Truckers have a lot on their plates as they navigate the nation's highways and byways week after week, and there are a lot of distractions to worry about. One that cannot be ignored is the very real threat of scams that are specifically targeted at truckers, or affect them in ways that are unique to the profession.
For that reason, pro haulers need to be aware of some of the most common scams these days, and the risks they pose. These include - but are by no means limited to - the following:
1) Robo-calls offering loans
Especially in the wake of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, these kinds of scam calls are becoming more common, according to Security Boulevard. Here's a good rule of thumb: Almost every robo-call you receive is fake, and anything that offers something almost certainly is. No reputable business or organization would reach out to you this way.
2) Identity theft attempts
Along similar lines, anyone who asks you to "confirm" sensitive information via phone, email or even in person is likely trying to commit identity theft in some form, Security Boulevard warned. Those concerns should include not only the obvious issues like your Social Security numbers and credit card details, but also things as simple as your Amazon or Apple passwords, which can be used to commit fraud as well.
3) Freight companies that don't follow industry standards
Especially when you are an owner-operator who contracts with freight companies, rather than being a dedicated employee for one such business, there are a number of driving scams you need to look out for, according to Truckers Training. Any legitimate business worth its salt would follow all necessary rules for contracting and shipping (i.e., asking you to drive shipments that are overweight or for which you are not licensed), and if you know what those are, you should be able to detect any potential jobs that aren't on the level.
4) Firms that don't use normal hiring practices
In much the same vein, make sure that when you get hired, you go through the normal processes, Truckers Training cautioned. One of the most common signs that you're dealing with a company that isn't doing things legitimately is if they don't ask you to take a drug or alcohol test before hiring you.
5) Fake officials
When you're on the road, you may occasionally be approached by scammers in person, asking you to provide them with information - or even money, according to 123 Loadboard. For example, if someone pretending to be a representative of the Department of Transportation or even law enforcement tries to get you to pay a fine for some perceived infraction, that's usually a sure sign of a scam.
6) Transfer-related scams
Finally, truckers need to keep in mind that they will never be asked to transfer money to someone with whom they have a professional relationship, like a dispatcher or shipping partner, 123 Loadboard said. Something as simple as an unexpected Venmo request from someone you think you know could be a scam that you should follow up on.
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