Trucking in this country is a huge business—roughly 3.5 million Americans make their living as drivers, and many more work in support roles that help keep them rolling, like our team of service technicians at J & M Trailer Repair. We take our role in the trucking field very seriously, which is why we feel it’s our duty and our responsibility to stay up to date on things like industry trends.
Unfortunately, this includes the common scams we’ve seen come and go over the years. As a local semi trailer repair shop in Ocala, FL, we want our customers to be protected and informed. With this in mind, here are some of the recent schemes we’ve seen, and how to avoid them.
Fake repair shop calls
This is the one that probably bothers us the most. As a local semi trailer repair shop in Ocala, FL, we’ve worked hard to build our business and our reputation over the last two decades. Customers trust us to get the job done on everything from part orders to roadside assistance, and we strive to provide a level of customer service that can’t be beat.
However, not everyone is so trustworthy. A common trucking scam is for someone to pose as a representative from the repair shop that’s fixing your semi. They’ll call you and pretend to be someone you trust, and will demand immediate payment over the phone, often via MoneyCode. They’ll commonly threaten to keep the vehicle if you don’t pay up. Don’t be shy about asking questions verifying the identity of the caller, and never give info to third parties that could validate a MoneyCode—only do your business in person.
Fake load scams
Another scheme we see a lot is the load scam, when con artists will try and defraud brokerages that have postings on load boards. They will again assume the identity of these trucking companies and then call around to book a “load” with a company that’s looking to have something hauled. Sometimes, they’ll even demand money up front, again typically using MoneyCode advances. They will then pick up the goods and then sometimes hold them hostage and demand an additional MoneyCode to “ransom” the goods. Don’t give in to pressure tactics from these scammers if they call you about a load, and always validate all information about the driver and the company that has contacted you.
This is similar to the fake repair shop scheme, but it typically involves a crook calling under the pretense of being from a towing service and demanding payment for a tow that never happened, or demanding more money than was initially agreed upon. Be sure to always request as much verification as you feel comfortable with, and don’t hesitate to get law enforcement involved with unfair or illegal business practices like these.
As a local semi trailer repair shop in Ocala, FL, we take the safety and financial stability of our customers very seriously. If you’re in doubt regarding the legality or the legitimacy of any aspect of the trucking industry, give J & M Trailer Repair a call for our insight and advice—we welcome this type of interaction with our clients!