Buyer Beware Of Shipping Scams For Heavy Equipment
Fraudulent behavior and scams are a problem in any industry, particularly those that have a high level of sales like auto transport services. Shipping heavy equipment can be more expensive than shipping standard vehicles. This increases the risk of scammers and other bad actors. There are a few ways to distinguish the wheat from the chaff and ensure you're dealing with a legitimate heavy-equipment shipper. We'll be discussing some common scams in auto transport and how to avoid them.
The Name Game
It is now possible for companies to pretend to be another company in the same industry through the internet. This trend can be found if you do enough research on shipping companies. These fraudulent companies often use a name and a web address that are very similar to another company. They may even try to replicate their website. You can avoid this by verifying who you are speaking to and other details about the company. The tips at the end of this paragraph will help you avoid falling for this scam.
The Price Hike
This scam, also known as "bait-and-switch", is used to lure customers into paying a company. It offers a ridiculously low price. After receiving the initial payment, the company will request additional payment. They may cite a fake reason to increase the price, which is often after the vehicle has been delivered. Talking to several shipping companies can help you avoid falling for this scam. This will give you an idea of the range of prices that should be charged. You should be wary of any company that offers a price that is significantly lower than the rest.
Tips To Avoid Being Scammed
Let's now discuss the most common scams and how to avoid them. There are many other types of fraud that can be committed in car shipping history. However, these tips should help you to identify the most suspect.
- Verify the Physical address - A part of the "name games" scam is creating a website that does not include a physical address. This is usually because they don’t have a physical address. They just create a website that looks like another site to steal some of their business or scam potential customers out. To ensure that they are legitimate, verify the physical address of any heavy equipment shipping company.
- Search for Companies on FMCSA – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website allows you to search for official information about companies. This includes any other names, operating authority, safety history, as well as any other details.
- Ask questions when you call - Before you sign anything with a heavy equipment shipper. You'll be able to gauge their customer service, and confirm the information you find online. It is also a good idea to obtain the names of people you have spoken to in order to be able to refer to them later.
- Call again later with follow-up questions - After several days, contact companies and ask for the same person. It is a good idea to feel out, but a reputable company will have staff that can answer your questions competently.
- Only Use a Traceable Payment Method. Any payment request should be possible to process via a debit or credit card. Untraceable payment methods such as wire transfers or money orders are not acceptable. This will likely result in you losing any chance of recovering your payment. There are protections for customers who use credit cards or debit cards. These protections will protect you from any vehicle shipping scams.