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Identifying Common Transportation Scams in the USA: Stay Informed and Aware

Identifying Common Transportation Scams in the USA: Stay Informed and Aware

As a transportation company, it is important to be aware of the common scams that can occur in the industry. Fraudulent activities can cause significant financial loss and reputation damage. Therefore, it is crucial to stay informed and aware of these scams and take necessary precautions to protect your business.

There are numerous transportation scams happening in the USA, and in this blog, we will be discussing some of the common ones which will help you stay aware and safe while transporting your load.


One prevalent scam involves fraudulent flatbed freight companies that claim to offer unbeatable rates or immediate services. Performing due diligence and verifying the legitimacy of such companies, especially those advertising as flatbed freight companies near me or flatbed haulers near me, is essential to avoid falling victim to their deceptive practices. Similarly, flatbed heavy haulers or even a reputable flatbed moving company can inadvertently become targets.


Fuel Advance Scam


One of the most prevalent scams in the transportation industry is the fuel advance scam. Scammers steal a legitimate trucking company’s identity, including MC number and insurance information, to book loads and secure advances from brokerage companies. They then request a fuel advance and disappear, leaving the actual driver and carrier high and dry.


To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, only issue a monetary advance if it is absolutely necessary. EFS checks should never be issued to a carrier unfamiliar to you. Further, call the contact number provided in Safer or Carrier 411 and confirm the carrier is booked on the load in question. Never issue a fuel advance to a new carrier on the first load they are running for your business.


Double Brokering


Double brokering is another common scam in the transportation industry. It occurs when a customer or broker books a carrier to move a load, and that carrier then brokers out the load to a third party without the customer or broker’s knowledge or approval. This can cause a lack of contract and insurance for the carrier in possession of the freight and a lack of control that can cause billing issues.


To avoid this scam, always ask for a copy of the shipper’s Bill of Lading with the carrier’s and shipper’s name and signature. Speak with the driver, not just the dispatcher, and confirm which company the driver works for. Additionally, ensure that you have a clear contract with the carrier and that all parties involved are aware of the agreement terms.


Fake Repair Shop or Tow Service


Trucks often require repairs or tow services while moving a load. Scammers take advantage of this by providing false information about the vehicle, license plate number, and driver’s name and demanding that the broker pays for the repairs or emergency tow. They may even submit a phony invoice and threaten to hold the load hostage if the payment is denied.


To avoid this scam, always place the cost of repairs and tow services back on the trucking company and not the broker. If a request for payment is made, confirm the identity of the repair shop or tow service provider by checking online reviews or calling the number listed. You can also verify the validity of the invoice by contacting the trucking company to whom the load belongs.


Fake DOT Inspector/Police


Scammers may impersonate DOT inspectors or police officers on-site during a DOT inspection and demand immediate payment for a fictitious violation to have the truck released. This scam targets drivers or carriers who are inexperienced and unaware of their rights and responsibilities.


To avoid this scam, educate your drivers and carriers on their rights and responsibilities during a DOT inspection. If someone claiming to be a DOT inspector requests payment for a violation, ask for their identification and verify it with the state or federal agency responsible for the inspection. Additionally, request a copy of the violation report to verify its authenticity before making any payments.


Best Practices For Avoiding Fraud


Given the prevalence of transportation scams, it is essential to implement best practices to protect your business. Here are some tips to consider:


– Verify the identity of the carrier by checking their MC number and insurance information before issuing any payment or advance.

– Request a picture of the truck at the shipper’s facility to confirm the MC number on the side of the truck.

– Require a copy of the shipper’s Bill of Lading with the carrier’s and shipper’s name and signature.

– Speak with the driver, not just the dispatcher. Confirm what company the driver works for.

– Don’t issue the total fuel advance at one time. Many companies have a maximum amount of 40% as a capped amount for fuel advances. If you have a load going cross country, then you may issue smaller advances while in transit each day up to the maximum amount allowed by your organization.


Transportation is an integral part of our daily lives – whether it’s commuting to work, moving to a new place, or transporting goods. However, with the increasing popularity of transportation services and the prevalence of online transactions, scams have become a growing concern. Scammers come up with new methods to cheat consumers out of their hard-earned money.


This blog aims to educate readers about common transportation scams in the USA and provide tips on how to identify and avoid them.


Importance of Safe and Reliable Transportation


Transportation is crucial for the overall development of any country. Safe and reliable transportation services ensure that people can travel efficiently, goods can be moved seamlessly, and businesses can function smoothly. However, transportation scams can lead to the disruption of these essential services and result in monetary losses, inconveniences, and even safety hazards for the consumers.


Growing Concern of Transportation Scams


Transportation scams come in many forms and can occur through ride-sharing, public transportation, moving, and online marketplaces. The scammers often use deception to lure people into their traps, such as offering discounted rates, fake identity, route manipulations, and hidden fees. These scams can lead to significant losses, including money, time, and personal data.


Types of Common Transportation Scams


Ride-Sharing Scams: Fake drivers and vehicles are common in the ride-sharing industry. Scammers may use stolen or fake identities and vehicles to pass as legitimate drivers. They may also manipulate the ride’s route to overcharge passengers.


Public Transportation Scams: Counterfeit tickets and passes are common in public transportation systems. Thieves may also engage in pickpocketing and theft.


Moving Scams: Fraudulent moving companies may hold people’s belongings hostage or charge hidden fees. Consumers may end up with lost or damaged items with little to no recourse.


Online Marketplace Scams: Bogus vehicle listings and non-delivery of purchased items are common in online marketplaces. Scammers may pose as sellers to trick people into sending money without receiving anything in return.


Red Flags to Watch Out For


Consumers can protect themselves from transportation scams by being aware of the red flags. These signs include a lack of identification, suspicious requests for payment, pressure to make quick decisions, and poor communication and documentation.


How to Protect Yourself


It’s important to stay vigilant while using transportation services to protect yourself from scams. Consumers can verify transportation providers, use reputable platforms, research moving companies, and secure online transactions.


What to Do If You Fall Victim

If you fall victim to a transportation scam, it’s important to contact authorities, report scams to relevant platforms, monitor financial accounts, and seek legal assistance if necessary.


Additional Resources


To learn more about transportation scams and how to protect yourself, visit reputable sources like the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Transportation.


In conclusion, staying informed and aware of common transportation scams can help prevent consumers from falling victim to fraudulent schemes. By following the tips and being mindful of the warning signs, we can protect ourselves and others from transportation scams.


As a transportation company, it is crucial to protect your business from scams and fraud by implementing best practices and staying informed and aware of the different types of scams. By educating yourself and your team, you can minimize the risk of financial loss and reputation damage.


At Heavy Haul Transporting, we offer reliable and trusted flatbed hauling services for oversized loads and heavy equipment movers. Visit our website or call us on (844) 337-4909