John Palazzolo has dreamed for years of moving to Florida and working as an over-the-road truck driver.
Palazzolo, an OOIDA member from Huntington Station, NY, has worked as a Long Island school bus driver for nearly seven years.
Since last fall, Palazzolo has posted his resume on several job websites hoping to land a job farther south on the East Coast. Such a gig could facilitate his moving from New York to Florida.
That hope, however, apparently made him an easy target for a likely scam.
In April, Palazzolo said he was contacted by a woman named Michelle who said she recruited drivers for a company called “Arrowhead Logistics.” The company supposedly had a job waiting for him when his semester with the school district finished up in mid-May.
To get the job, Palazzolo needed only to wire Michelle $159 for his background check.
After Palazzolo left several messages in late April, Michelle called him back and said the job was his. She told Palazzolo the company was waiting on his truck to arrive, and that he’d be refunded for the background check at orientation.
Palazzolo was told the company would be in touch during the first week of May.
“Here we are and I still haven’t heard from them,” he said Monday, adding that the company also pulled down its website.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website, one company by the name “Arrowhead Logistics LLC” exists in Gainesville, GA. That Arrowhead Logistics, however, has authority only as a broker. That company is listed on a Gainesville business website as a warehouse located on White Sulphur Road. The phone number listed is no longer a working number.
Searching online, Palazzolo said a friend came across a message board full of posts from other CDL-holders who had spent $200 to $350 on background checks after being contacted by a recruiter from Arrowhead Logistics. According to the message board, the drivers never heard from the company again.
“I should have known,” Palazzolo said. “Now that I’m thinking about it, it was too good to be true.”
Palazzolo is examining all his legal options, he said. He’s hoping to work the case together with other potential victims.
“I at least want them to pay us all back,” Palazzolo said. “I’m going to get some justice for all the fellow drivers who are looking for jobs. This is ridiculous.”
He does feel fortunate for one reason: He never quit his old job.
“Thank goodness,” he said.