Navigating the Seas Safely: Tips to Avoid Container Scams

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Given the increasing number of container scams making their way across Canada, we hope to arm consumers with some of the red flags to be aware of while researching containers online:

• Fake companies usually have many typos and poor grammar on their website
• The company in question does not offer delivery, and indicates over the phone that you are not allowed to visit their “Depot”.
• Prices are far below industry.
• These companies rarely answer your call, but will call you back once they have verified you as a potential customer (versus law enforcement, for example).
• Scammers may ask you to send pictures of the unit you wish to purchase, or indicate that the photos listed on their site are “just samples”.
• If the containers listed on their website do not have shipping lines or numbers on the containers.
• When you receive a quote from them, the e-mail address is obscure and not related to their business name.
• When you call/receive a call from the numbers listed on their website, they will render as different locations on your call log.

To ensure a smooth and secure transaction, it’s crucial to be aware of common scams and take proactive measures to protect yourself. In this blog post, we’ll explore valuable tips to help you avoid falling victim to container scams.

1. Research Thoroughly:  Before engaging with any seller or broker, conduct comprehensive research on reputable companies and suppliers in the container industry. Look for customer reviews, testimonials, and business accreditations to gauge their credibility and reliability.

2. Verify Credentials: Ensure that the seller or broker you’re dealing with is legitimate by verifying their credentials and certifications. Check if they are registered with relevant industry associations and have a physical address or office location. Beware of sellers who operate solely online or refuse to provide contact information.

3. Inspect Containers in Person: Whenever possible, inspect the containers in person before making a purchase. This allows you to assess the condition, quality, and suitability of the containers firsthand. Be wary of sellers who are hesitant to allow inspections or provide vague descriptions of the container’s condition.

4. Beware of Unrealistic Prices:
Exercise caution when encountering sellers offering containers at unusually low prices. While competitive pricing is common in the market, excessively low prices may be indicative of a scam or poorquality containers. Compare prices from multiple sources to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

5. Avoid Wire Transfers and Cash Payments:
Be cautious of sellers who request payment via wire transfer or cash, as these methods offer little to no recourse in case of fraud. Opt for secure payment methods such as credit cards or escrow services that provide buyer protection and ensure accountability.

6. Review Contracts Carefully:
Read and review all contracts and agreements thoroughly before signing. Pay close attention to terms and conditions, including warranties, return policies, and dispute resolution mechanisms. Seek legal advice if necessary to clarify any ambiguities or concerns.

7. Trust Your Instincts:
If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, seek clarification, or walk away from a transaction if you feel uncomfortable or uncertain.

8. Stay Informed and Educated:
Stay updated on the latest trends, regulations, and best practices in the container industry to empower yourself with knowledge and awareness. Educate yourself about common scams and red flags to recognize and avoid potential risks.

In conclusion, safeguarding yourself against container scams requires diligence, research, and vigilance. By following these tips and exercising caution throughout the purchasing process, you can mitigate the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes and ensure a secure and satisfactory transaction. Remember, prioritizing transparency, authenticity, and trustworthiness is key to navigating the seas of container procurement safely.


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