Top 10 Things to Look Out For to Avoid Shipping Container Scams

Whether you’re shipping your belongings across the country or need a secure container for storage, the last thing you want is to fall victim to a scam. At Get Simple Box, we’re all about helping you make informed and safe decisions. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you avoid shipping container scams on marketplaces like Facebook, Craigslist, and eBay.

Table of Contents

Red Flags to Watch Out for to Avoid Shipping Container Scams

  • Too Good to Be True Prices. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often lure victims with super low prices, sad stories, or urgency. Be wary of unclear pricing or listings where the price is oddly specific like $1 or $1234.
  • Mismatched Photos and Descriptions. Always check that the photos match the description. Look out for inconsistencies like photos of a 40 foot shipping container when the listing says 20 foot shipping container, or minimal photos that don’t show the whole container.
  • No In-Person Meetings. Legitimate sellers will allow you to view the container in advance and make payments in person. If a seller refuses to meet up, it’s a red flag.
  • Multiple Locations. Be cautious if the seller offers containers in multiple locations nationwide. This is a common scam tactic to appear larger and more legitimate than they are.
  • Suspicious Contact Information. Verify the phone number and address. If they don’t show up as a legitimate business location on the map, walk away.
  • Third-Party Deliveries. If the seller won’t handle delivery themselves and uses third parties, it can be a sign of a scam. You might end up with no container or one that’s not as described.
  • Lack of Official Documentation. Always ask for an invoice or bill of sale. Scammers avoid paperwork to leave you with stolen property.
  • Unusual Payment Methods. Avoid sellers who request payment via gift cards or split smaller amounts on Venmo. Most legit businesses accept credit cards and provide detailed invoices.
  • No Reviews or Sketchy Profiles. Check the seller’s reviews and profile. Beware of new accounts, poor grammar, excessive use of ALL CAPS or double exclamation points!!
  • Pressure Tactics. Scammers often rush you, making you feel like many others are waiting. Remember, if it feels rushed, it’s a red flag.
  • How to identify and avoid container scams

    Scammers’ tactics are to draw you in with an amazing offer – usually one too good to be true. If there is a substantial price discrepancy from the current market value, turn away. In the event that a scammer is utilizing your shipping container business to carry out these fraudulent activities, inform your clients via emails, social media, your website, and other channels.

    What to Do if You Think You’ve Been Scammed

  • Report to Authorities. Contact the police immediately.
  • Flag the Listing. Report the scam on Facebook, Craigslist, eBay, or OfferUp.
  • Alert Your Bank. Inform your bank or credit card company to secure your financial information.
  • Monitor Accounts. Keep an eye on your social media and email accounts for any suspicious activity.
  • How to Avoid Scams

  • Meet in Person. Whenever possible, conduct transactions face-to-face.
  • Voice Calls Over Text. Move conversations to phone calls to verify the seller’s authenticity.
  • Verify Information. Ensure the seller’s address and phone number match up with their story. Compare photos to known landmarks in their area.
  • Request More Info. Ask for additional photos, like the back of the box or the interior, to verify the container’s condition and authenticity.
  • Proof of Identity. Request a photo of their ID, credit card, or business card.
  • Pay in Person. Make payments directly at the company location or to the delivery driver.
  • How to Avoid Scams


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