How To Escape Ordinary Car Shipping Scams
Do you need auto transport services, but are you afraid you might fall for a scammer? Given the number of scammers operating in this industry, this is a valid concern. Although it is easy to arrange auto shipping services online, it increases the risk that you will fall for a scam. There are many legitimate and reliable auto shipping companies. Knowing what to look out for when selecting a company to handle your important shipment is easy. Here are some tips to help you avoid common scams in car shipping.
1. Verify Proper Licensing & Registration
All vehicle transporters must be registered with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A USDOT number and a motor carrier number are also required. When speaking to potential companies, be sure to request this information. The FMCSA website can also be used to verify this information. This website will not only provide these credentials but also information about the history of the transporter.
2. Pay attention to the website
Scammers know you will search online for auto transport and they will make fake websites to get your business. You will be able to see the scams on most car shipping websites if you look closely. These are some warning signs when looking at a website.
-The site appears poorly designed and has been thrown together
The site has very little information about the service.
It is one page.
There are misspelled and typos.
-There is an email address, but not a phone number.
-The site doesn't list credentials such as MC# and USDOT#.
3. Check the Reviews
Be sure to read a lot of reviews before you make a decision about a shipping company. Start by looking at reviews on Yelp and Google Business. Avoid companies with low reviews as they could be an indication that reviews are fake. A company's track record is not perfect. However, it is not a good idea to choose a company that has many negative reviews. It is best to choose something reasonable and in the middle. If there are no reviews, it is likely that the company is not legit.
4. Avoid super low pricing
It's possible that the price is too good to be true. To entice customers, some companies will offer prices significantly lower than the competition. If you read the fine print carefully, you'll see that there are additional fees for basic services. Some companies even offer low estimates in order to pressure you into paying a deposit. You are then at the broker's mercy. This industry doesn't allow for price fluctuations. Companies that offer very low rates are likely to scam you or have a bad reputation and no one should deal with them.
5. You can check the payment methods
Scammers will try to get you to pay in an unusual manner, such as through Western Union or Moneygram. Because wire transfers cannot be traced, this is why scammers will ask you to pay in an unusual way. Legitimate companies, on the other hand, will accept cashier check, debit, bank transfers, or credit cards.
6. Pay attention to the contract
To ensure you fully understand the contract, it is important to read it. Unexpected fines and fees could result if you sign a contract that you have not read. You must ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions, including liability, exclusions, limitations, and costs. Ask for clarification if you have any questions.
7. Talk to the driver
Reputable car shipping companies will give you details about the driver, including contact information. Customers should have the ability to reach the driver to ask questions and confirm pickup and delivery times.