HNI Vice President & Transportation Practice Leader
The U.S. Department of Transportation warned motor carriers last week against fraudulent letters asking for sensitive financial information.
The fake letters are signed by an employee — a made-up senior procurement officer named Julie Weynal — of the DOT's Procurement Office. The letters usually arrive by fax.
The letter asks recipients to complete an "Authorization to Release Financial Information" form by sharing bank account information. "To be eligible for procurement with the U.S. Department of Transportation," the letter says, "you must submit the abovementioned form to us by fax."
The letter appears on a DOT letterhead with a Washington, D.C., address, but it contains almost no other contact information.
The DOT reminds contractors and prospective contractors that:
"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."
Click here to view a PDF of the latest letter being sent to DOT contractors and prospective contractors.
Motor carriers who receive the fake letter should contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) hotline or call 800-424-9071.
If you already have responded to the fraudulent request, notify your financial institution immediately and contact the OIG hotline.
Click here to see the official DOT warning.