Members Helping Members: Warehousing Scam Alert

It was a normal day for Trudy McCleary, manager of business development at Freeport Logistics based in Phoenix Ariz. Last week she received an email from Midnite Express, requesting third-party logistics services. She says the wording of the company name led her to investigate further before responding.

Her instinct was right. “I called Midnite Express and talked with their sales manager and he nicely told us to run as far away as possible from this email. He was aware that someone was using what appeared to be an email coming from his company asking for 3PL services. We were not the first to call him,” McCleary says.

Apparently the scammers hacked into the email system of an electronics company, stole a purchase order, and shipped the product to an unsuspecting warehouse. Soon after, the thieves loaded the product on a container—never to be seen again.

A warehouse in Ohio has already fell victim to the scam, resulting in $60,000 in lost product.

How should a warehouse logistics organization handle this? “I often get emails asking if we would receive product via small parcel and ship out same day small parcel. I always reply saying this is certainly something we could do, but why wouldn’t they just send the small parcels directly to the consignee in the first place? I never get a reply after that,” McCleary says.

Have you experienced a similar scenario? Share your story with IWLA at mail@IWLA.com.

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