By Heidi O.
It is that time of year again where scammers start to prey on the trustworthiness of the nation’s truck drivers. Don’t fall prey to any of these people. The following are some examples of what to look for at truck stops that are “normally” scammers trying to get over on you.
1. 3-Card Monty
This is an old card “trick” that has been running around truck stops for a long time (along with lots of other places!). This is a card game that is played with 3 cards and you are supposed to watch the cards to see where the one card they want you to choose is. They get you by first letting their “friend” win so it looks to you like you have a chance. Then, once you play, you end up losing and they then proceed to try to get you to go “double or nothing” and it goes again and again, sometimes until you are broke.
2. The “My friend just won at the casino and is giving money away!” routine.
Normally, when the scammers pull this one at truck stops they aren’t always even near a casino, so be very aware of your surroundings. If they entice you to their truck, make sure to leave your wallet locked in your truck or better yet, DON’T go anywhere with them.
3. The crazy trucker who needs this or needs that.
If they ask you for money for something, try to offer them the specific item if you have it, such as if they’re hungry tell them you will buy them a meal or whatever they may need if you are able to and if they decline, you definitely know it was a scammer. If you do not have the item or the money to buy it, just politely tell them that you aren’t able to help them.
4. The person telling you that there is something hanging out of the back of your trailer.
Do NOT get out to check just because they told you this. Normally this is a scam to get you to the back of your trailer where there is one or more people waiting to “jump” you and take whatever you have, sometimes even your truck and trailer. Tell them instead, “Thanks for letting me know!” and go to the fuel island and pull up and check things there. It is safer to be up at the fuel island than to check where you aren’t sure if there is anyone waiting.
These are just an example of SOME of the scams on the road today. Be aware that if something someone tells you sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
Also, be aware of who is around you if you are getting a cash advance or money from the ATM or even a MoneyGram. If you are alone, make sure you do these things while you are pulled up at the fuel island or are very near your truck so that someone cannot just follow you back to your truck and try to steal your money.
If any of these things happen to you or you are approached by someone trying to pull one of these types of scams on you or any other scam on you, report it to the truck stop you are at and to the local police. Normally, they are both very helpful and quick to lend you a hand.
Be aware of your surroundings at all time and don’t fall for anything that doesn’t sound right to you!