Double-brokering schemes are getting bolder and a lot more frequent than before. FreightCaviar recently posted a fraud alert about this new twist on the old scheme and received additional tips to their DMs with similar stories about these imposters. Under this new scheme, there’s identity theft, fraudulent uses of MC#s, and higher amounts of money being stolen.
The basic scam
Normally, these scammers keep everything in-house. They have their own trucking MC# and resell the loads under the name of a brokerage business they’ve set up. They’d often still pay the trucker for carrying the load so as not to draw any extra suspicion and keep a carrier on their roster.
Now they’ve upped the stakes
After the scammer gets a load from a broker, they pretend to be a different legitimate broker and resell the load under a legitimate freight broker’s MC. Now they can resell the original load to a legitimate trucking company using the brokerage identity they’ve stolen. Once the load is delivered, the scammer gets the proof of delivery, invoices the original broker, and receives payment directly, pocketing all the profits. The trucker who actually makes the delivery is left high and dry.
How to watch your back
Companies can avoid these skills by examining major red flags and strengthening overall vetting skills. Here are a few steps for you to steer clear of these fraudsters.
1. Check the email: Real companies have their own domains. Steer clear of emails from free services like gmail.com or yahoo.com. Look for the email address to match the company web address. For example, bobsmith@wxyzlogistics and www.wxyzlogistics.com. If it’s firstname.lastname@example.org, stay away.
2. Police the grammar: On the topic of emails, bad grammar, punctuation, and spelling could be signs that things aren’t legit.
3. Run a search: Search for the company website in your browser. Make sure that whatever link they sent you matches the URL you’ve found. Do compliance with all contact information they have sent you. If they are calling you from a different area code than the one the company has on their website, call the number on the website and confirm that the person you got the load from is actually legit.
4. View the docs: Check the BOL document because it will typically have the original broker’s name. Make sure all the names line up.
5. Too new: Tread carefully with new MCs that aren’t at least three months old. Not to make it hard for new brokers, but watch out when this sign shows up along with others.
6. Work together: Blasting the info of these scammers can help others avoid the same mistake. Reddit user u/fltbd compiled a list of reported companies to review.
A company being iffy on one of these steps alone may not be a call for a ban, but when they have a couple or more of these flags waving, you should reconsider working with them. Be aware that these scammers typically target smaller carriers because they think they’ll be able to outsmart a carrier without as many resources. So, you have to be extra diligent and use your best judgment. If you take the time to verify credentials, review the paperwork, and push back if something feels off, many of the fraudsters won’t bother you and go on to an easier target.
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