Chicago, IL – March 25, 2009 - BBB is alerting contractors and their employees to be aware of fraudulent letters re-circulating that appear to be sent from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The fraudulent letter is being distributed to businesses via FAX. The letter indicates that your company is currently registered as a prospective contractor for procurements issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The letter goes on to state that your business has not submitted its financial information release form, and to be eligible for the procurement the company's bank account number, bank name, telephone and fax numbers must be submitted along with the "Authorization to Release Financial Information" form via FAX.
“Every year, businesses lose millions of dollars to Internet, phone and direct mail scammers using a host of different tricks and schemes such as this one,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.
The Better Business Bureau suggests looking out for the following red flags:
· The unsolicited communication is received by FAX.
· There is no telephone number listed for the U.S. Department of Transportation representative or contact person.
· There is a request for personal and sensitive business bank account information.
Check out any unsolicited and questionable communications with the BBB at www.bbb.org before answering them.
The U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. confirms that this letter is fraudulent and is an attempt to drain your business bank accounts.
“Train your employees to recognize business scams such as this one, and never release sensitive information about your business to unknown parties,” says Bernas.
According to the U.S. DOT's Web site this letter has been circulating since 2005. Legitimate DOT procurement representatives will request financial information only "in reference to specific contracts awarded" and do not request financial information from prospective contractors "wishing to submit a bid proposal or quote."