It seems like every year about this time, the fraudsters come out in force with new and worse tactics for stealing holiday joy. Unfortunately, the transportation industry is not immune to these kinds of tricks. You can, however, keep an eye out as a transporter for fraud schemes like those outlined below.
One typical scheme we see involves fraudsters who visit big box store websites, such as Lowes or Home Depot, pay for a large and expensive item using stolen credit card info, then select “in-store pickup” at checkout. From there, they may list the item on uShip in an effort to have someone else pick up the fraudulent goods, keeping their identity protected, but putting transporters at risk. These schemes are especially common around the holidays when specials on large items are too great for fraudsters to pass up.
In these situations, transporters often report that communication with the shipping customer can be difficult and time-consuming. Those running these schemes may continuously change their phone number, name, or even pickup and delivery locations to try to keep the process moving without being caught.
While a transporter with no idea about the situation at hand isn’t directly responsible for the fraud, they may be held accountable for being in possession of stolen goods, and possible even liable for the cost of the uShip transaction.
Tips from the Pros
Unfortunately, this type of fraud isn’t going away, but uShip’s Trust & Safety team is hard at work to spot the warning signs of these types of shipments.
The first and most important step to protecting your account is to be aware of anything that simply doesn’t feel quite right. This can’t always easily be nailed down, so it’s important to trust your gut in these situations. There are also several other steps to take to avoid carrying fraudulent goods.
- Always obtain signed proof of delivery (BOL) and take pictures before pick up and at delivery.
- Be wary of shipping customers whose phone numbers are disconnected or whose contact information changes. Before moving forward with any transaction, confirm contact information for your customers to ensure they’re legitimate.
- Pay special attention to shippers who change their pick-up or delivery locations after booking, and let uShip know if you suspect anything.
- Be wary about pick up or drop off at storage units or unattended warehouses
- If you spot suspicious pricing that seems too good to be true, avoid the transaction
Again, if something feels fishy, or just not right, contact us! We take pride in supporting all our users, both shipping customers and transporters. If you do find yourself in a position where you think you may be carrying fraudulent or stolen goods, the most important step you can take it to contact us right away. In some situations, a charge-back could be applied to your transporter account, making you seem less appealing to future customers.
The good news is, the sooner you recognize the fraud and report it to us, the more easily we can get it taken care of and protect your account, ensuring you’re not liable for any chargebacks or issues with carrying stolen goods.
Staying Protected from Fraud
Don’t forget, the most important steps you can take are to be vigilant and proactive this season and throughout the year. If something seems off, it probably is, and we want to hear from you. You can contact our expert uShip support team for help and guidance, and we’ll walk you through everything to keep your account clear and business moving smoothly.