As business owners, cost saving is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and profitable business. As income fluctuates, there is increased emphasis on saving money, reducing expenses, and realizing a profit.
One sure way to avoid unexpected expenditures is to mitigate any potential of falling victim to one or more of the many fraudulent scams that are taking place in the industry.
Truckstop.com receives several reports daily from clients who have fallen victim to a number of different fraudulent activities. These scams include stolen identities, stolen freight, fuel advance scams, and more. With the information contained in these reports we post alerts on our Website and write articles like this one in an effort to warn and educate our customers and the industry of these fraudulent activities. Our alerts and articles include information on how the different scams work and how they are executed. Likewise, we hear from many companies who claim to have successfully avoided being victimized as a result of the tools and communication we are providing.
One of the most common scams currently being reported to our Security Department is a Fuel Advance Scam. Scammers are posing as legitimate carriers and booking loads with unsuspecting brokers who are provided with falsified BOLS as proof of load pick-ups that never happened in an effort to secure fraudulent fuel advances.
The end result is the identity theft of innocent carriers and revenue loss by unsuspecting brokers who issue advances to the scammers. To avoid the risk of being victimized, many brokers are not issuing advances to carriers with whom they have no prior experience. Brokers are also issuing several advances in much smaller amounts to reduce the loss in the event of a scam.
Whether you’re a broker, carrier, shipper, freight-forwarder, or any combination thereof, Truckstop.com provides a host of useful tools and resources designed to help keep your business safe and to improve your overall bottom line.
One such tool currently provided at no cost to Truckstop.com clients is a vetting service referred to as “Agent History Checks.” Good hiring decisions are of great importance to any business. You want to make sure the individuals you bring into your organization are good reputable people that will help your company prosper. You want to make sure they have a suitable history and that they are not banned from having access to Truckstop.com because of an unfavorable past. By providing a limited amount of information, our security team will conduct a working history report on individuals you are considering for employment as company employees or as agents. We’ll gather information based on the data provided, to see if the individuals you anticipate hiring have a good history within our system and verify their stated work history. You can request an “Agent History Check” by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many brokers and carriers do not take the time to read the contracts they accept through their signatures. This often results in fees that are deducted from settlements leaving no recourse to recoup lost revenues. Contract terms for detention, truck ordered not used, late deliveries and lumper fees are some common examples. When a broker does not state their contract terms, industry standards apply and are effectively enforced. On the other hand, when terms are clearly stated and accepted through the carrier’s signature, agreed upon contract terms prevail and must be honored. While a complete review of all contracts take a little time, it can save you money and provide a clear understanding of what’s expected by all parties.
Another security measure to consider is to work with factoring companies that offer a non-recourse option.
While the rates are generally around 2% higher than non-recourse factoring rates, it assures the carrier of payment on freight invoices with the factoring company taking all the risk. Even when they are not paid the carrier is guaranteed payment.
These suggestions coupled with the utilization of other cost saving tools provided by Truckstop.com are a broker and carrier’s best approach in protecting themselves, their business and their bottom line. Tools such as CreditStop, Carrier Performance Reporting (CPR), FuelDesk and RateMate are “must haves.” They are designed to help you vet those you choose to do business with and provide good decision-making tools to assure competitive rates, route optimization and negotiation strength.
For more information about these and other tools provided by Truckstop.com, email email@example.com, or give us a call at 800-203-2540. And remember, if you have been a victim of identity theft or a scam, please contact our Security Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Assurance Services