As the world grows more and more technologically advanced, we are seeing a rise in fraud and scams via digital transactions — especially in the freight forwarding industry.
Fraudulent freight forwarders are on the rise, with the majority of scam victims being importers attempting to work without hiring an authentic freight forwarder.
Despite this, there are many legitimate freight forwarders to choose from, and there are strategies you can utilize to confirm their authenticity before moving forward with them!
Types of Scams in the Freight Forwarding Industry
If a freight forwarder offers you a rate that is too low to be true, it’s more than likely a scam. This scam involves packing and shipping a client’s cargo, but rather than receiving a bill of landing from the forwarder, the client will receive a ransom letter demanding a sum of money.
Another popular scam in the freight forwarding industry involves an email explaining a fraudulent change in bank details. These scammers hack the accounts of others — such as freight forwarders — to send these emails.
High-Value Cargo Theft
If the cargo you are importing is of high value, theft is a common issue you may encounter. Scammers will offer low rates for high-value cargo, but rather than completing the import, they steal the shipment. Once the scammer has the cargo in their possession, they will often vanish and be impossible to contact again.
Some scammers will impersonate a reputable freight forwarding company to steal importers’ money. For this scam to occur, the scammer will create a fake website with the same name as a legitimate freight forwarding company before engaging in fraudulent exchanges with clients.
How to Avoid Scams in the Freight Forwarding Industry
Thankfully, there are many reputable and reliable freight forwarding companies like Dedola - International Freight Forwarder. With fast and reliable shipping, companies like Dedola offer custom freight forwarding solutions and competitive pricing. Here are some tips to avoid falling for a scam.
Meet In Person or Via Video
It’s a good idea to meet in person or via video chat to ensure freight forwarders are real. It gives you a chance to ask questions and gauge authenticity. If the person you’re meeting with can’t give you a straight answer to a simple question, it’s best to steer clear.
Do Your Research
The best way to ensure a fraudulent freight forwarding company is not scamming you is to do your research.
Spend time examining the company’s website and asking for recommendations and references from others in the industry.
It is also a good idea to check all of a company’s social media accounts to ensure consistency. Reading reviews can also be helpful!
Be Realistic About Prices
Familiarize yourself with rates to ensure freight forwarding companies offer you a realistic service price. You should also take the time to ask about hidden charges so scammers are unable to surprise you with extra fees.