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Staying Diligent About Freight Fraud: 2023 Q4 Trends

As we know, fraud has been on everyone’s mind in the transportation world lately. And we’re not the only ones talking about it. Recent data from showed that freight fraud incidents surged by a remarkable 400% between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2022. This alarming increase marks the highest level of such incidents since 2004, when tracking of these incidents began.

And as if that weren't enough, a new trend is on the horizon: shippers and customers are at the center of today’s latest schemes. Cassandra Gaines, CEO of Carrier Assure, an app that pioneers performance scoring software for anticipating carrier behavior, detailed this emerging issue in a LinkedIn post:

“- A fake shipper gives a broker fake shipments.
- The same fraudster steals a carrier's identity and contacts the broker for the fake shipments.
- Fraudster pretends to move the fake shipments.
- Broker pays fraudster and fraudster disappears.
- It takes the broker a few months to figure out the scam while trying to collect payment from the fake shipper”

So, how do you stay on the lookout for such scams?

Thoroughly Vet the Shipper
Prioritize due diligence by investigating Google pages, LinkedIn profiles, email domains, and phone numbers associated with the shipper. Ensure that the contact information remains consistent across these platforms, and don't hesitate to call the company directly using their published phone numbers.

Utilize DMV Reports and Experian
Running a credit check on the purported company can swiftly distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent entities.

Exercise Caution with Credit Extensions
When dealing with unfamiliar shippers, exercise caution when extending credit for shipments. It's wise to limit the number of shipments granted on credit until a trusting relationship is established.

Guard Against Carrier Fraud
Leverage valuable resources like Carrier Assure or visit the SAFER FMCSA website to verify the legitimacy of carriers and ensure they meet the necessary safety standards.

Alongside newer trends, more prevalent scams like "Double Brokering" (which we talked about recently) and "Phishing" continue to pose significant risks. In Double Brokering, a fraudster impersonates a legitimate carrier and sucures a load from a broker. Then the fraudster dupes a carrier into hauling the load and never paying the delivering carrier. In the case of Phishing, scammers employ deceptive company names, closely resembling reputable ones, often through email communication. They extract load information from brokers, ensnaring drivers into picking up loads destined for theft. To safeguard against these enduring and increasingly common scams, Sureway emphasizes proactive preventive measures as a fundamental approach.

In our previous article on preventing freight fraud, we discussed various strategies for safeguarding against freight fraud. We explored the importance of being discerning when utilizing public load boards, staying vigilant for abnormally high rates, utilizing trusted tracking tools, and relying on your instincts.

Dealing with the potential risks of freight fraud requires a high level of awareness. Fortunately, Sureway Agents benefit from a dedicated support team that assists them in identifying warning signs and steering clear of dishonest individuals. If you're interested in bringing your agency and expertise to Sureway, we welcome the opportunity to connect with you.