Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

This is now the hottest cargo theft scam

| October 22, 2013

There’s nothing new about cargo theft. What is relatively new — especially fast-growing in the past four years or so — is the method of posing as a trucker to pick up freight at a shipper.

The leading method of cargo theft continues to be stealing an unattended trailer and unloading elsewhere.
The leading method of cargo theft continues to be stealing an unattended trailer and unloading elsewhere.

In fact, experts say it will become the dominant type of cargo theft, says Roxana Hegeman, writing for Associated Press

Overdrive’s sister publication, Commercial Carrier Journal, has recently written about best practices for drivers and best ways to spec a truck to deter cargo theft.

Overdrive also reported on cargo theft in depth in 2010.

As our stories and the AP story make clear, the depth of information online is making cargo theft much easier and more precise. Thieves can learn where manufacturers of prime black markets goods, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics and food, are located. By visiting load boards, they can learn about current loads. More recently, with the rise of social media, they can occasionally learn details of a load if a trucker is too careless with sharing information.

The internet also makes possible one of the main ploys in fictitious pickups, as Hegeman describes:

“Thieves assume the identity of a trucking company, often by reactivating a dormant Department of Transportation carrier number from a government website for as little as $300. That lets them pretend to be a long-established firm with a seemingly good safety record. The fraud often includes paperwork such as insurance policies, fake driver’s licenses and other documents.

“Then the con artists offer low bids to freight brokers who handle shipping for numerous companies. When the truckers show up at a company, everything seems legitimate. But once driven away, the goods are never seen again.”

  • guest

    Fake Drivers License..You said it! The Coveted CDL we had to get years ago isnt worth a piece of dog crap.
    FMCSA is doing a fine job arent they? We have THIEVES and foreigners running Wild in AMERICA posing as AMERICAN CITIZENS qualified to drive…….and Now a multitiude of THIEVES presenting some WORTHLESS “CDL” to the shipper. Whay does that ignorant Ann Ferro have to say about THIS crap?? THIS is the PISS OFF…we AMERICAN CITIZENS who ARE qualified and cerified and documented and in every COP data Base…..are sitting in Truckstops along side “Truckers” who are NOT here legally and have NO right to drive an 18 wheeler….and NOW also the CROOKS know they can present this FAKE “CDL” to damn near anybody and drive off with 500k worth of merchandise. COPS are so Concerned with petty B.S. that these Crimes and Foreign Invasion into TRUCKING is taking place right under their NOSES!!!

  • gary

    It’s called America being PC! Sorry to say but I think our country is going the way of the Romans.

  • Michael Mark McFadden

    When a “con artist trucker” shows up at the dock of a shipper; It is the shippers responsibility to check the trucker and his company before giving him the freight. Something like this happened at a company I used to work for. A disgruntled former employee was mad at the company because he felt he was wrongly terminated. He showed up with his own truck the next day at the dock of one of its regular customers to pick up one of their scheduled runs. The unsuspecting customer who knew that former employee loaded up his truck with a truckload of freight and sent him on his way before the carrier’s “real” truck driver got there to get it. The carrier and the shipper called the police and demanded that the trucker be arrested for theft of cargo. The police told them they cannot charge the trucker with a crime. That is because the shipper willingly gave him the freight and sent him on his way. The carrier ended up paying out a large sum of money to the shipper to avoid losing them as a customer.

  • Topper

    I agree.

  • Jerry

    B.S. …more then likely…theft of truck or trailer.
    Budweiser moment; here’s to you…ol master of pun…your supervisor paid you for this work.

  • godfearingrebel

    Umm maybe you should read mein kamf and the writings of karl marks. We’re going the way of russia.

  • 5Herb7

    I pull a food tanker. Nobody is to hot to steal a load of butter milk. Lol

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Mein Kampf is about as anti comunst as you can get , marks on the other hand is the father of it ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    I bet that carrier wished they never screwed over that guy lol

  • Ken

    Sometimes it makes you wonder if keeping things on the up and up is really worth it. The hard working drivers that have been corralled into the pen as to make us easier targets for new rules and regs that only benefit the leeches that work in Gov buildings behind a desk. Behind a desk, likely without a window sheltered from the world and all of it’s “realities” that the rest of us experience on a day to day basis. They can hardly drive the pen flicks in the right direction and sign/pass laws that actually help the O/O’s that pump the blood, sweat and tears into this industry and apparently are the only ones with the heart to push on and believe in something more than the decimated values and ideals of these so-called officials/leeches.

    When is the last time they drove a rig, or much less rode shotgun with a veteran in one for days on end looking for scraps/loads to make ends meat in order to provide for their family whilst avoiding DOT and their DOGS on patrol looking out only for the interest of those whom sign their checks.

    You think the people whom are illegal, corrupt and immoral are the root of the problem my friends but you are gravely mistaken. Look to thine own self’s, I mean take a gooooooood look in the mirror and swallow that pride down and quench it with the bitter taste of irony as the picture becomes a little clearer and you finally see your reflection. We are the problem as much as anything else, the indifference of our so called brethren and sisters out on the road trying desperately to look out for #1/themselves.

    I don’t know about you all, but I was raised the old fashion way. You got a problem, fix it. The lawmakers are obviously the problem, they uphold a broken system riddled with loopholes and blind spots due to their ignorance and lack of education (only found in the school of hard knocks) pertaining to this industry. Not only do they half ass it, but they basically throw S*#T up on the wall and see if it sticks. I used to do that too, but then again I was a teenager full of piss and vinegar not concerned with the repercussions of my actions and with little regard to how said decisions might affect others around me. But I grew up and left that all behind to be a man and lead by example by proof of my decisions and actions. I’m not perfect, I’m a big dirty/smelly trucker with oil and grit under my chipped fingernails from the last roadside repair I just performed because I knew it had to get done….so I did it. I’ve never needed anyone to tell me my truck needs to be safe or comply because my life and getting home to those who love me is a higher priority to me than to some tin badge wearing monkey who doesn’t have the first clue about getting under a truck and torquing it up with some wrenches.

    Put your nose to the wind folks and smell the sweet scent of malevolence in the air, it’s coming down on you with great weight and it bears the name of justice veiled in hypocrisy. Wake up and open your eyes, your not in control of your lives or well being anymore. Your being fed BS and are told it tastes bitter because it’s good for you. I remember the ol Mary Poppins song about the spoon full of sugar, well the sugar has been substituted with mindless propaganda and empty promises.

    WAKE UP! If we’re not to stand together and make our own changes, then we will fall alone one by one at the steps of the slaughter house. If you don’t care then just close the browser and forget you even read this, and enjoy the wake of destruction of our once admired and respected trade. Yes…..once upon a time there existed truckers whom were united, but now there’s only a shadow left of what they once were long ago.

    Thank you all for allowing me to vent and sidestep along the way around different subject matter, lol.

    L8s….

    Ken@CCT……a simple man/trucker.

  • Lucas

    Can they can spell better ?????

  • jim stewart

    Well all one has to do today is walk in any truck stop & try spot who is a driver. Just a driver, not a professional driver, I’m talking just a driver.. You would have better luck walking through a shopping mall or in many cases a mega garden shop! It frightens me sometimes watching who or how many climb out of a cab at the pumps thinking I’m sharing the road with what the state has deemed to give a license to…

  • Foreigner :)

    What does Cargo Theft have to do with foreigners? Some people are so pathetically hateful that they have to put in their worthless opinion of some group in any spot possible! Pick your battles Mr.Guest! And, please learn how to spell, I am a foreigner and even I am noticing your misspells!

  • Debieve

    Well. this is spoken by a true trucker! Finally someone with sense in his head! An old timer like me will be able to spot such truths! The rest of you whiners can suck it up in this industry today and go about your business as you all will do..Blindly believing you make a difference..One big happy family my ass!

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  • mousekiller

    I agree with you. We the truckers for the most part are to blame for today’s situation in this industry. we have allowed the FMCSA, CARB, EPA, and the OBR to be the hue and cry of so called safety zealots to CONTROL trucking. We sat by an did nothing for years as Trucking companies lowered their hiring standards to 0 and hired drivers with little or no driving skills, no personal pride and absolutely no capacity for taking responsibility. We sat by and did nothing. We did not tell our company officers what we thought. We bitched about it over coffee but never to the right people. We did not continue to stand together as one and we are now paying for it.

  • PattyCakes

    It has nothing to do with Illegals … Illegal Aliens have nothing to do with …. umm …. Illegal Aliens either, it’s all a figment of our illegal, redneck, taxpaying imagination.

    If Police Records contain info that have perps with certain ethnic names in a area highly populated by a certain ethnicity, well, I’m certain that is also a figment of our collective imaginations.

    Ahem … forgive me while I request you blow you PC College Boy Propaganda out your butt.

    Don’t forget to hit me with that ‘ Downer ‘ schoolboy.

  • localnet

    Good for them… I remember the day when loads used to pay for more than a cup of coffee. Bottom line, you get what you pay for.

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  • John Nowell

    Shippers and trucking companies can protect drivers, cargo and relationships by utilizing covert tracking devices like @LoJackInTransit (www.lojacksci.com).