FMCSA warns motor carriers to be wary of potential scams
April 12, 2021
•Land Line Staff
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is once again warning motor carriers not to fall victim to fraudulent, misleading or aggressive marketing attempts when it comes to filing biennial registration reports.
In a post on Facebook on April 9, FMCSA showed a picture of one of those letters that is designed to look like an official communique but in fact is nothing more than a “phishing” attempt.
“Important reminder: Be wary of fraudulent, misleading or aggressive marketing attempts,” FMCSA’s post states. “FMCSA is aware that motor carrier officials and new entrant applicants often receive confusing or misleading solicitations from service providers or third-party administrators by telephone, e-mail, text and U.S. mail.”
Important Reminder: Be wary of fraudulent, misleading or aggressive marketing attempts.
FMCSA does not: Contact carriers…
The post goes on to state that FMCSA does not do any of the following:
- Contact carriers by telemarketers or “robo-call” automated telephone solicitations.
- Request credit card numbers by telephone.
- Charge a fee for downloadable U.S. government forms.
Another thing that FMCSA doesn’t do: endorse private businesses or vendors. Nor is the use of a service provider required by FMCSA.
The agency says that the businesses obtain motor carrier information when a company submits an application or updates it information with FMCSA, because basic carrier information is publicly available.
“These companies often contact new carriers after they complete online transactions with FMCSA,” according to the agency’s website.
FMCSA warns that aggressive or fraudulent marketing complaints have included carriers being pressured to immediately enroll in:
- Drug and alcohol supervisor training.
- General FMCSA regulatory and compliance support.
- Unified Carrier Registration compliance.
- Biennial update or Unified Registration System compliance.
Under federal law, impersonating “an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States” in order to demand or obtain “any money, document, or thing of value” can result in a fine as well as imprisonment for up tthree years.
The agency urges those who have been the victim of fraud and experienced a loss to report the crime to law enforcement. Report any compromised banking or credit card information to your financial institution or credit card company immediately.
To report a fraudulent request for information to U.S. DOT, contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline or by calling 800-424–9071.
Report aggressive or misleading marketers to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov/Complaint. LL