Back in 2005, drivers received letters allegedly from the DOT requesting personal information. The letters differed here and there, but the general idea was that you needed to send in bank account information to the DOT so that your account could be cleared and you could get paid.
The scam has been running off and on since and now, the scammers are at it again. On Sept. 24th, a round of faxes were sent out asking drivers to release their personal data including bank account information to a “senior procurement officer” with the DOT for an “Authorization to Release Financial Information.” The faxes were on official-looking DOT letterhead and signed by “Julie P. Weynel” and some other names claiming to be senior procurement officers.
The real DOT Office of Inspector General issued a statement saying “Please be aware that DOT does not require any financial information to be submitted.” The office also says that if you have received one of the letters, you should call local law enforcement, your regional U.S. Secret Service office, and the agency’s fraud hotline at 800-424-9071.
Of course these letters aren’t real, but identity theft of this kind can pose a serious risk. Always take precautions to protect yourself. Any time a company or agency asks for personal financial information, you have the right to know what that information is being used for. If they can’t give you a straight answer, or if something seems wrong, don’t give out your information.