FMCSA Alerts Motor Carriers to Fake Safety Audit Scam by Cybercriminals

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued an alert for motor carriers where cybercriminals are posing as agency auditors via email to obtain information and gain unauthorized access to their FMCSA accounts. Once the bad actors gain access, they can change the information and impersonate carriers and other entities to engage in fraudulent freight transactions.

This scam is called phishing and is defined as a technique used to acquire sensitive data through fraudulent solicitation in an email or on a website. The perpetrators masquerade as a legitimate business, agency, or reputable person. In this case, the cybercriminal sends an email under what looks to be the FMCSA’s address, notifying the motor carrier of the “need to schedule a safety audit.”

The email contains a link that appears to go to a legitimate URL on the Safer website. Once you click on the link, the page mirrors FMCSA’s MCS-150 form updates. It includes fields requesting the carrier’s PIN, employer identification number (EIN), and Social Security number.

At first glance, the email containing the link is “very convincing this is coming from FMCSA,” the agency said.

Be Vigilant: Think Twice Before Clicking

According to the agency, official safety audit communications will “typically come directly from an FMCSA dedicated mailbox, or from the entity within the State that has been assigned the responsibility to conduct the safety audit.” While these emails typically end with a .gov extension, it’s critical to verify any email or communication you feel to be suspicious with the appropriate agency or contact your FMCSA Division Office directly to clarify.

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