Be aware! Scammers are duping customers by posting as legitimate shipping container rental and sales companies. Many consumers were promised steel containers, paid for them, and are now out thousands of dollars (not the way you want to start the new year).
Scammers are setting up shop online with legitimate–looking, but fake, websites that offer cargo container rentals and sales at extremely low pricing. Other scams involve online ads for temporary storage. The National Portable Storage Association reports that in some instances, these scams have even stolen a legitimate company’s name as part of the fraud.
Sadly, this scam is not uncommon and has been around for some time. It happens more often than you’d think with things people want to buy including rental properties, pets, and other goods – like cargo storage containers.
Unsuspecting customers visit these sites searching for affordable container rentals or ones to purchase and think they’ve discovered a great deal. These scammers will then take an order and collect payment either online or over the phone, then disappear.
Container Customers Out Thousands
One victim searched many ads and picked one that had a comparable price to what he wanted for his business – $4,020 for a 40-foot container, including delivery. He communicated via email and text to agree upon pricing, shipping time, and discuss the options (supposedly) in stock. The company said the money was required before the container could be shipped, so he paid the invoice for the full amount. Then, the delivery date came and went with no delivery and they stopped answering texts and emails. When his wife reached out using a different email, they got an immediate reply, until they identified themselves.
He’s not alone. This scam has left many small business and homeowners out of payments including:
- $10,000 for two containers that were never delivered
- $17,420 for a shipping container
These scams are under investigation, but there is little hope of these customers seeing their money again.
Protecting Yourself from Container Scams
Fraudsters are skilled at being convincing and deceptive. Don’t risk an empty promise that leaves you out thousands of dollars! Some of these are very sophisticated scams, so it is important to do your research. Remember they may have professional-looking websites, use real company names, but upon further inspection details about the businesses may be lacking.
If the price quote you receive seems too good to be true, it may be a fake shipping container company. Check a company’s online reviews and address in addition to speaking with their customer service team. The best way not to become a victim is to verify in person that the storage container exists. That way, you can make sure you’re working with a reputable container company like A American Container.
These shipping container scams may not end anytime soon. In the meantime, the National Portable Storage Association will continue to monitor the situation closely to protect consumers. Our trusted team will help you find affordable options for rentals or container sales with modifications that meet your needs. Contact us today for a free quote and unparalleled customer service.