Transfix QR codes on rate cons aimed to guard against fraud

Another day, another installment in news about companies all around trucking engaged in efforts to combat what's been increasingly described as a wave of organized cyber crime in transportation. The latest effort was highlighted by the Transfix brokerage, which last week announced the launch of a security enhancement enabling owner-ops and fleets contracting with the company outside of its mobile app and/or online system to more easily verify a load's details and authenticity.

If an owner-operator's booking a Transfix load from within the company's mobile app or platform, he/she can be assured of its authenticity, noted Jonathan Salama, co-founder and CEO of Transfix. Yet any rate con from Transfix outside those digital networks will now be emblazoned with a unique QR code that, when scanned, directs the owner-op/fleet rep to the site to confirm load authenticity and all details. 

The move is intended to provide another quick check against fraudsters who would impersonate the company or change destination details in efforts to divert the freight with a goal of outright load theft.  

Any unauthorized rate confirmation purporting to come from Transfix now will either:

  1. Not have a QR code
  2. Have a QR code that does not scan
  3. Generate inaccurate shipping details, or
  4. Direct the user to a landing page with a URL not containing

“As the frequency and complexity of freight fraud continue to escalate, so does our work to combat it,” said Salama, co-founder and CEO of Transfix. “The industry must come together to address the security weaknesses that are impacting carriers and shippers alike, and our hope is that this initiative will generate further action across the sector.”

[Related: DOT IG flags ongoing investigations into double brokering]

For the second quarter of 2023, cargo theft monitoring firm CargoNet recently reported a 57% increase in such shipment misdirection attacks, a kind of "strategic" cargo theft in which actors use stolen broker and/or carrier identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver. In total, thieves stole more than $44 million in shipments in the second quarter of 2023 and the average shipment value per event increased nearly $100,000 to $260,703 per theft as cargo thieves focused on high-value shipments.

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This new feature of Transfix rate cons is one of a number of security enhancements the broker has initiated. Regular readers will recall the company's recent partnership with with the Highway company to vet carriers during onboarding

Find more about the Highway system, one of among several third parties analyzing publicly available data about carriers with the intention of helping prevent load theft, double brokering and other types of freight fraud, via this installment of the "Trucking's State of Surveillance" series published in July in Overdrive.