WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - To steal huge shipments of valuable cargo, thieves are turning to a deceptively simple tactic: They pose as truckers, load the freight onto their own tractor-trailers and drive away with it.
It's an increasingly common form of commercial identity theft that has allowed con men to make off each year with millions of dollars in merchandise, often food and beverages. And experts tell The Associated Press that the practice is growing so rapidly that it will soon become the most common way to steal freight.
Experts say online databases allow con men to assume the identities of legitimate freight haulers and to trawl for specific commodities they want to steal.
The thefts have consequences for consumers, including raising prices and potentially allowing unsafe food and drugs to reach store shelves.
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