uShip Impersonator Scam
How the scam works:
uShip is a great company that helps people all over the world with their shipping needs. The service saves buyers and sellers time and money by connecting them quickly to thousands of customer rated transport companies, that could move anything from cars and cranes to furniture and horses.
People who are just about to ship something can post what they need shipped on www.uship.com and service providers (from independent truckers to large freight carriers) can bid instantly to win the business. Since these are competing bids, the client (you) might get a great deal for the price.
However, if you are just about to ship your item, be very careful. Online fraudsters often use repetitive tactics to take advantage of people. They impersonate the real uShip company representatives and victimize people all over the world.
The most recent scam involving the company's name comes as a website called uship.club, which was confirmed by the uShip management not have any relationship with the real company.
Below are some common patterns seen in the uShip impresonation online scams:
1. Your Service Provider is requesting a non-bank to bank wire transfer. Requesting payment via a non-bank, instant cash service, such as MoneyGram or Western Union, is a violation of uShip policy. Although these services may seem safe – once you have sent the money, you cannot retract or trace the payment. Many scams occur when a Service Provider requests partial or full payment upfront.
This fraud scenario is common in international shipment transactions.If your Service Provider requests payment via a non-bank, instant cash service you have the option to either cancel the shipment via uShip or tell the Service Provider that you are not comfortable with that form of payment and agree to pay only via a safer payment method.
Please alert uShip Member Support if your Service Provider requests payment via these services.
2. You receive information that uShip is in possession of your items or that uShip has a storage facility to store your recently purchased items. This scenario is common when buying an item, such as a motorcycle or vehicle, from an online classified site.
The seller will state that either uShip is selling the item or that uShip is in possession of the item/ is storing the item. In these cases, the fraudulent parties impersonate the uShip site by fabricating emails with invoices, transaction numbers and even shipment information. It's important to review these emails carefully and verify that the email came from uShip. To do so, check the email domain; this identifies the location from which an email is being sent.
All legitimate uShip emails are sent from the @uShip.com domain. If you see that the emails are being sent from a different domain, then those emails are NOT affiliated with uShip. These scams usually request payment via Western Union or Moneygram (see Scenario #1).
uShip is a neutral, third-party marketplace that brings together those with shipping needs and those who can meet those needs. uShip does not have storage facilities and is never in possession of your items.
In this situation, you should report the problem to the website from which the classified advertisement came. You can also report the incident to uShip by visiting uShip Member Support. Remember to include the website where you encountered the situation.
3. You have made payment directly to Service Provider and no services were rendered, or no contact was made. Some Service Providers may require a deposit up front. This is not a violation of uShip policy as long as the deposit is a portion of the total accepted bid price. If a Service Provider requests full payment upfront, make sure not to send this money via instant, non-bank cash transfer services such as MoneyGram or Western Union (see Scenario #1).
If you will not be completing the shipment with your Service Provider, and they do not take steps to work out a refund of the funds you paid directly to them, then you should look to retract those funds by contacting your credit card company or PayPal, depending on how the money was sent. You should also contact uShip Member Support so we can help contact your Service Provider and help you with a cancellation request.
4. Your Service Provider has picked up items, but has not delivered. If you believe a Service Provider has picked up your belongings with no intention of delivering them, please contact uShip Member Support and the proper authorities such as law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau. Should a situation like this arise, upon contacting uShip, we will be able to help you further.
How to avoid:
Besides the pointers offered under every single one of the scenarios above, uShip has a Trust & Safety team that is dedicated to keeping fraudulent members off the site and to assisting users with disputes should they arise. While they have several systems in place to detect and prevent fraudulent activity, the uShip marketplace is not immune to scams.
That's why they created 24/7 fraud detection; and when it does occur, their dedicated Fraud Prevention and Customer Service teams work closely with law enforcement and assist with investigations. Plus, with their "Ship with Confidence" guarantee, they stand behind every transaction on the site, up to $500, when guidelines are followed.