A fraudulent scam of a different nature has been brought to BIFA’s attention.

On face value these emails appear to be from independent forwarding companies looking for UK partners, by way of offering cheap ocean rates. The majority may be genuine, but for some, deep down there is criminal intent.

Once an agreement is in place and business starts, all appears to be normal. This is until the cargo arrives at the UK port and no-one has received the original Bill of Lading. When contacted the Chinese forwarder then demands a large ransom for the release of the original Bills of Lading.

The dilemma for UK forwarders and their customers is whether to pay, knowing the pain and cost that comes with not having the original documentation.

BIFA recommends diligence and advises that whilst entering into any form of agreement, with an overseas partner, just asking for a signature on an agency agreement is not good enough.