Trucking Compliance Scams in Idaho Running Rampant
Three years ago we wrote an article “Don’t Be Fooled….. FMCSA Fraud And Solicitations Running Rampant” that was about solicitations trying to trick you into buying a service by disguising themselves as being official government notices or phone calls. Since that article, we continued to receive mail and phone calls from bad acting compliance companies.
More recently, in August 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation warned motor carriers to be aware of scam-style letters requesting trucking companies pay to file their DOT biennial update. The DOT says it’s a scam. Links in the scam letters or emails lead to websites not connected with the USDOT in order to collect fees in exchange for filing the biennial updates. The letters include threats of fines for failure to pay.
These emails and scam letters have a troubling trend: many are from companies based in the Boise, Idaho area.
So, I did a bit more digging.
I found 12 companies running trucking industry compliance services in the Boise, ID area that are on Better Business Bureau with 45 complaints between them! We do not know if these companies have fixed their manipulative ways or have addressed these complaints satisfactorily, but the trend in this area is worrisome.
FMCSA does not:
- Contact Carriers by Telemarketers or “robo-call” automated telephone solicitations
- Request credit card numbers by telephone
- Charge a fee for downloadable forms found at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/forms
So, to keep your fleets aware, below is a list of these companies and their BBB profiles.
Commercial Compliance, LLC
10951 W Amity Rd; Boise, ID 83709
Contact: Bradley Thomas
Phone: (208) 371-3016
Years in Business: 2
Motor Carrier Safety Audit (M.C.S.A.) Compliance Consultants LLC
300 E. 42nd St. Suite 296, Boise, ID 83714
Contact: Ms. Yvonne K Kendall, Member
Phone: (877) 541-8771
Years in Business: 4
Unified Compliance Services
Alternate Business Name: Blak Inc
6154 N Meeker Pl Ste 200, Boise, ID 83713-0204
Contact: Mr. Bo Schmelling, President; Mrs. Krystal Schmelling, Vice President
Phone: (877) 647-4582
Years in Business: 4
Trucking Compliance Network, LLC (Note address above)
6154 N Meeker Pl Ste 125, Boise, ID 83713-0203
Contact: Mr. Conrad Sternot, President
Phone: (877) 229-1566
Years in Business: 1
US Compliance Services LLC
Alternate Business Name: American Independent Compliance & Processing
5420 W Franklin Rd Ste 250, Boise, ID 83705
Contact: Mr. David A Byrd, Member; Mr. Joseph Anthony Balkovic, Member; Mr. Layne T Boyle, Member
Phone: (877) 405-5003
Years in Business: 3
Purcell Compliance Services, LLC
Alternate Business Name: Purcell Compliance
320 11th Ave S Ste 204, Nampa, ID 83651-5074
Contact: Mr. Alexxander Purcell, Owner; Ms. Sylvia Purcell, COO
Phone: (833) 787-2355
Years in Business: 4
Interstate Compliance Enterprise
PO Box 45005, Boise, ID 83711-5005
Contact: Mr. Jeff Petty, Company Contact
Phone: (844) 257-7802
Years in Business: 3
Federal Carrier Compliance Registration
507 E 45th St Ste A, Garden City, ID 83714-4818
Contact: Mr. Luke Wright
Phone: (877) 659-9442
Years in Business: 5 months
Transportation Compliance Service
Alternate Business Name: DOT Compliance Services LLC
601 E Schiller Ln, Meridian, ID 83642-5033
Contact: Mr. Jeff Minert, Member
Phone: (866) 389-9342
Years in Business: 7
Complaints: 4 with 21 customer reviews (many are positive)
To be fair, Glostone Trucking Solutions, based in Portland, OR has been in business for 18 years with zero complaints on Better Business Bureau.
10 Things You Can Do To Avoid Fraud
Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. Here are some practical tips to help you stay a step ahead.
1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
5. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit or Vanilla. Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.
6. Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
7. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.
8. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
9. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
10. Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams. Get the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox.
If you spot a scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.