We are all aware of various scams which arrive almost every day through our email and in the post. They try to persuade you to part with your money or bank details in return for some fabulous reward. In general if it sounds too good to be true it usually is. We have learned to be wary of them but there are some very plausible scams aimed specifically at the courier. Many of them sound like a good way to improve your business and earn money and it is very easy to be caught out by them.
So what are the main types of scam around? One quite common one is when you receive an offer for a publication that is guaranteed to increase your work if you follow the advice inside. It claims to contain insider knowledge for making lots of money as a courier. However these publications are generally a waste of money. They might be useful to pass the time if you like reading but almost all the advice in them can be found elsewhere. There is a lot of useful information on to be found on the Internet rather than spending money on one of these publications.
A more serious and expensive type of scam is where you are expected to sign up to a company offering lots of work often for a very good rate of pay. You will be expected to pay a registration fee in advance which can vary between £20 and £100 and for this you are promised lots of work for a large remuneration. You may have to provide references for which you will be charged. They might offer to do a background check for you for about £50. The only background check which is any use to you is a proper CRB check which is usually done by the police and government agencies. You should never pay up front for any work or background check as this is one indication of a scam. There are reputable listing agencies around and they will never expect you to pay in advance.
Another fraudulent scam to beware of is where a customer asks you to pay for something on their behalf. This may seem to be okay as you will have the article, however the delivery address can prove to be false and when you open up the parcel you find it filled with rubbish. You have been scammed of your money. You should make it a rule never to pay for something on your customers behalf unless you know them personally.
Sometimes a courier is asked to pick up an expensive item which has been ordered fraudulently. The courier picks up the item and delivers it, and later finds it has not been paid for. A warning sign of this type of potential scam is delivery or collection from the roadside. Any jobs which involve this should be treated with caution, as should any jobs which involve a sudden change of delivery address near to the destination. These may all be signs of a fraudulent transaction.
Being aware and remembering that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, can help to prevent the conscientious courier from being taken in by a scam.