The transportation of goods is an essential business, but it’s also a complicated one. The logistics of getting multiple items to multiple destinations means there’s increasing competition between trucking companies.
And where there’s competition, there’s also the risk of fraudsters wanting to take advantage of the situation.
But that’s not all. The Covid-19 pandemic has also triggered a rise in fraud and scams within the trucking industry. It seems there’s more to coronavirus than the health risks…
Unfortunately, just like every other, the trucking industry has a good and a bad side to contend with.
Not having the right information or taking your eye off the ball can have serious consequences. But, forewarned is forearmed. Being aware of the tactics used in trucking scams is going to help you avoid becoming a victim of a trucking scam.
So, here’s a list of five trucking scams – and more importantly, how to avoid them…
1 Cargo theft
Possibly the first trucking scam that comes to mind is the theft of cargo. Scammers often target high-value goods, but we are seeing more food and beverage items being stolen as well. After all, if scammers steal something, they need to be able to sell it. People might not have the cash for a fancy TV, but they’ll happily buy a slab of beer! These crimes can happen in broad daylight, right under people’s noses, but often go unnoticed. A lack of secure parking and the use of curtain-siders are often blamed for the frequency of these crimes, so truckers need to be extra vigilant when leaving their truck in quieter areas.
There is a growing volume of digital crime being seen within the trucking industry. The combination of large amounts of available credit, weak IT management, and the distraction of Covid-19 has meant cybersecurity hasn’t been as high a priority for the trucking industry as it should be. The trucking industry may have been around a long time before the digital age, but that doesn’t make it immune from ransomware attacks and other cyber breaches. Trucking companies need to train drivers and back-office staff on how to protect themselves and the company from a breach and make sure data is protected with strong passwords.
3 Covid-19 business loan fraud
Emergency loans for small businesses affected by the pandemic have been a lifeline for many. However, these schemes are also vulnerable to abuse by those involved in organised crime. Additional anti-fraud measures have been put into place to reduce this risk. Also, trucking companies need to make sure that when applying for this support, they do not inadvertently hand over sensitive data to fraudsters posing as officials.
4 Identity theft
Victims of a so-called repackaging scam could find their company name being stolen and the thieves offering fake recruitment opportunities. One trucking company that fell victim to this is US-based Westerman’s Express. It involved scammers offering people money for work-from-home roles at the company, stealing bank details in the process. Not only do the individuals lose out, the company can also lose the trust of its customers. Truck drivers can also be victims of identity theft, so it’s important to keep personal data safe and always so no to additional requests for personal information.
The best thing you can do is stay vigilant and look out for one another. And remember that for all the trucking scams around, the good outweighs the bad in the trucking industry.