Alert! Beware of Carriers Selling Their MC Number

June 7, 2024
Cassandra Gaines

Ever heard of a carrier selling their MC number?

In the past, selling an MC number – a carrier's operating authority – represented a legitimate transfer of ownership, allowing a new company to take the reins of an existing trucking operation. However, times have changed. Today, suspicious actors are exploiting this process to execute a dangerous cargo theft scheme.

The Scam:

A legitimate carrier, with a good reputation and clean record, decides to sell their MC number. This number allows them to operate legally. The buyer, however, has no intention of running a legitimate business. Their plan? Impersonate the original carrier and steal shipments!

Why is it so dangerous? Because everything seems normal. The contact information, FMCSA data, and even the phone number might remain unchanged. Brokers and shippers trust the "carrier" based on their past record, completely unaware they're dealing with a fraudster.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Talk to the Carrier: If you haven't worked with a carrier in a while, pick up the phone! Ask basic questions about inspections, equipment, or even the owner's name. Look for inconsistencies or long pauses in responses.
  • Tech to the Rescue: Require ELD tracking and real-time shipment visibility.
  • Talk to the Driver: Before pickup, confirm the MC and DOT number directly with the driver, matching it to the truck itself. Don't share any details until this confirmation.

Red Flags:

  • Unfamiliar voice on the phone (not the dispatcher you know)
  • Evasive answers to basic questions
  • Changes in MC or DOT number

Remember: Don't fall for excuses about leases or other explanations for MC number changes. It's a sign of double-brokering and a potential scam.

Want to Learn More? Watch the full video by our CEO, Cassandra Gaines, for a deeper dive into this scheme and additional prevention tips.