Running a trucking company is stressful enough. You have to make sure you are getting loads, delivering them, and also making sure that load pays enough. Throw in some con-artist trying to scam you, and it can really put a damper on things. Here are the five most common types of fraud for truckers and how to avoid it.
Types of Fraud
1.) Fake Repair Shop Now it goes without saying that a hotshot trucker puts a lot of miles on their truck. That is just inevitable. Well, in this scenario, a scammer poses as a repair shop employee who will be servicing your vehicle, and you would not think twice about it. All you care about is having your vehicle serviced so you can get your vehicle back on the road, and so you can start making some more money.
The scammer provides a vehicle number, license plate number, and a driver’s name. They then proceed to demand immediate payment or they will keep the truck. There have also been cases where the scammer gets the trucker’s contact information, and then the scammer generates a fake invoice to send to the trucker. Sketchy stuff.
2.) Fake Towing to Commit Fraud Similar to the repair shop scam, many scammers demand payment for a tow that never took place. This is more common for hotshot companies that have multiple drivers. This way they can fly under the radar, so to speak. The scammers might tell dispatch that they never received payment, and they will keep the truck until payment is exchanged.
3.) Load Board Scams Some scammers check load boards to prey on truckers like vultures looking at their next meal. The scammers steal a legitimate trucking company’s identity, and then they use that information to book loads. They obtain the payment information using false claims. They typically hold the load hostage. Some scammers take it a step further and they go all Tony Soprano on you by dumping the load in a remote location in order to collect the money as ransom. This leaves your company and your customer in a tough spot. You might not know where the load is and the customer is expecting you to deliver it.
4.) Drivers in Need Sometimes scammers will loiter at truck stops to gain entail about different trucking companies. Then the scammer will target a company with multiple drivers, and they will pose as one of their drivers themselves. In this type of fraud. the scammer calls the company’s dispatch service to request money for fuel or a repair advance. Everybody wants to help out a fellow trucker, and especially if it is one of their own.
5.) Fake Government Officials These scammers pretend to be a police officer or a Department of Transportation official and then demand some form of payment for your violation. You think it is real, and you start freaking out. Your stomach is in knots, blood pressure through the roof, and you start thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Depending on the infraction, it could dictate your driving and licenses.
How to Avoid Fraud
Do not ever accept payment information or give payment information without verifying the customer’s identity and the billing address.
Have a voice authorization before transcation.
Get a document signed by the customer.
Always be aware of your surroundings.
Avoid sharing any specific information about your hotshot business.
Request a printed invoice with a detailed listing of the customer’s information. The invoice should provide a valid address and phone number.
Always verifty the name of business, address, and phone number. You can do this by calling them yourself or search on the Internet.
If you are a dispatcher, request a validation using information that is not visible on the truck like the DOT number, employee ID, or the driver’s name.
Keep a close eye on address and phone number changes for companies you have on file, or regularly do business with. You should also do this with new businesses requesting to work with you. This is how scamming situations fall through the cracks.
Validate the incoming phone number and caller information against a public listing or that particular driver’s profile. You can also view the truck’s GPS coordinates or the driver’s trip route.
Try to not issue payment inforamtion to a third party.
Be skepticle when someone tries to pressure you into rushing a payment. Scammers usually demand payment immediately, and they are also pushy.
If something sounds a little suspicious to you, it probably is. Trust your gut and use caution. Let us know if you have any tips for staying safe and avoiding scammers out on the road, in the comments below.