The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued two alerts, one about truck drivers being defrauded and another about the importance of protecting a motor carrier’s personal identification number.
FMCSA is warning of attempts to defraud drivers seeking employment and CDL training schools who are attempting to help students find jobs. The agency says the way this scam works is a caller represents himself or herself as being a recruiter for a known and legitimate motor carrier to a representative of a truck driving school or truck driver. The caller has an air of urgency and “must hire” several CDL holders immediately or as soon as a student graduates from driver training and receives his or her CDL. The fraudster may also solicit truck driving school instructors to give his or her call back number to trainees or recent graduates from truck driving schools.
When a driver seeking employment calls the phony recruiter, he or she is offered an immediate position with higher than normal pay and benefits for a new driver and is often told there will be a “waiver” for previous criminal or DUI convictions older than three to five years.
The caller then tells the driver candidate he or she must prove financial solvency to the carrier by sending a wire transfer of $350 or more to the “recruiter”. Recently the wire transfer instructions were to procure a Walmart money transfer purchased at the closest Walmart store and sent to the “recruiter” for pick-up at another Walmart store, usually in another state. Past fraudulent “recruiters” have directed money transfers through other common money transfer services such as Western Union.
Victims are then directed to travel to a location, often in another state than his or her residence, to be picked up by a company trainer and the pick-up does not occur.
The second warning concerns motor carrier personal identification numbers.
It says your PIN is your personal identifier and should not be shared with anyone you have not authorized to make changes to your motor carrier status. The reason is because the PIN allows access to a carrier’s USDOT data and to make changes or updates to the company’s information, including identification updates, name and address changes, transfers, and voluntary revocations.
FMCSA advises to only share your PIN with individuals authorized to make changes to your FMCSA records. An added safeguard is to conduct regular checks of your company information in the FMCSA system. If you suspect your Personal Identification Number has been compromised, please change your PIN immediately! If you experience difficulty changing your PIN contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Information Line at 1-800-832-5660.
FMCSA does not say in this bulletin whether or not there has been recent activity by unauthorized persons using a motor carrier PIN to access or change records.