The providers of the eCapital Fuel Card, EFS or Electronic Funds Source, came out with some helpful EFS scam prevention tips to take before issuing an EFS MoneyCode over the phone. While we don’t like hearing about these types of fraudsters preying on our freight factoring clients, we do like sharing valuable information like this in an effort to help keep our trucking clients safe and secure.
We treat our clients like our own employees, as an extension of eCapital, and we hope you take a moment to review these truck fraud schemes and more importantly the tips for preventing fraud that follow.
- The Phoney Repair Shop. In this fraud scenario, someone poses as a repair shop performing service on your vehicle. The fraudster will provide a vehicle number, license plate number, and a driver’s name and demand immediate payment via MoneyCode or threaten to keep the vehicle. EFS has even seen cases where the fraudster generates a phoney invoice and emails it to the victim.
- The Fake Tow. Similar to the repair shop scam, many fraudsters will demand payment for a tow that never occurred and will demand immediate payment or they won’t release the vehicle to the driver or repair shop.
- The Driver in Need. Some fraudsters target trucking companies with large driver pools by posing as the actual driver. This is a common truck stop scam. The scammer uses information they have likely overheard by loitering around truck stops and often engaging the actual driver in conversation. The fraudster will call the dispatcher to request a MoneyCode for a fuel or repair advance using the information they have gleaned from the legitimate driver to obtain a MoneyCode.
- The DOT Inspector/Police. These perpetrators pretend to be with the Department of Transportation or a police officer on-site during a DOT inspection and demand an immediate payment for a fictitious violation via MoneyCode in order to have the truck released.
- The Load Scam. More organized / professional fraudsters prey on brokerages that have postings on load boards out in the field. Fraudsters will steal the identity of a legitimate trucking company and use that information to falsely book loads and coerce MoneyCode advances under false pretences. The fraudsters will typically hold the load hostage or dump it off at a remote location in order to collect a MoneyCode as “ransom”.
How to avoid being a victim to trucking fraud scams
To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of the common trucking fraud tactics above, EFS offers some sound guidance and guidelines to follow:
- Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings and avoid divulging any information to third parties that could be utilized to validate a MoneyCode.
- Validate the incoming phone number/caller information against a public listing or what’s on file in that particular driver’s profile.
- Validate the incoming phone number for the area code in comparison to the truck’s GPS coordinates or the driver’s current trip route.
- Request validation of other information not clearly visible on the truck, such as the DOT number, employee ID and/or driver name.
- EFS customers that are brokers should keep a close eye on address and phone number changes for companies they have on file or new companies requesting to work with them, as these are often the scenarios that slip under the radar.
- Always request a printed invoice with a detailed listing of the services provided or to be provided on the service provider’s letterhead with a valid address and phone number. A legitimate business will be able to do this. ALWAYS validate the business name, address, and phone number online or through a valid directory AND contact the driver to have the driver validate the information as well.
- If possible, instruct the driver to obtain the MoneyCode and pay the third party independently. It is never advisable to issue a MoneyCode directly to a third party. Make sure the driver is instructed to obtain a receipt with a detailed listing of the services obtained on the service provider’s letterhead with a valid address and phone number.
- Most importantly – Always speak with the driver whose vehicle is involved before issuing the funds. NEVER accept a “handover” or “warm transfer” to the driver. Call the driver directly on the number you have on file for the driver separately and apart from the service provider or caller requesting the MoneyCode.
- One of the primary tactics that fraudsters utilize is the “pressure” tactic. They demand payment IMMEDIATELY or else will not release the truck or driver. Whenever the caller is in a rush or tries to pressure you for payment, ALWAYS be suspicious. There are few situations that are so urgent that you won’t have time to properly verify the party requesting payment or the services that they are to provide online and with the driver.
- Consider providing the MoneyCode directly to the mobile communications device of the driver.
Keeping MoneyCode funds in your hands and keeping them out of the hands of fraudsters is important. We’re happy to share these fraud tactics and prevention tips provided to us from EFS and hope that your life on the road is safe and sound!