Bordeaux 2009 Investors Targeted by Scam

Criminals on the Chinese mainland and beyond have targeted Bordeaux 2009 investors with a fraudulent en primeur purchasing scam.

The enormous interest among Chinese traders in 2009 Bordeaux has contributed to fraudulent trading on the Chinese mainland, ultimately prompting the UK’s Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) to issue a new list of precautionary recommendations for fine wine investors. This, combined with recent probes by law enforcement officials, has worked to fuel fears surrounding the scam among potential investors.

Initially, the fraudulent trade was discovered because several private investors were persuaded to invest in the purchase of top Bordeaux 2009s, even though they have not yet been released by the chateaux and the prices have not been established. Unfortunately, the largely unregulated and sometimes uneducated nature of the fine wine investment market can leave it more vulnerable to fraud than some other investment vehicles, but many savvy investors felt little surprise upon hearing of the recent scam. In addition, it is widely believed that this kind of criminal behavior is unlikely to stop immediately, since access to top vintages like 2009 Bordeaux remains quite new in China.

The good news is that investors can take precautions to avoid the risk of fraudulent purchases. According to the WSTA, it is imperative to consider the size and reputation of the wine merchant, for example, and also to be certain that all invoices and statements clearly state your claim to the wine. In addition, ask the merchant if they can provide insurance or other guarantees, and do a bit of research to check that prices are in line with market norms and that delivery is included. Keep in mind that honest merchants and wine brokers will not balk at proving their legitimacy. And, as always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! So don’t be afraid to ask tough questions and never hand over money until you feel satisfied with the relationship.



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