Fraud Letter Warning
The US Office of Inspector General has issued a Fraud Alert to contractors regarding faxed letters requesting financial information. The scam has been around for several years and has resurfaced this month.
Recently, many contractors have received a faxed letter that is part of a recurring identity theft scheme asking recipients to provide bank account information on an “Authorization to Release Financial Information” form. The letter is typically signed by someone claiming to be a “Senior Procurement Officer” at DOT and appears on U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) letterhead containing a Washington, D.C. address, but little other identifying information. Information on this recurring scam and an example of these fraudulent letters can be seen below.
THIS IS A FRAUDULENT REQUEST – DO NOT RESPOND.
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, please 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, please contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline here, or by calling 800-424-9071. The OIG may also provide your information to the U.S. Secret Service office in DC.
If you have already responded to such a request, please notify your financial institution immediately and contact the OIG Hotline. We also encourage you to contact your local law enforcement agency and your regional U.S. Secret Service office. Because these types of identity theft scams are often conducted from outside the United States of America, it may be extremely difficult to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, you may want to review the Secret Service’s tips for victims of fraud.