Rise in Booting Scams Targeting Truckers
A vigilant trucker took down a booting scam leading to an arrest near Conley, GA.
Memphis, Tennessee, has witnessed a rising trend of freight truck booting scams recently. Truckers are becoming victims of extortion and even physical harm.
On multiple occasions, truckers discovered their vehicles illegally booted while parked for short durations. In one incident, a trucker was booted at an Exxon on 4840 Holmes. Although the initial demand was $256, the scammers raised the fee to $500 and attempted to tow the truck.
The Scam is Spreading
While Memphis has become a hotspot for these scams, it's not isolated to this region. South Fulton, Georgia, has also reported similar incidents. Judeel Israel was arrested for booting trucks, only to demand hundreds for their removal.
Like in Memphis, he used the cover of a booting company, targeting drivers as they slept. Upon his arrest, a firearm was discovered, adding an even darker aspect to the story.
How the Scammers Operate
- Target Selection: Criminals often choose truckers who park for short durations or those taking rest breaks. Sleeping drivers are especially vulnerable.
- Illegal Booting: Trucks are booted, often without any legitimate reason. The criminals then demand exorbitant fees for removal.
- Violence and Intimidation: In many cases, when drivers are hesitant or unable to pay immediately, the situation escalates. Some scammers employ armed guards, increasing the threat level.
- Price Hikes and Towing: Even after agreeing to initial amounts, criminals may suddenly increase the demand. Trucks are often hooked for towing, pressuring drivers to pay even more.
- Fake Company Facade: To appear legitimate, these criminals often pretend to represent booting or towing companies despite having no legal authority.
It's essential for truckers to remain informed and cautious. If an incident feels suspicious, it's advised to stay safe, avoid direct confrontation, and contact local authorities.
Sources: CDL Life
Man arrested in semi truck booting scam— Dooner 🏴☠️ (@TimothyDooner) September 12, 2023
Anyone else hearing about an increase in booting scams? pic.twitter.com/bX2FCWZ2Bt