Tami Hart has your back. Just ask Mark Lavender, Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Agent Lavender has worked with Tami since 2012 to stop Comchek scams and other transportation fraud, and he he calls her "an invaluable resource in the fight against this type of crime."
"Tami is an asset to those who spend every day protecting commercial transportation," Lavender said. "In the overall effort to combat cargo theft, every single player is either part of the solution or part of the problem, even if by indifference. It's great to know that DAT Solutions chooses to be part of the solution and an ally to law enforcement, and Tami is the kind of person we hope is there to answer the call," he added.
Special Agent Lavender asked his former law enforcement colleague Keith Lewis, now VP Operations at CargoNet, to present Tami with a challenge coin. The special award recognizes Tami's support on more than 500 cases of false payments, cargo theft, and other transportation fraud. Tami provided information to assist in the investigations, some of which are still ongoing in Georgia and other states.
Keith Lewis of CargoNet presents an award to DAT's Tami Hart, on behalf of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, at the DAT User Conference in October 2017.
"A challenge coin is not something I give someone lightly, and the recipient is always someone who has aided me with investigations in a selfless and tireless manner," Lavender added, in a recent email. "In Tami's case, it is such a small token for all she has done and, I have no doubt, will continue to do for law enforcement."
Challenge coin awarded to Tami Hart by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Major Theft Unit. The inscription (right) reads: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing," a quote from 18th-century Irish-British statesman Edmund Burke.
"The award caught me totally by surprise," Tami said. "I've been working with DAT customers since 2009, helping them to use the tools in DAT CarrierWatch and the DAT Directory to avoid scams," she continued. "I first spoke with Agent Lavender because of a customer complaint in 2012, but I had no idea that my work had such an impact."
"I love this industry and I love my job," Tami asserted. "I only wish we could end this type of criminal activity completely," she said.
Tami offers her top 3 tips, to help avoid scams:
1. Use DAT tools to identify and monitor your favorite carriers or brokers. DAT Power enables you to identify your preferred carriers or brokers, so when you search for trucks or loads, you can see your favorite companies first. If you're a broker, you can also set up a watch list in DAT CarrierWatch, so you'll receive an alert if any of your carriers has a change in insurance coverage or operating authority. The DAT Directory and DAT CarrierWatch are found in your load board application, by clicking on the toolkit icon in the upper right corner of your screen. Each feature opens in a separate browser window, so keep all the tabs open to save time qualifying new companies while you search. You can also ask your best carriers to set up profiles in DAT OnBoard, so you'll have all the necessary information at your fingertips when you're ready to assign the next load.
2. Verify the caller's identity. Before you assign a load to a carrier, or accept a load from a broker, verify the identity of the person who just called you — especially if you haven't worked with that company before. "Get the caller's name and email address, and jot down the phone number you see in caller ID. You can verify all that information while the caller is still on the line:
- Check the DAT Directory or your CarrierWatch list. Is this a DAT customer? Have you done business with them before?
- If it's not a DAT customer, look them up on the SAFER web site. Does the phone number on the caller ID match the one listed for this company in SAFER?
- Verify the email provided by the caller. Does it match the format of the company's email in SAFER or the DAT Directory? (For example, many corporate emails use the person's name and the company name in this format: First.Last@Company.com.)
3. Ask for additional information. Ask the caller for the carrier's cargo insurance policy number, and either call the trucking company's official contact number for the same information, or check the insurance certificate on file in DAT CarrierWatch. If you're a carrier, ask for specific information about the broker's bond. If the policy numbers match, this caller is more likely to be legitimate.
"If the phone number in your Caller ID, the email, and the other information provided by the caller match the company's contact info in SAFER or the DAT Directory, that's a great start," Tami advised. "If the information doesn't match, call the company's official phone number and ask if they have an employee by the name provided. If there's no match, this could be a scam," she said.