You would think buying a shipping container would be pretty much risk-free. However, in Canada, there is a growing number of fraudsters out there scamming people trying to buy shipping containers. If you are buying shipping containers online, here’s how to avoid being a victim of container fraud.
Before even reaching out to a shipping container company online, use a website like Whois to check the domain name. This will show you how old a domain name is, so you only do business with legitimate companies that have been around for at least a few years.
Use Google Maps to verify they have a bricks-and-mortar location. With a verified company, their address and location will show up on the map. Since Google is very strict with verification, you can feel more confident a company is legit if Google has them listed and pinned on their map.
You might not be able to do this with 100% confidence, but at least check the area code. A company with an actual location and landline will have an area code in the same location as their business address. Once you confirm the area code, call them, and see if they answer the phone. While legitimate businesses might have reasons they can’t answer at that moment, most want the business and will answer.
You’ll probably be doing this anyway. However, the old adage that if it’s too good to be true, it probably applies here. If the shipping container is priced much lower than the other companies you call, you’re more than likely dealing with scammers.
When you search up container rentals or containers for sale, check where the company’s ranking sits on the search results. Companies that only appear in the very top area have paid for ads to get the position. The top few companies below that area are considered “organic” rankings and the information on their site, content, Googly My Business information, and other factors search engines use to rank companies all point to the company being trustworthy. This is not to say all the advertisers are scammers. It just means if the company doesn’t also show up somewhere in the organic rankings there could be a reason for concern.
Social media plays a key role in their legitimate online presence. Very new social media pages with few posts could be a sign something is off. Other signs would be a lack of reviews, very few posts in the feed, very few or zero comments, etc. A long and busy social media feed takes time and commitment, two things scammers don’t have.
Last but not least, if the company passes all the above tests, arrange to visit their company to see the container. If they come up with excuses to keep you from visiting them, this is 100%, not a legitimate company.
If you find a company with any of the above signs, never share banking information or make arrangements for a purchase or shipping container rental. Only deal with the companies that pass the test to avoid being a victim of container fraud.
Battlefield containers are one of the best leading companies in Calgary for safe and successful container supplies.
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