Tami Hart has worked for DAT Solutions for 16-plus years now. For the first six-and-one-half years, she worked in customer support. A switch to more of a compliance role happened 10 years ago, and while the role still involves customer support, it has led to more recognition and an impact on the industry that was recently honored by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“I was very excited to do it,” Hart, DAT’s compliance manager, says of that switch. “I like doing research, connecting data and putting puzzles together.”
Those efforts led Mark Lavender, special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, to award Hart with a “challenge coin” at the DAT User Conference in October for her efforts in helping the Bureau identify and track down hundreds of cases of false payments, cargo theft, and other transportation fraud.
“Tami is an asset to those who spend every day protecting commercial transportation,” Lavender said at the presentation. “In the overall effort to combat cargo theft, every single player is either part of the solution or part of the problem, even if by indifference. It’s great to know that DAT Solutions chooses to be part of the solution and an ally to law enforcement, and Tami is the kind of person we hope is there to answer the call.”
Lavender said the challenge coin was in recognition for Hart’s efforts in helping law enforcement in a “selfless and tireless manner.”
For her part, Hart said she was surprised by the award, but in an interview with FreightWaves, she kept the focus on the task at hand – helping clients avoid becoming victims of scams in the first place.
“I think the most important message is what step a broker or carrier can take to prevent these things from happening,” she says. Hart suggests parties have a plan in place, have a contact they can reach 24/7 should something go wrong, and protect themselves.
“The more you know about who you do business with,” the easier it is to stop potential fraud, she says. She particularly notes weekends as a time where due diligence is important as the time crunch to move a load sometimes causes brokers or carriers to skip the follow up necessary.
DAT offers tools to help parties verify identities, which is the most common fraud, and also advises parties on third-party tools that can help. Hart recommends simple steps such as verifying the phone number, checking if the caller is in the DAT Directory or CarrierWatch list, and also that the information supplied matched information on file with FMCSA. A company phone number, insurance policy number or broker’s bond can also help verify the caller.
The main thing, Hart says, is to have a plan in place so when you think you are a victim of fraud, you can immediately implement the proper procedures to mitigate any damage.
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