The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration warned fleet operators to watch out for companies who offer to file forms or interact with FMCSA for a fee when in reality carriers can choose to work with the federal agency at no cost.
Fleet managers and new entrant trucking applicants often receive confusing or misleading solicitations from service providers or third-party administrators by telephone, email, text and the U.S. Mail, the agency notes.
FMCSA explains that these businesses obtain a company’s information when it submits an application or updates its information because basic carrier information is publicly available. The companies often contact new carriers after they complete online transactions with FMCSA.
Aggressive or fraudulent marketing scams have included carriers being pressured to immediately enroll in programs such as:
- Drug and Alcohol Supervisor training.
- General FMCSA regulatory and compliance support.
- Unified Carrier Registration Compliance.#
- Biennial Update or Unified Registration System compliance.
“The U.S. government does not endorse private businesses or vendors, and the use of a service provider is not required by FMCSA,” the agency reminds fleet operators.
Although some service providers and third-party firms provide valuable services to carriers and new entrants, FMCSA admits, the scammers either pretend to be government officials or misleadingly claim to have been sent by the government.
FMCSA stresses it is a federal crime punishable by up to three years in prison to impersonate a government official. If you are a victim of this kind of fraud, report it to law enforcement immediately. Also, report fraudulent information requests to the Transportation Department Inspector General’s office at https://www.oig.dot.gov/hotline.