Even to this day, we keep receiving reports from importers getting scammed by anonymous traders in China. In many cases, they have one thing in common – the buyer sends money using Western Union.
While Western Union as a company is legit, it was never intended as a platform for paying Chinese suppliers.
In this article, I explain why and how scammers exploit Western Union to defraud importers, and which payment methods you should use instead.
What’s the benefit of using Western Union?
Western Union operates a global payment network that enables individuals to transfer money from one place to another, in a matter of hours. While payment services like PayPal and TransferWise offer fast payments today, that was not the case until only a few years ago.
At a time when telegraphic transfers, normally taking 4 to 5 days to arrive, was the only option, Western Union was the go-to place for fast payments.
While they may not be the only option for fast payments these days, they still have a strong position across the globe. Especially when you need to send emergency funds to a friend or family member that lost their credit card or passport in a foreign country.