Car Shipping Scam: How to Spot One Online
If you suspect an car shipping scam, there’s probably good reason to. Although subtle, there’s always some telltale signs that something’s not right about an offer to transport your vehicle. Here’s some of those signs to look out for.
Car Shipping Scam Alerts
1. The website is not quite right.
It stands to reason that frauds operate in fraudulent mode pretty much in all they do… This includes their website. Many will steal portions of someone else’s website and put it up as their own, changing only a few minor things. Since these criminals are not skilled in web design, the site will appear somewhat incomplete or even nonsensical.
2. No physical address is given on the website or even if you ask for one.
Not only will their website not list a physical address, they may actually refuse to give you one if you ask. If instead they give you a PO Box address, know this is a huge red flag! Any reputable company will have no problem at all giving you their street address. Contact us!
3. There is either no FMCSA MC and USDOT number listed on the company’s website or you suspect they’re using someone else’s.
If they don’t list any FMCSA info, ask them for it and check it against the site listed below. (See our FMCSA Info here.) If they do list an MC and USDOT number on their website and you suspect it to be fraudulent, you can check their numbers by going here: https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx
4. The URL in the search bar does not match the name of the website.
For instance, if the site name is Paypal but the URL in your browser says “payup.ru” – this is not good and most likely a fraud.
5. The email address is a hotmail address instead of one that uses the domain name of their website.
An example of this would be if the website is www.flybynight.com, but the email address being used to communicate with you is firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com (Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org)
When you are in need of car shipping services, you will find that reputable companies will have a professional web presence including matching email addresses and a street address listed on the website. They will display their FMCSA MC and USDOT numbers, having all the necessary licenses and insurance.