and industry officials are warning truckers traveling in New Jersey
about a scam targeting drivers entering the city of Newark.
to Gail Toth, president of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association,
a group of people are meeting trucks exiting the New Jersey Turnpike
at exit 15E, which enters Newark.
men at the exit look for trucks who are not from the area or not
familiar with New Jersey.
they get off the ramp on exit 15 and they’re lost and they appear
to not know where they’re going, a ‘greeter’ shows up,” Toth said.
“They say they’re a greeter, and that they’re there to provide
escorts to truckdrivers to get them to their destination because
there’s a lot of truck regulation in the city of Newark.”
“greeters” ask for a fee of $50 to $100 to escort the truck to
its destination in Newark. The scam artist then gives the trucker
a receipt that the “greeter” says can be refunded by the New Jersey
receipt “looks legitimate, I’m being told,” Capt. Heidi Scripture
of the State Police said. “But the turnpike is not involved in
any greeter type activity in Newark, and they’re not reimbursing
them for this service.”
said the truckers become aware they’ve been scammed when they
try to get the refund at a tollbooth and the toll worker tells
them the Turnpike does not provide that service.
really makes you sick,” Toth said.
toll workers called the New Jersey State Police to report the
problem, Toth said, but the State Police do not have investigative
powers within the city of Newark. Law-enforcement officials in
Newark have also been informed, and the State Police have told
Toth that they plan to aid in the investigation.
truckers have been hit by the scam recently. Another State Police
spokesman said a similar scam was attempted a couple of years
ago off another Turnpike exit.
and Scripture said truckers who are scammed should call #77 on
their cell phone, which is a 24-hour-a-day State Police operations
phone line. If they can’t get through there, they should call
“Then we can
get troopers down there right away and we can conduct an investigation,”
warned truckers to be wary of anyone approaching their trucks.
shouldn’t let strange people in their truck no matter what,” Scripture
said. “I guess these people were supposedly getting into their
truck with them and taking them to their destination.”
is no such thing as a ‘greeter,’ they’re not going to get any
refund, do not pay these guys, roll your window up, and call #77,”
very careful. If you’re headed to Newark, make sure you’ve got
your routing correctly, so you don’t have to stop for these creepy
people,” Toth added. “Drive to a public place to get directions.
Don’t let these guys fool you.”
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor
Reddig can be reached at email@example.com.