Thieves have turned to identity theft and sophisticated fraud to steal drugs, electronics, and food right off the loading dock, according to Fortune Magazine. The biggest target, surprisingly to some, is food, which can be sold back into the supply chain through unscrupulous distributors. “I’ve never seen a serial number on a package of chicken,” says Keith Lewis, CargoNet’s vice president of operations. “Once you eat it, the evidence is gone.”
A new generation of tech-savvy truck thieves are innovating on old methods.
“One of the M.O.’s that’s on the increase is in a sense identity theft—impersonating another company,” says Nick Erdmann of the security technology firm Transport Security.
The tactic is known as a fictitious pickup. It starts with loadboards—websites like Dat.com and Truckstop.com where shipping brokers list loads in need of delivery. Though the contents of those loads aren’t listed, canny thieves can spot the valuable ones based on certain details: Loads requiring high insurance minimums, loads requiring a team of drivers, or loads coming out of particular locales, such as technology corridors.
Then, using falsified credentials to pose as legitimate truckers, criminals contract to carry the load, drive their own truck to a warehouse or distribution center, and simply pick it up. It can be days before cargo owners even know they’ve been robbed.