The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a warning to truckers about predatory companies that pose as government agencies.
In a Friday morning Facebook post, the FMCSA issued a reminder about fraudulent or misleading marketing attempts targeting motor carriers.
The agency wrote:
FMCSA does not: Contact carriers by telemarketers or “robo-call” automated telephone solicitations.
FMCSA does not: Request credit card numbers by telephone.
FMCSA does not: Charge a fee for downloadable U.S. Government forms
The FMCSA provides additional information about fraudulent or misleading marketing attempts on their website. Take a look below.
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 US Mail. These businesses obtain your company’s information when you submit an application or update your information with FMCSA, because your basic carrier information is publicly available.
These companies often contact new carriers after they complete online transactions with FMCSA. 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
Motor carrier service providers and third-party administrators or their employees can and do provide valuable services to motor carriers and new entrants in the motor carrier community. The use of a private entity or company to assist a motor carrier with compliance is an option for motor carrier officials and new entrant applicants. However, the U.S. Government does not endorse private businesses or vendors, and the use of a service provider is NOT required by FMCSA.
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 to three years (18 USC § 912).
If you have been the victim of fraud and experienced a loss, please report the crime to Law Enforcement. You should report any compromised banking or credit card information to your financial institution or Credit Card Company immediately.
If you would like to report a fraudulent request for information to DOT, please contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline via https://www.oig.dot.gov/hotline or by calling (800) 424–9071.
You can report aggressive or misleading marketers to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov/complaint.