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Cargo theft volume and values skyrocketed in 2020 in the United States, reaching a five-year high, per Sensitech’s yearly report. Interestingly, the largest number of car thefts was recorded in the fourth quarter with 233 cases. When we consider that the 2020’s figure was a 23% increase in volume and a 41% growth in the average value in comparison with 2019, it becomes evident that truck drivers are being exposed to more and more risks.
With the COVID-19’s upended lifestyle giving ID thieves a conducive environment for further crimes, you may well find your trucking ID compromised. But how?
When the economy suffers and unemployment figures spike, identity theft typically increases sharply. In addition, there is no better way for fraudsters than crises to implement their plans. Generally speaking, one can note an inversely proportional relationship between ID thefts and economic stability.
However, identity thieves have become a lot more aggressive in the trucking industry through innovative technologies in the last few years, with ID theft victims suffering more. Interestingly, Javelin Research and Strategy, in its 2020 report, concluded that while ID theft figures have recently gone down, the actual value of the average damage has exploded.
One reason why this is happening is that today criminals don’t just steal a credit card – they’ve become smarter to gain control of accounts. Watch out for any unexpected calls and emails you receive! Among the most common sources of fraudulent activities are mobile phone and utility bills, utilities, and anything that includes an account number.
When a truck driver receives a phone call or contact in any other form from the IRS or the DMV, it is always helpful to be extra cautious. There have been a number of cases when a fraudster uses a fake CDL to take a load off aboard, only to disappear in an instant. However, while being attentive at all times can certainly help, there are a few things you can do right now to boost your ID theft protection!
Opt for Mobile Wallets
A password-protected mobile wallet is a must for avoiding credit card fraud. Though, please make sure that the password you choose for your account is strong enough to beat hackers.
Freezing Can Do Magics
Because as a truck driver, you’re very likely to be on the road for long periods, placing a credit freeze can be worth the effort in the long run. Through freezing, new accounts cannot be started in your name while allowing you to detect account fraud.
Check Credit Reports and Scores
Today virtually all banks offer you score tracking solutions via one of the bureaus at the minimum. In addition, once a year you can check your score through annualcreditreport.com. Keep in mind that unexpected changes in the score are a sign that something isn’t right.
Introduce Spending Alerts on Your Credit Cards
Setting up a spending alert, you can receive notifications on any unauthorized transactions through your credit card.
Additionally, truck drivers very frequently experience ID thefts when they need to present their driver’s license. Shippers and receivers might even, in certain situations, copy your license. One way to minimize the risks for identity theft is to keep a record of where you showed your documents. And even if someone decides to take a copy of your driver’s license, you still can take a note of their names, the time, and the company’s name. Also, luckily, you can pretty easily track how others handle your ID through a smartphone application.
However, once someone gains access to your driver’s license, they can quickly look up essential information. For independent operators, things could be worse as they typically have to share more details with shippers and receivers. AJR Trucking, a leading trucking company, has got your back!
As the best trucking company for new drivers, AJR Trucking puts much emphasis on hiring talented drivers who will enrich our team through their professionalism and unique input.
When it comes to skimming devices, keep an eye on fuel pumps as they are the most likely places where such devices pop up. A loose keyboard and card slot are a couple of warning signals that a skimming device is what you are dealing with. Downloading a skimmer scanner for your iOS or Android device, you can equip yourself with some essential tools to deal with such situations. In addition, it is always a good idea to avoid making any transactions through an ATM placed away from main traffic areas.
Public WiFi virtually always comes with security risks. So you should always avoid checking your bank accounts or entering any personal data while using a public network.
Whether working for a small trucking company or a large one, you are likely to need to stay away from home once in a while. Asking a friend to pick up any incoming mails for you or hiring someone to get the job done can protect you against potential ID thefts. And for the best id theft protection, you can even direct your mails to the U.S. Postal Service instead of your home address.
COVID-19 has already negatively affected the supply chain, directly influencing the lifestyle of truck drivers. And because of the volatile environment surrounding U.S. markets, identity trucking ID thefts have become more common than ever.
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And excitingly, our company boasts sustainability goals through a record of about 150,000 planted trees and 1235 cars removed from the road! A couple of reasons why many view AJR as the best trucking company to work for!
In addition, each member of AJR Trucking feels valued for his input while enjoying the support and encouragement of fellow employees. So if contributing to environmental sustainability while earning a highly competitive salary is something you have looking for, apply now to join our team of professionals.