BBB Issues Warning About U.S. DOT Procurement Scam

December 05, 2012

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central SC and Charleston is warning contractors about a phony fax from the U.S. Department of Transportation Procurement Office. BBB is advising businesses to not respond to the fax request for bank account information.

A Columbia, SC contractor received the fax last week but was savvy to not fall prey to the scam. Con artists are using the guise of a government agency to steal money from hard working businesses.

The faxed letter implies any procurement decisions cannot be made until the company provides authorization to release the business’ financial information. Once a scammer has this information, a business’ checking account could be drained. If you have already responded to such a request, BBB suggests you notify your financial institution immediately.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, this scam has been going on for years. The DOT states it does not require any financial information to be submitted in order to be eligible for procurement.

Schemes against companies are BIG business for con artists. Your business is not defenseless. BBB offers the following tips:

  • Don’t be too busy to verify: contact BBB to check out all unsolicited communications.
  • Train employees to recognize the most common business scams.
  • Protect your business identity by never releasing confidential information about your business to unknown parties.