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How Agents can Avoid Freight Fraud: 4 Smart Tactics for Staying Safe

Freight scams have been on the rise, increasingly reported across the nation. Not only do they violate state and federal laws, but they also result in drivers and carriers not getting paid or not having insurance coverage for damaged loads. So, what can an agent do to protect yourself and your cargo? Here are four things to look for in order to help steer you away from potential scams.

Be Selective When Using Public Load Boards
There a many load boards available for carriers and brokers but they don’t all do a good job vetting the users of their platform. It is up to the broker to be selective and only use load boards that they trust and know. Choose load boards that can integrate with your system so the information is as current as it can be. From a carrier's perspective you should identify some of the brokers you work with most and if they have a private load board, use that whenever possible.

Watch for Unusually High Rates
When rates are seen far outside the usual market, this can become a large red flag for carriers and could signify the predatory broker's intent to pay. As a carrier you need to ensure you review the rates and load instructions and watch for unusual activity, such as using a different carrier's name for check-in or altering the load documents. Always verify the broker or trucking company's MC/USDOT number on the FMCSA's website.

Use Tracking Tools
There are several tracking tools available and most integrate with the most popular Transportation Management Systems that are used today. As a broker it is important that you get drivers to accept tracking prior to picking up the load. That will help weed out the bad actors because they don’t want the broker to have the actual driver’s cell phone number. 

Trust Your Instincts
Use trusted carriers only, keep your shipping information confidential, and have your shipment inspected before it hits the road. It might seem basic but remember not to share your shipping information with anyone who doesn't need to know it. This includes the contents, value, and shipper and consignee addresses.

Agents have a lot to be aware of when it comes to the potential for freight fraud. Thankfully, Sureway Agents have an entire team of support behind them to help them keep an eye out for red flags and avoid bad actors. If you want to bring your agency and experience to Sureway, we’d love to talk.