Another round of fraudulent U.S. DOT letters is being distributed, largely by fax, to motor carrier officials in an attempt to obtain banking information from the targeted carriers, warn the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General.
They are dated March 12, 2013, and appear to be from the U.S. Department of Transportation Procurement Office and are signed by a fictitious name Julie Weynel, senior procurement officer, who is not an employee of the U.S. DOT.
“Motor carrier officials and their employees, as well as government and law enforcement officials, should be vigilant and on the lookout for fraudulent attempts to gather financial or other personal identifiable Information data by fax, e-mail, or telephone," says statement released by FMCSA. "Requestors should be verified and authenticated before such data is provided."
The DOT IG says any direct communication from DOT should always be accompanied with detailed contact information. In addition, DOT procurement representatives will only request financial information in reference to specific contracts awarded. DOT does not request financial information from prospective contractors wishing to submit a bid proposal or quote.
If you have questions about a DOT request regarding procurement, contact the Office of the Senior Procurement Executive at (202) 366–4263 or the office of procurement for any of the individual DOT operating administrations.
If you would like to report a fraudulent request for information to DOT, you can contact the Office of Inspector General Hotline here, or by calling (800) 424–9071. The OIG may also provide your information to the U.S. Secret Service office.
Other versions of a similar letter have been sent out to contractors purporting to be from Equifax and other companies. The DOT I.G. says these letters are also a fraudulent means to obtain financial information. For more information on the letters from Equifax you can visit their website.
If you have already responded to such a request, the office advises you contact your financial institution immediately and contact the OIG Hotline.
You can get more information on this most recent or other past fraudulent letters by visiting the DOT Office of Inspector General website.