It's sad but true: Truckers are often not just affected by scammers hoping to rip them off, but specifically targeted. There are plenty of reasons why this is true, but the most straightforward is that in the world of freight it's "go, go, go" and there's not always time to give potentially fraudulent claims their due consideration.
With that in mind, truckers would be wise to learn the following tips for how they can best identify when someone is trying to rip them off:
1) Remember the golden rule of offers
You've heard the expression, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," and that's a lesson that will serve you well in a life on the road, according to Truckstop.com. Simply put, offers that appear to save you money on something of high value or that is in high demand, or which purport to pay larger sums of money than you would normally expect are going to require a much closer look.
2) Read the fine print on anything you sign
Unfortunately, it's not just rogue criminals that can try to rip off truckers — it's entire organizations as well, Truckstop.com said. For that reason, if you are doing business with a company, make sure you thoroughly read the fine print on any agreements you sign to make sure you are not being put at risk.
3) Double-check identities and addresses for any businesses you deal with
When you are going from Point A to Point B, you should be a little more conscious of who you're dealing with at each end of the journey, so that you are sure these companies are who they say they are, according to Reliable Permit Solutions. The good news is that it's easy to verify such information with a simple web search.
4) Document everything you can
It's always a good idea to get everything you can in writing, from authorization of basic transactions to every last detail of your agreements, Reliable Permit Solutions added. That way, there's no ambiguity about who's responsible for what, and how much money you are owed.
5) Don't give into undue pressure
When you are asked to make a decision that seems a little fishy, such as signing a contract immediately, that could be a sign that you're being pressured into a potential scam, Reliable Permit Solutions further advised. For that reason, when you start feeling that pressure, take a step back and think about what might be going on.
6) Get as much information as possible
The more you can do to get the full information about a shipment, companies involved in a transaction and so on, the better off you will be to avoid potential scams and legal entanglements, according to DAT Freight & Analytics. Unfortunately, practices like double-brokering are still somewhat common and a little more info than usual will help you avoid them.
7) Make sure all your information is up to date
Finally, many scammers contact truckers directly using older information, and if you keep yours updated, you can spot a scam before it starts, DAT Freight & Analytics cautioned. For instance, if they talk to you about a company you haven't worked for in a few years, that's a good indicator something is amiss.
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