Interest rates are increasing, food prices are rising, gas prices are going up, housing costs are rising, rent is increasing, and truckload rates are decreasing. With these conditions come an environment of desperation and fraud in trucking and everywhere. I have noticed an increase in criminal activity, rudeness, and lies. Some of the behavior I’ve seen in the past few months I have never witnessed before.
I went to an event and several large banks had representatives there. One confirmed they had hired internal investigators posing as employees to catch mortgage brokers working for the bank. These investigators were hired to expose their own employees participating in fraudulent activity, such as fake documents. I was recently sent fake financial statements. It wasn’t difficult to recognize them as being fraudulent as they were a little “too perfect.” I asked the person who sent them, and he confirmed they were not real. He said someone he knows sent the numbers to the accounting firm who plugged it all in and put it on their letterhead. I chose to send this prospective client away, but many do not. In BC, a lady who was a mortgage broker assistant was recently fined $50,000 for submitting fake job letters on multiple files. I know her personally and have dealt with her trucker husband. I witnessed years ago that she was the assistant and did what her bosses told her to do. I believe she is taking the fall for her bosses, and they will be paying her fine and continue their fraud.
I noticed a lot of increased fraudulent calls from overseas. During Covid it was great, and no one called. Now I’m receiving several fraud calls a day. Unfortunately, people fall for these scam calls and many millions of dollars have been defrauded from innocent victims. Criminals are becoming quite specialized and use advanced technology to impersonate your loved one’s voices and faces etc. Please look out for your elderly loved ones as they are usually a prime target. If you suspect fraud, please call your local police.
I was at a BBQ at a home in Langley, BC, and got a text message asking if I had just used my Visa card in Montreal. I had not and replied “No”. My card was blocked immediately. Credit card fraud and credit card debt are climbing and have never been higher than now. I used my card at Staples once to print paperwork, and my card was skimmed. Card skimming can happen at a gas station, store, restaurant, etc. I was again called by Visa because of suspicious purchases like junk food orders that I have never done. That card was also canceled. The people at Visa said it’s advisable to not save your credit card information on your devices. They suggested not keeping the credit card number on file anywhere. Use the card, then remove the number until you need to use it again, check your credit card statement frequently, and report any suspicious activity immediately.
Recently I had a call from very rude clients looking for trailers. I refused to deal with them and told them to call the dealership as I will not help them. I knew their names and knew they had a very bad reputation. The dealership forgot their name from past bad dealings and sold the trailers to them unknowingly. I was informed after that the Department of Homeland Security had come to the dealership, taken security footage, and copies of invoices, and seized the trailers at the Canada-USA border because the man was carrying methamphetamine with intent to distribute. I’m guessing he will do about 12 years in jail with good behavior. Know who you are dealing with and protect yourselves. Follow instinct. My instinct was correct, and I refused them.
Lending has become very strict now. People with an approval in place that is locked in, often don’t qualify for the same deal just a few weeks later. I find maybe only one place will approve someone and there aren’t many options for clients. With high equipment prices, car prices, and home prices, people just don’t qualify because their income didn’t increase with inflation. With fewer options, that is when people start giving fake job letters and fake tax records out of desperation. It’s very unfortunate and the banks are on the lookout. If you don’t qualify do not give up, but also don’t take the wrong road and do something illegal. Being a company driver for a bit longer or renting instead of buying a home may not be as attractive as ownership, but at least you’ll stay out of jail or not have to pay large fines for doing something unethical.
Pash Brar B.A. Pash is a mobile leasing representative with Auto One Group Ltd in Vancouver. She has a banking, collections, and accounting background. She specializes in importing vehicles and trailers from the USA into Canada and can be reached at 604-716-5294 or email@example.com 7 days a week.