Broker Fuel Advances Continue to Cause Problems.

I’ve written about broker fuel advances and QuickPays before, so before reading this post, read this one first: Fuel Advances: Broker vs. Factoring Company. 

This particular fuel advance scam has gotten so bad, that I am seeing it at least twice a week, and it’s affecting brokers and carriers.

There is nothing very sophisticated or complicated about this scam, but there are simple ways to make sure you’re not caught up in it.  

Here’s how the scam works: the scammer portrays the identity of a carrier and then secures a load from a broker. Then, the scammer plays the role of the broker to find a carrier to pick up the load. Once the load is picked up, a fuel advance for the load is requested from the original broker, leaving the carrier with a load he or she will never be paid for.

And just like that, unsuspecting brokers and carriers are taken for a ride, but in this case, it’s a costly one.

How to avoid getting scammed 

First rule: take advantage of all the information that is out there.  

All brokers’ and carriers’ phone numbers — along with a lot of other details — are all visible to the public through different databases, including the loadboards you’re probably getting your load from.  

So my question is: If I’ve never done business with this particular individual before, how do I know the broker, agent, or carrier is who they say they are? 

It sounds like common sense, but it’s also important to not make assumptions, even if you think you know the broker or carrier.

So, what can carriers and brokers do to avoid the scam?

Carriers: Don’t move your truck until you’ve verified the identity.

Brokers: Don’t provide pickup information until you’ve called back the other company on a verified, accurate outbound phone call to confirm details. Outbound calls to a verified number will always eliminate dealing with a scammer. Never rely exclusively on inbound calls.

Here’s my process to avoid getting scammed. Once I have the rate confirmation sheet, I place a call to a number that matches the broker’s MC number to confirm everything is in order and ask any remaining questions to complete the load. 

Keep in mind, scammers are extremely creative. It is easy for scammers to spoof the area code to make their number look very similar to a legit one. I have even seen websites duplicated, using a .net instead of a .com.

Trust between a broker and a carrier is fundamental to good business, and a relationship that can lead to repeat business. We need to remember that these scams affect all of us.

We’re all trying to move as fast as we can to secure the next load or get back home. But taking a couple extra minutes to verify the identity of the person on the other side of the deal can save you thousands of dollars and a headache trying to recoup money you’re probably never going to get.


Let’s talk about getting you paid.

Take five minutes to learn more about how we help owner/operators with their fuel advances and getting paid on their loads.

The big reason why you should stop taking fuel advances from brokers.

Fuel advances are a common way for carriers to get paid. Instead of getting a check for the full amount of a delivered load, an owner/operator can get a fuel advance from a broker or factoring company to advance them a portion of the invoice onto a fuel card.

What’s not to like about fuel advances? They’re a fast and cheap way for carriers to get their money.

But with all of the options out there, I can never understand why so many drivers take a fuel advance from a broker.

Owner/operators like fuel advances because of how fast they can get their money. If a driver needs to fuel up to get home or pick up the next load, waiting a day for the ACH transfer can be too long. Fees also tend to be less than other methods – ACH, wire, etc.

There are two main reasons why a carrier would ever request a fuel advance from a broker:

  • they need the money to complete the run they are getting from the broker.
  • the carrier does not trust the broker will pay in full after the load is delivered.

When I first started off as an owner-operator, I didn’t have a lot of cash flow. But even when I was nearly entirely broke, I never asked a broker for a fuel advance.

It’s important to remember that broker negotiations are all about information, and that can be good and bad for a carrier. As a driver, you want as much information as you can on a load to price it fairly. But giving a broker too much information about your personal financial situation can negatively impact your bottom line.

The broker does not need to know that you’re limited on funds to complete a load. The broker could think that I am not reliable enough to do the load and take it back. You also don’t want to be known as the carrier who has cash flow issues or is ready and willing to take on cheap freight because you’re tight on cash.

Needing a fuel advance should be thought of as a confidential matter with the carrier and a vetted third-party provider so that it never clouds negotiation with brokers. Yes, this all matters when it comes to broker relationships.

My advice to carriers – keep it private. Most carriers work with an invoice factoring company, so getting a fuel advance is just as simple as factoring, and you have the flexibility to choose what loads you take to take a fuel advance on. 

If you’re interested in learning more about fuel advance programs and fuel cards, fill out the form below, and our rep, Mac Greene of Triumph Business Capital, will get in touch with you.


Let’s talk about getting you paid.

Take five minutes to learn more about how we help owner/operators with their fuel advances and getting paid on their loads.


Chad Boblett of Rate Per Mile Masters and was at MATS showing other owner/operators how to maximize DAT’s loadboard to get better loads and be in a better position to negotiate with brokers.

Using DAT’s new Truckeredge feature, Chad shows — in less than 2 minutes — how easy it is to find loads using the new loads in/loads out column.

Sign up for a 30-day trial to Truckersedge:


Let’s talk about getting you paid.

Take five minutes to learn more about how we help owner/operators with their fuel advances and getting paid on their loads.