When purchasing a shipping container, it is important to not only do your homework on what type of container you need but who you are purchasing it from. Most people get multiple quotes and go with the lowest-priced, but too deep a discount – among other factors – can be a sign of a scam. Consumers should take additional time in protecting themselves by researching the shipping container vendor online to ensure they are legitimate companies.
Scammers are very professional and can duplicate anyone’s website and change the telephone # and address. They can also replicate invoices to make it look like you are buying from a reputable vendor but paying the scammer directly. Here are some tips to protect yourself from a shipping container scam.
How shipping container scams work
Shipping Containers, which are used for onsite storage, import/export, and can be converted into living spaces and offices are in such high demand that people are being duped into trying to buy them from online scammers also known as “Sea Can Scams”. According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers have been using the name and address of legitimate shipping container businesses and even duplicating professional-looking websites to seem legitimate. These professional scammers invoice customers to pay them directly and will steal your money and personal information while damaging a real business’s reputation. For more information check out the BBB article.
To build customer confidence, Container Sales Group refers customers to our segment recorded with CNBC where both owners of our company were interviewed. This helps customers who purchase shipping containers from Container Sales Group feel comforted that they are dealing with a legitimate seller. Link to our interview
Tips to Avoid Shipping Container Fraud
- Always call the phone number on the website, often scammers will want to communicate via email
- Check Google reviews for recent reviews
- Beware if they cannot answer all of your questions
- Using a credit card is the best method to prevent fraud
- Check website addresses and compare them to the email address they are using, both should be the same domain
- Never pay with Bitcoin
- Promises & Guarantees — Check out the fine print no matter who you work with especially if they offer you a “warranty”
- Fake Invoices- If the invoice has some red flags, it more than likely is not from a reputable company
- Do Additional Homework on the Vendor — Check out our post on what to ask vendors
- Beware of Third-Party Purchasing Sites — Shipping container scammers often use third-party selling sites like Gumtree, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace to advertise their non-existent containers. While you can spot some red flags with their ads or lack of professional websites, purchasing from the official company directly on the phone is best.
Victims fall for low prices, fast delivery, and/or quick transactions and realize the scam when their container doesn’t show up. Customers should feel confident in the shipping container vendor they select and should have a positive purchasing experience from start to finish. At Container Sales Group, we have been selling Shipping Containers since 1998 to Businesses, Schools/Universities as well as Residents across the country including Ford Motor Company, Ace Hardware, Bobcat, Union Pacific, Walsh Construction, Purdue University, and Cirque du Soleil.
Call An Expert For Help
To learn more about what to look for in a reputable shipping container seller, visit our blog post or call us direct at Container Sales Group 708-639-4783.