Recurring scam letter targets truckers and carriers

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 10/2/2012

A recurring scam aimed at stealing identity and bank information continues to linger like a bad case of road rash. The latest round of letters, sent as faxes on or around Sept. 24, asks recipients to release bank account information to a “Senior Procurement Officer” with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Trouble is, it’s not DOT at all, despite official-looking letterhead.

The DOT Office of Inspector General is dealing with the latest round of the scam by alerting the public of the agency’s proper channels and providing a hotline to report cases of fraud.

The latest scam asks prospective DOT contractors receiving the letter to send an “Authorization to Release Financial Information” back to the sender. The recent scam letters are signed by a “Julie P. Weynel” or some variation claiming to be a senior procurement officer. Similar scam letters date back to December 2005.

The real DOT Office of Inspector General says those who receive a procurement letter asking for bank information should call the agency’s fraud hotline at 800-424-9071, local law enforcement and the regional U.S. Secret Service office.

“Please be aware that DOT does not require any financial information to be submitted in order to be eligible for procurement,” the Office of Inspector General states.

Identity theft is serious business, and truckers should take precautions to protect themselves. Often, stolen identity information ends up overseas.

The Secret Service provides some online tips to protecting privacy and personal information including credit.

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