Government imposters target commercial truck owners

What’s one kind of scam targeting you and everyone you know? Imposter scams. They happen when scammers pretend to be a person, business, or government agency you trust, then try to convince you to send money. One of their latest targets: people who own tractor-trailer trucks and other commercial vehicles.

According to the FTC’s lawsuit filed earlier this month, a company calling itself DOT Authority led commercial truck owners to believe they were dealing with the real U.S. Department of Transportation or another government agency. The reason? DOT Authority tricked them into paying extra service fees for help filing their federal and state motor carrier registrations. DOT Authority used robocalls, emails, and text messages to scare people into believing that if they didn’t pay DOT Authority, they faced a $1,000 fine. Most of the people targeted owned small family businesses with only a few employees and fewer than five trucks.

Owners that paid DOT Authority — instead of renewing their registration through the official Unified Carrier Registration website — did get their registration renewed, but they paid up to $550 more than the official government fee to do it. 

That wasn’t all. Commercial truck owners also have to recertify information about their vehicles every two years or deactivate their USDOT number if they’re no longer operating. That’s free through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. But DOT Authority charged people between $25 and $200 to download the form for recertification and $200 to file for deactivation.

If that weren’t enough, the company also put people into an automatic renewal program without their permission, taking out money again and again every year. The scheme, which began as early as 2012, took in more than $19 million from thousands of people throughout the U.S.

Tagged with: government, imposter, scam

Comments

Those people should be put in prison. There are so many nickel and dime costs for small trucking companies that are doing good work and providing good jobs and for the DOT to allow this to have gone on for so long is in itself criminal. The problem is small Trucking companies are limited in office staff and the DOT is so ominous that the trucking companies try to avoid all contact that might result additional time being spent with DOT.

This is nothing new. The minute we applied for our DOT# in 2013, we started getting scam phone calls and emails. All of it is public record and on the internet so its easier for the scammers to get your phone number and email address. Thanks to our wonderful government!%#@!

Easy to blame the government for scammers. You are pointing the finger at the wrong people. Like the people who condemn Medicare because some doctors are issuing fake prescriptions.

Thanks for the information.

When did scammer end using other people special when people trying to make call to some one call curt or not even go true if some one researching things thought you sign them how can you sign person you never know .and head things about them ,

Why did it take the DOT and FTC over four (4) years to act, and file the case in the first place????

The original truck issue happened over twenty years ago....believe it or not

Companies cannot get your information, if you don't give it to them! Companies, asking for any personal information, should be cut off, from conducting Business ever again!

IM A TRUE BELEIVER IN YOU WANT THE REAL PERSON THEN YOU SHOULD SEE THE REAL PERSON FACE TO FACE THATS AS REAL AS IT GETS

My husband and I, as well as, a nieghbor were contacted once by this firm. They did not contact the drivers directly. Instead, they made their initial contact through me at our home office. When they described their services and the fees associated with them, I laughed and hung up with the instruction to never contact us again. This is the ssame kind fo stupid stuff that goes on with phone calls from the IRS. The IRS will never phone you without prior arrangements having been made. Further, you should already know who processes your plates, registration, permits, etc. and if you are pleased with those services, why would you change? Duh?

Don't let laziness be the reason why someone defrauds you. BTW, the DOT can do nothing until after you complaain, so one has to wonder why it took so long for the people doing the bookkeeping and tax work to figure it out and report it to the truck owners?

Can't get my phone back from someone in control of it.

I HOPE I GIVE THEM THE RIGHT INFORMATION THANK YOU

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