there you will be asked to give a "Present" to their CEO to facilitate the smooth passage of the deal, more often than not Gold is suggested as a suitable present.
You will be informed that this is the way things are done in china and is quite normal ( it is not).
The many genuine Chinese businesses will act responsibly and not ask for a bribe.
The scammers will.

Another part of the scam is the asking for a ‘notary fee’

Taking this a bit further I checked on the 'Notary' fees in Australia (where I am ) to get an idea of fees and costs. The costs varied BUT I could not find ANY OVER $200.

So it is very plain that it is a scam when one is asked for money in the THOUSANDS.
One was asking for US$8,000

So is it a legal requirement in China as these scammers say? Apparently NOT.
I found this :

"The EU SME Centre receives enquiries related to scams on a regular basis. One of the most common ones - we refer to them as the ‘notary fee cases’ – is the subject of this week’s enquiry of the month.

The usual scenario looks like this: A foreign company based in Europe or a foreign-invested company based in China is about to sign a contract (usually a sales and purchase contract) with a local company in China, but is asked to pay a ‘notary fee’ or any other administration fee shortly before the actual signing. The fee is usually not paid directly to the notary itself but to the local company, which promises to ‘arrange everything necessary’.

However, according to Chinese law, there is no mandatory provision to notarise ordinary sales and purchase contracts. This requirement exists only for some contracts of special importance, as for example real estate transfers. Moreover, even if both parties agree on the notarisation of a contract, the physical presence of both parties in the notary office is required. In no case is it possible to notarise a signature without the presence of the other party.

In a recent case we dealt with, the foreign company was smart enough to question the notarisation of a contract/signature without being present in the notary’s office themselves, as this was not common practice in their home country. Those justified doubts saved them about EUR 8,000 of ‘notary fees’ as well as more money and trouble in the future, as the likelihood of ‘repeat offences’ would have been very high. A comparatively naive attempt to cheat a prospective partner like this should serve as a warning and discourage any further engagement, as a formal due diligence procedure would likely expose many more risks, making sustainable business with them very unlikely."–-necessity-or-scam

Please read this part.
However, according to Chinese law, there is no mandatory provision to notarise ordinary sales and purchase contracts.

Despite all this, the deal will NEVER be concluded as they are scams.

UPDATE: Good information from a Chinese organization about this type of scam. Sometimes called “Guilin Business Scam”

but in order to sign a contract our company representatives must go to China. When it happens, Chinese company books hotels and organizes dinners in expensive restaurants, there are always some “notarization fees” that we should cover, we are asked to pay all the bills and pay some bribes for local officials (and we do it, hoping for getting a big deal worth hundred thousands of dollars), but in the end no contract is made or the contract is unlawful or invalid. The scammers made money because they made agreement with restaurants and hotels and the price of these services were higher.


i was scammed in china ,the meet was in the hotel shearaton zhengzhou.there should be cctv footage of us and the scammer,i emailed the hotel but got no reply,are they in on yhe scam or what,i really dont know where to go for help now.

Sapphire's Strike

Staff member
@ nero - If you have been scammed & parted with funds, you need to file a report with your local law enforcers taking all evidence with you.
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