Your team at the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) stands ready to offer you advice about any aspect of government contracting — especially when you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a contract-related service or solicitation.
We’ve published many articles before about government contracting scams (click here to see previous articles), and once again we want to bring another one to your attention.
Just a few days ago, a GTPAC client contacted one of our Counselors and asked about the legitimacy of a request for a quotation he received, supposedly from the Dept. of Defense (DoD). Once we examined the email and the attachment that our client sent us, we told him to run — not walk — away from it!
Here Are the Details
The email was purportedly from a DoD official soliciting a quote for some laptops and computer drives.
We examined the email and its attachment, including the following:
- We called the phone number in the email which was answered by a person who didn’t identify himself. When we asked questions, he said that he’d have the person identified in the email call us back with details. No one called back.
- We checked the identity of the person who supposedly sent the email. The email’s Quote form identified him as Deputy Director for Procurement at AT&L. We determined that, in reality, he is DoD’s Deputy Director for Earned Value Management. AT&L (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) is a unit within DoD that no longer exists; it’s been reorganized into two groups: research and engineering (R&E) and acquisition and sustainment (A&S). (See details of that reorganization by clicking here.)
- We also identified the DoD official’s real email address and his actual phone number; they were not the email address or phone number shown in the email and on the Quote form that was sent to our client.
- We noted that the federal solicitation number shown on the Quote form was not in the correct format, and the Quote form itself was not a form we have ever seen before.
- The wording of the email was sloppy and unprofessionally prepared.
Based on the above, we advised our client to not respond because we believe this is a probable scam which will lead to an order to ship the products to a bogus shipping address, for which payment will never be received. We also alerted the appropriate DoD officials of this probable scam.
What You Should Do
It’s as simple as 1-2-3.
- Stay alert to possible scams involving government contracting. There are many scams in circulation literally every day.
- Don’t let the temptation of landing a sale overtake your common sense. If it looks like easy money, it’s probably bogus.
- Whenever you are in doubt, contact GTPAC for advice. We’ll be happy to check things out for you and provide you with our opinion. It’s as simple as forwarding anything suspicious to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, the GTPAC team is here to help you succeed in the government marketplace!
P.S.: If your business is located outside the state of Georgia, you can find a procurement technical assistance center (PTAC) by clicking here.