Con artists exploiting trucking companies when at their most vulnerable
May 21, 2008
May 21, 2008
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sage old advice that should always be taken into consideration, especially when dealing with unknown vendors or associates. It’s unfortunate to hear about a fuel tax scam that’s been preying on Canadian trucking companies. You can read the full story here.
As if fleets don’t have enough to worry about these days, they’ve also got to be aware that there are scoundrels out there looking to take advantage of their desperation. Who can blame them for leaping at the chance to cash in on a seemingly legitimate fuel tax refund?
Sadly, at least two fleets have shelled out tens of thousands of dollars as a result of the scam and even their lawyer says it’s unlikely they’ll be able to recover that money. In this country, it’s too easy for anyone to throw a shingle out, misrepresent themselves as a legitimate business and then close shop and run after they’ve duped honest companies into falling for their scheme.
The latest fuel tax scam should serve as a warning to all trucking companies. Be sure to do your homework when dealing with new associates, such as accountants. There are some great accounting services out there that know the trucking industry inside out. If approached by a company that’s offering pie in the sky rebates, it’s well worth the time and money to have their promises validated by a reputable accounting firm that knows the business as well as a lawyer. In this case, any lawyer worth their salt would have seen through the scheme and realized the Canadian trucking company was not entitled to the rebate.
For now all we can hope is that the perpetrators of this latest scam are caught, forced to pay up, and punished to the full extent of the law.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies