Thunder Bay – NEWS – Northwestern OPP report, “When it comes to fraud, shipping containers are not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But over the years, scammers have gotten creative, proceeding to expand their targets”.
The Thunder Bay OPP have received complaints about a company identifying as Deep Blue Containers or Seashore Cans ( the name changes with each phone call). The company offers 24 ft containers for $2100 plus shipping. They request e-transfer as preferred payment prior to shipping. The client pays and even gets a receipt. However the shipping container never shows up.
In particular, shipping containers have become increasingly lucrative. Like real estate, logistics, and warehousing, the demand for alternative storage and even construction solutions has rapidly grown. Combined with evolving applications for shipping containers from commercial to personal use, the market is booming — and ripe for fraud.
These fraudsters rely on this growing demand to attract customers with competitive pricing, reportedly from the biggest names in the shipping container market. Victims report being enticed with unbelievably low prices and further convinced by the supposed provider’s legitimate and established names. Customers only realized they were scammed upon non-delivery of the containers they bought.
Simply, shipping containers are not cheap — they require an investment. Because prices escalate during peak demand, it’s not surprising that a lot of customers fell for the scam, thinking they could buy a 20-foot container for just $2,000 when the market price is $4,500. Losses from non-delivery, necessary replacement, and inventory delays, among others, cost a lot more than what you would have initially paid for a legitimate container.
We reached out to this company via their phone number (807)698-9652. The gentleman on the other end identified the company as Seashore Cans ….he offered us a deal and requested payment. He indicated that he was working out of St. John’s, New Brunswick. We requested he provide a street address in St. John….that is when he became tongue tied and eventually hung up on us.
Do your research before buying.
Ask questions, just because they have a website does not make them legitimate. Check online reviews and ensure payment is not going to a personal account. Check for spelling mistakes and improper logos. Fraudsters will use legitimate company slogans and emails that look correct but are out by a number or a letter. This is a buyer beware market and you need to protect yourself from online fraud.