How to protect your business from fraud, and what to do if it happens

There has been an unfortunate upward trend in fraud against driver motor carrier (MC) number over the last few months. The best defence is often a good offence. This means being aware of incidences and making sure that you are on the lookout for fraudulent activity against your business so you can shut it down before it can damage your business.

How to prevent fraud

Be sure to treat your company information like you would your own personal information. Just like you wouldn’t give out your credit card number or your social insurance number, make sure that you only give out the necessary information to conduct the business transaction and nothing more.

Check your profile.

You can do regular check on your business profile. If you are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) you can go to  and make sure that the information there is correct.

Research and confirm.

Before entering a business relationship with a new broker or shipper, dig around and make sure they are who they say they are.  Check their website for contact information and make sure this matches the information on the Bill of Lading. But don’t trust just one source. Scammers can be good and will set up dummy websites. Check more than one source to verify.

You can check phone numbers using SAFER at If the number you were given does not match the SAFER data base then it would be a good idea to see if something fishy is going on. And if there is no phone number listed, best to hold off on contracting work until you can confirm the company is legitimate.

Check to see if the company has any reviews, or complaints against them. Additionally, check over all documents. Make sure they look legitimate. If anything seems off, call to confirm. Even insurance certificates have been known to be false.

A side note about the Bill of Lading: make sure all information is accurate and that there are no additional names or entities listed. If there is, this could be a sign of double brokering, a different, but common form of fraud in the trucking industry.

Be vigilant.

Another way to deter fraud against your business is to be vigilant. Ask your customers to be vigilant with you by keeping records of vehicles and drivers accepting loads and the tractor and trailer plate information. Double check that the name and numbers of the truck you contracted match that of the one that shows up to collect.

Major Red Flags

As per the FMSCA, be sure to stop all transactions if any of these situations occur:

  • The broker asks to you to present your self as a carrier with a different name or asks the driver to lie about their employer.
  • You question the loads destination and they tell you it’s a blind load.
  • The broker quickly agrees to pay you more- remember if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is!
  • The rate is way above the current market rates.

What to do if you do get targeted by fraud

But if the worst should happen, and your business does get targeted here are some steps you need to take as soon as possible:

  • Report incident to your local law enforcement agency
  • Be sure to notify the load boards, factoring companies, credit reporting agencies, insurance agency about you’re the fraudulent activity.
  • Write up a disclaimer with contact information for the brokerage, and be sure to get your disclaimer added to the load boards directly.
  • Try to contact any of the parties for information that had contact with the fraudster using your identity.
  • Research the shipper/receiver(s) that you are aware of thus far – Possibly contact them to notify them of the fraudulent activity.
  • Report fraud to the FMCSA. You can open a file with them at
  • You may want to use social media channels or email to inform your clients about the incident so that they can make sure all further business communications are truly from you and not the identity thief.

Unfortunately, the trucking industry seems to be huge target of different scams and fraudulent activity. Always be aware, do your research before entering into a business relationship with a new company and make sure you read over and question anything that seems off. Educate your team, your customers, and others in the industry so that scammers have fewer easy marks to rip off. By working together we can help limit the opportunities these scammers have to actually make any money.

Further reading on industry scams: