Couriers seem to be regarded as easy targets for the scam merchants.

They generally pretend to be agencies or 'clearing houses' — they offer to get work from customers and farm it out to owner drivers.

Some of the recent scams have these features:

  • you have to pay a weekly or monthly amount by standing order to be on their books
  • you have to fill in an application form and provide references which you get charged for
  • they offer an hourly rate instead of loaded mile rates
  • the promised pay is unrealistically high
  • they offer 'shifts' with set hours
  • they say they have lots of big customers who are crying out for couriers
  • they use a 'virtual office' address
  • they have an 0871 or 0870 contact number
  • they use a premium-rate short text number
  • they use 'specialist courier' in their blurb

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