Hanoi woman loses $480,000 in dropshipping scam

By Luu Quy   April 1, 2024 | 05:57 pm PT
Hanoi woman loses $480,000 in dropshipping scam
The interface of a dropshipping website used to scam people. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
The Authority of Information Security on Saturday issued a warning about dropshipping scams after a Hanoi woman was swindled out of VND12 billion (US$484,000).

After hearing from an online seller that they made a profit of VND80 million by selling two watches through an online shopping platform, Hanh blinded by promises of large profits, decided to join the site as a dropshipper.

Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that allows your business to partner with a supplier to display and sell their products in your online store.

According to the website's regulations, when Hanh got an order, she had to send the product to the platform and transfer the required payment to a specified bank account.

Once the transaction was completed, the site would return the original amount plus a commission to Hanh.

Not fully understanding how the dropshipping model is supposed to work, she followed the instruction.

For the first order, she got back the $511.28 that she sent plus $61.35 in commission.

Thinking she had struck gold, Hanh accepted 46 more orders. But she only managed to get her money back for some of them.

AIS said: "By the time she had paid a total of VND12 billion, she was blocked from the site and unable to withdraw her money. It was only then that she realized she was scammed and reported it to the police."

The website, named Supply Shops, was created in mid-January and is still active.

Dropshipping has recently become popular amid growing demand for online shopping, and while it has its benefits, people should be cautious when it comes to online businesses, AIS warned.

It said another known scam related to dropshipping involves charging money for support for building an online selling system.

Bui Hieu in Vinh Phuc Province reported that he was introduced to the dropshipping model by a member of a Facebook group that he joined a month ago.

This person asked him to pay VND5-10 million after which they would build him his own online dropshipping business, including store sites on Facebook and TikTok.

He was promised up to 10% in commissions just by managing and receiving orders through these pages without having to stock up on products.

"When I wondered whether it was a scam, they immediately cut off contact," he recounted.

AIS said: "People need to verify information carefully before participating in dropshipping businesses or transferring money to online websites. They also need to exercise caution when presented with opportunities to make large profits through online businesses."

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