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Weighbridge Fraud: 5 Crafty Ways Truck Scales Can Be Tricked

Since weighing has been invented, people have tried to cheat the system by either under or over weighing, depending on if they’re buying or selling.

Weighbridge Fraud

For many years, criminals have been using various strategies to fraud on the weighbridge and have stolen an uncountable amount of products and profits from businesses worldwide.

Surprisingly, this corruption is very easy to accomplish if there are no preventative measures in place.

So don’t just sit back and be taken advantage of. With the right weighbridge systems technology and proper precautions, you can protect your business from potentially heavy financial and reputational losses.

That said, here are 5 ways how drivers are cheating weighbridge systems and how you can prevent it from happening to you.


1. Improper Positioning

One of the easiest ways to trick a weighbridge system is to position the vehicle improperly on the scales.

If the weighbridge is left unattended, or that it’s extremely busy and the operator cannot closely supervise each truck, the driver could drive onto the platform and either:

  • Not drive onto it properly so the back axles are not being calculated

  • Drive too far forward so the front axles are off

  • If there are no guard rails, the driver can pull off to either side

Any of these will cause the vehicle to record a lighter weight reading. And if the driver is buying from you, they’re stealing your products.

On the other hand, if the driver is selling to you, they’ll want to weigh the vehicle heavier than it actually is. So they might pull so far forward that another truck can place its front axles on the scales, making it seem far heavier than it is.


2. Load Cell Tampering

Load cell tampering can go unnoticed for months and cost a business thousands.

If no one is checking and servicing the scales on a regular basis, tampering with load cells can be easily achieved.

Sometimes, it can be the load cell itself that is interfered with, or it could be the cables or junction box.

To do this, fraudsters will use a device and put it into the system that allows them to shift the weight of the vehicle in the driver’s favour.

Unfortunately, these devices can be bought online, and all the driver has to do is simply install them when no one else is around, then control the weight reading from wherever they are.


3. Lightening the Load

In places where there are two-pass transactions, there is some distance between the scale and the loading/unloading location, and lightening the truck’s load happens here.

Quite often, a driver will weigh-in the load initially, and then either load or unload materials – sometimes even a person!

Simply, the change will happen in between weigh-ins and then the driver gets paid for the excess.


4. Altering Weight Data

There can be times when a driver and weighbridge operator work together by tampering with the data from a vehicle’s weigh-in.

By working together, the operator too takes a cut of whatever the driver will make from the fraudulent activity.

In addition, there’s also an issue of insecure software that can be easily hacked and changed, leading to the same type of heavy loss for your business.


5. Disappearing Goods

There may be times when a driver decides they want to give themselves a raise, and they steal to get it.

For instance, after loading up the vehicle with the goods or materials they’re transporting, they’ll make a stop somewhere and stash a small amount away in a secret location.

Then, when they arrive for a weigh-in at their destination, this difference goes undetected.

Over time, if this crime keeps occurring, it can amount to a huge loss for your business.


Preventing Weighbridge Fraud

To protect yourself from fraudulent activities, you cannot operate with outdated technology Today, there are some advanced electronic methods that can detect scale manipulation, and others that stop cheating before it happens through anti-fraud alarms and notifications.

Moreover, weighbridge security software can help to takeaway fraud on your scales, and so keep financial losses at a minimum; there is even software where operators cannot see the scales.

Secondly, other effective systems work by assigning passwords to operators, which also gives you the ability to assign specific roles to appropriate team members.

Simply, passwords limit access to the weighbridge software and only authorised personnel can process transactions.

With security software, it will make a permanent record of all transactions and you should audit this information regularly; fraudsters work hard to stay ahead of the game and frequent checks are an effective deterrent.

All in all, weighbridges are a key target for fraudulent transactions – don’t let yours be one of them.

So, take these preventative measures and everyone will benefit, except the fraudsters of course!

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