Agency Offers Suggestions for Avoiding Fraud Schemes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is reminding carriers to watch out for fraud schemes designed to get banking and financial information; the warning applies to all of us. According to the FMCSA memo, commonly encountered marketing techniques that are confusing or misleading include the following schemes:
- A caller or written solicitation has a name very similar to the agency name but is not, in fact, a U.S. government agency.
- A caller conveys urgency to provide credit card or other payment information immediately by telephone or suffer immediate consequence. Note: government officials should not ask for credit card numbers by telephone.
- A caller or solicitation states they are “endorsed” by the government. Government agencies do not endorse any businesses or third-party service providers.
- A caller gives vague responses when asked if he/she is an employee or authorized representative of the government.
The agency recommends carriers do the following:
- Carefully read written solicitations.
- Make callers slow down and explain clearly.
- Confirm you are speaking to a government official.
- Look for small print disclaimers that the company is not affiliated with the government.
- When speaking to a caller who is unknown to you, and before conducting business or providing credit card or banking information, ask the caller if he or she is an FMCSA official or a duly authorized representative of the U.S. government, a service provider, or third party administrator. FMCSA does not ask for credit card information over the phone.
If you are unsure whether you are speaking to the government, ask the caller for their name and callback number. Then call the appropriate agency and confirm the caller’s identity.
FMCSA offers suggestions to motor carriers for avoiding fraud schemes.