Another scam in New Jersey

| 9/2/2003

There’s a new scam in New Jersey – it’s the old Good Samaritan scam, but with a twist.

Instead of getting a call from a would-be Good Samaritan, the carrier receives a call from a would-be service company driver claiming he was called out by the highway patrol when the carrier’s truck blew two tires. He wanted a Comchek authorized for almost $800 for the two tires and the service call.

Seagate Transportation in Perrysville, OH, received one of these calls July 18, but a savvy Seagate employee left the caller empty-handed. Debbie Herr, Seagate’s director of driver services who took the call, wasn’t about to fall for this one.

“The caller said he was Salvador with New Jersey Tire and Road Service, or something like that,” Herr told Land Line. “He said he had been called by the state police because our driver blew two tires just entering a construction zone. He sounded legitimate because he had valid truck and trailer numbers. He wanted about $750, which sounded about right.”

Although the call sounded legitimate, Herr still didn’t authorize the check. She said, “I won’t even buy a book without my boss’s authorization, why would I OK an $800 check?”

With the caller on hold, she conferred with her boss, who advised her not to authorize the Comchek without speaking directly with their trucker. Of course, when she insisted upon talking with the truckdriver, she said the caller made lame excuses and hung up.

OOIDA member Terry Downey, the driver of the Seagate rig the caller claimed had blown two tires, had just fueled up at the Seaucus service plaza in the Jersey City area about 20 minutes before the scam attempt. He figures the caller must have copied down the company information and unit numbers from his rig while he was stopped at the service plaza.

--by René Tankersley, feature editor

René Tankersley can be reached at