Beware of Shipping Container Scams

Shipping containers are trusted by many for secure storage and transport. Recently, shipping container resellers have become a target for fraudsters in Australia. An alarming number of buyers across Australia have reported buying shipping containers, only never to receive them.

Gateway Containers is increasingly hearing reports of people making payments to what they believe was a shipping container seller, then realising the business was a scam after not receving delivery or refund. Most experiences involve lodging online enquiries, either through Facebook advertisments or Google advertisments and receiving emails similar to below.

 

Note: use of Gmail email address, ABN not matching the business name, website is a .com and not Australian .com.au and is not matching the claimed business name. No full address.

 

Known fraududent names / business names in use

Scammer business name Website Scammer agent name Phone ABN used
Container Pty Ltd / Containersalesau https://containersalesau.com/ Trent Isaac 02 8091 1463 38 122 373 979
Container-discounts.com https://container-discounts.com/ Adam Baker 02 6172 0669 38 122 373 979
Container-discounts.com https://container-discounts.com/
https://www.container-discounts.com
Ash Peter 02 8007 5320 38 122 373 979
A & L Shipping Containers https://www.alshippingcontainersau.com Paul Henry 08 6102 0588 34 150 597 989
Whitehorse Towing https://whitehorsetowingltd.com/ Kevin Riseley 03 9018 5771
07 5641 1931
30 006 114 941
Anders Containers https://anderscontainers.com/
Shipping Containers Sales AU https://www.montoshippingcontainerau.com
Titan Shipping Containers https://www.titanshippingcontainers.com
Container Pty.com https://container-pty.com/
WT-Globe https://wtglobe.com
Custom Shipping Containers Pty Ltd https://customshippingcontainersau.com
Duke Shipping Containers https://dukecontainersaustralia.com
Shipping Container Stands Australia https://shippingcontainerstandsau.com
First Choice Containers https://firstchoicecontainers.com

 

Below are some tips you should take to reduce the risk of being scammed.

  1. Be wary of discounts. Simply, shipping containers are not cheap — they require a considerable investment. Because prices escalate during peak demand, it’s not surprising that a lot of customers are falling for this scam, thinking they could buy a 20-foot container for $2,000 when the market price is $4,500. Losses from non-delivery will end up costing a lot more than what you would have initially paid for a legitimate container.
  2. Verify the business you are dealing with. Request a copy of current business registration certificate, liability insurance, bank account proof of ownership. Look for proof of full address, a publicly listed number, Google location information, Facebook business profiles, third party site mentions, reviews, and ensure they have .com.au website address.
  3. Call the publicised number. Check for an Australian published contact number. When speaking, do they sound legitimate? Ask lots of questions about
    locations and containers.
  4. Check email and website addresses. Legitimate businesses will not use a Gmail or Hotmail email account. Their email and website will use their
    business name and .com.au.
  5. Ask to see and inspect the container. Before you buy a shipping container, you should inspect it. Meeting the supplier in person also gives you the opportunity to assess their trustworthiness, which can be further reinforced by a reliable customer support line for arranging the payment and delivery, and requesting a replacement or repair in case of damage. Skip any supplier who is not transparent with you, and declines to accommodate an inspection.
  6. Payments. Legitimate businesses will not accept bitcoin as payment. Consider paying by a method you can challenge/reverse (check with your bank for
    advice).

How do shipping container scams work?

These fraudsters rely on this growing demand to attract customers with competitive pricing, reportedly from the biggest names in the shipping container market. Victims report being enticed with unbelievably low prices and further convinced by the supposed provider’s legitimate and established names. Customers only realise they were scammed upon non-delivery of the containers they have purchased.

Protect yourself from shipping container fraud

Everyone loves a discount, especially when offered by supposedly reputable providers. This is precisely how a great deal of customers have been involved in shipping container scams in Australia. It’s a lesson learned the hard way — when the offer is too good to be true, it probably is!

If you are in the market for a new or used shipping container, the losses and frustration experienced by many other customers should serve as cautionary. Just as you place a premium on the quality and structural integrity, you also need to verify the provider’s identity and track record.

Remember, shipping containers are an investment. It should be cause for suspicion if any shipping container is advertised for sale at thousands of dollars below market prices. Plus, even when a supposed provider has a website or address listed online, it doesn’t automatically mean their business is legitimate.

I am not sure if I am dealing with a scammer

Think you may be dealing with a scam shipping container reseller business? We’d be happy to provide you some advice, and a real price on a real container. Call us on (07) 3348 6463.

 

Questions? Call us.

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