DOT offers to help truckers affected by fraudulent financial scam

| 6/6/2008

Earlier this week, trucking companies in at least three states reported they received fraudulent letters requesting their financial information on what appeared to be, but was not, U.S. Department of Transportation letterhead stationary.

In fact, DOT officials have added information about the scam to the agency’s fraud hot line. Truckers who faxed their financial information to the fraudulent number provided on the letterhead should call the hot line at 1-800-424-9071.

According to the DOT hot line message, if trucking companies’ owners or employees have faxed information in response to the fraudulent letter, they should immediately contact their financial institutions to notify them to watch for “unauthorized wire transfers.” If companies have sustained a financial loss because they responded to the fake request, the DOT will also have operators available to assist them further.

The DOT officials are also urging trucking company owners and employees who responded to the financial information scam to contact the U.S. Secret Service office in their local areas and also file reports with their local police departments.

Those who call the DOT hot line number will automatically have their information forwarded on to the U.S Secret Service office in Washington, DC.

Officials in at least three states now are warning trucking companies to be on the lookout for the scam, which refers to a “financial information release form” that includes requests for bank account information.

Trucking companies in Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin have reported receiving the fake letters that state they are from the DOT’s procurement office and ask companies to fax in their “financial information,” before they can “move on with any procurement decisions.”

OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig said that all truckers should be wary of anyone requesting financial or personal information.

“If you are in doubt at all, contact the person or agency that is supposedly requesting the information to confirm that the request is legitimate,” Craig said.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer