US DOT issues warning about fraudulent marketing techniques targeting motor carriers

FMCSA has issued a warning to motor carriers and new entrant applicants about confusing and misleading solicitations from service providers or third party administrators by telephone, email text and U.S. mail. According to the FMCSA, these businesses are able to target motor carriers and obtain their business data because U.S. DOT applications and registrations along with other basic carrier information is publicly available on agency websites. These companies often contact carriers within minutes after they complete online transactions with FMCSA.

Aggressive or fraudulent marketing complaints have included carriers being pressured to immediately enroll in:
  • Drug and Alcohol Supervisor Training
  • General FMCSA Regulatory and Compliance Support
  • Unified Carrier Registration Compliance
  • Biennial Update or Unified Registration System Compliance
Motor carrier service providers and third-party administrators or their employees can and do provide valuable services to motor carriers and new entrants in the motor carrier community. The use of a private entity or company to assist a motor carrier with compliance is certainly an option for motor carrier officials and new entrant applicants. However, the U.S. Government does not endorse private businesses or vendors, and the use of a service provider is NOT required by FMCSA.

Under federal law, pretending to be "an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States" in order to demand or obtain "any money, paper, document, or thing of value" can result in a fine as well as imprisonment for up to three years. If you have been the victim of fraud and experienced a loss, please report the crime to Law Enforcement. You should report any compromised banking or credit card information immediately to your financial institution or credit card issuer. If you would like to report a fraudulent request for information to DOT, please contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline here or by calling 800-424-9071.