When you work with a broker or carrier for the first time, you might feel nervous. You could be asking yourself: "Is this the beginning of a great working relationship, or am I about to get scammed?"
There are three important ways you can protect yourself from cargo theft and other scams, says Tami Hart, Compliance and Customer Support Manager at DAT Solutions.
1. Verify the caller's identity. Before you assign a load to a carrier, especially one you've never worked with before, you need to verify the identity of the dispatcher who just called you. "Get the caller's name, put him or her on hold, and then look up the company in the DAT Directory or on the FMCSA web site. If the phone number in your Caller ID matches the company's contact info, that's a great start," Tami advised. "If the phone numbers don't match, call the company's official phone number and ask if they have an employee by that name. If there's no match, this could be a scam," she said.
2. Ask for additional information. Ask the caller for the carrier's cargo insurance policy number, and either call the company's official contact number for the same information, or check the insurance certificate on file in DAT CarrierWatch. If the policy numbers match, this caller is more likely to be legitimate.
3. Use DAT tools, to identify your favorite carriers and monitor them.