At Alvys, we understand how critical trust and security are in logistics, especially in these uncertain times. Today, we’re excited to share a new feature that will be released very soon on the Alvys TMS platform! It is designed to ensure just that – a more secure and trustworthy environment for all players in the freight industry.
Streamlined Carrier Verification: Stop Fraud in its Tracks
In response to the growing concern of double brokering fraud – a harmful practice where dishonest entities impersonate carriers or brokers to steal loads – we are introducing a comprehensive verification system. This system leverages cutting-edge cybersecurity technology, including two-factor authentication (similar to the PIN-code system used by your bank) and IP address validation and monitoring. Read on to discover more.
What is Double Brokering?
At its core, double brokering refers to situations where a brokered load is re-brokered to another transportation provider. Fraudulent double brokering can take several forms, often victimizing brokers and legitimate carriers.
Examples of Double Brokering
Here are a few examples of double brokering:
1. Misrepresentation of Identity
- Scenario: An individual poses as a legitimate carrier, claiming to possess a valid Motor Carrier (MC) number, and then solicits loads from brokers.
- Example: A person approaches Brokerage ABC posing as XYZ Logistic using a slightly altered email, say one with “@yahoo.com” or a minor spelling change. Many systems are unable to distinguish these minor discrepancies, and think that “XYZ Logistic” is actually the well-known and trusted “XYZ Logistics.”
- Outcome: The broker, believing they’re dealing with the legitimate XYZ Logistics, sends load information to the fraudulent email. Armed with this information, the impersonator can then disguise as another entity (either a carrier or another broker) and mismanage the load. They might re-post the load as being from “LMN Brokerage” and book a carrier offering a rate higher than what the original carrier is receiving. Additionally, these fake entities can request advance payments, further swindling the brokers.
2. Accidental Load Tendering to Fake Companies
- Scenario: A legitimate carrier, intending to transport an expensive load, might inadvertently tender the load to a deceitful company.
- Outcome: The fake company steals the load, resulting in the complete disappearance of the load.
How Alvys Prevents Double Brokering
That’s where Alvys steps in to automatically prevent this type of fraud. We do this in several ways:
1. Email and/or Phone Number Authentication
In collaboration with FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), a division of the Department of Transportation, we have developed an automatic authentication process. When a new carrier is sent their onboarding packet, an extra verification step is included. This system generates a unique code that’s directly sent to the carrier’s email or phone number that is listed with FMCSA. Unless a person has access to these already verified channels, they can’t receive the code, and without it, they simply cannot authenticate themselves on our system.
If a party fails to authenticate, it’s a strong sign of potential fraud, and here at Alvys, we take that seriously. We flag all unverified carriers on our platform, helping every freight broker, carrier, and shipper operate more securely. This automatic, rigorous process is just one of the ways we’re taking a stand against fraudulent activities in the freight industry.
2. Contact Verification
To increase security, we’ve added additional layers of protection. Not only do we verify the carrier as a whole, but we also validate each individual contact within the carrier’s organization.
Imagine a scenario where a new contact surfaces, without the carrier’s email, such as a Dispatch Service attempting to book a load for a carrier. In these cases, our innovative system jumps into action, sending a unique code to the carrier via their FMCSA contact info. The responsibility then falls on the carrier to relay this code to the dispatcher. Upon entering the code, the details get validated for all future dealings.
3. Location Verification
It is possible for a fraudster to hack into a carrier’s email. If this were to happen and a pin code was stolen, Alvys can detect if the contact details are mismatched or if they originate from an unexpected company. Foreign IP addresses are flagged. This ensures an extra layer of verification, for instance, asking a carrier if they have any personnel stationed in distant locations like Iraq, before verifying that carrier.
4. VPN Detection
Some fraudsters may try to mask their activities using virtual private networks (VPNs). Because Alvys implements location verification, we are able to better detect if a VPN is in use.
Alvys is in the process of developing additional mechanisms to identify when a VPN is being used, ensuring there’s no way around the system’s checks.
5. Verified Status
Once a carrier gets past these automatic verification checks, and they earn the “verified” status, it’s there to stay. A visible “Verified” badge accompanies their name as a reassuring nod to you and your team, signaling that the carrier is indeed safe to conduct business with.
This way, our assurance isn’t simply scratching the surface; we’re diving deep into the details to guarantee your safety and security.
Always Looking Out For You
We designed our TMS to keep the freight industry honest, efficient, and above all, safe for all our shippers, brokers, and carriers. We’re proud to stand in the frontlines of this battle against fraud, and we assure you, this is just one of many initiatives we’re undertaking. Stay tuned for more enhancements coming your way. And remember, we’ve got your back!
In our interconnected world, ensuring the security of each transaction – right down to individual contacts – is vital. With this new feature, Alvys continues to make great strides in securing your operations against fraud. Your safety and success are at the heart of everything we do.
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