The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) continues to become aware of apparent contracting scams designed to trick unsuspecting vendors to deliver products for which they will receive no payment.
(You can view a compendium of articles about previously-identified scams at: https://gtpac.org/?s=scam.)
The latest example that’s come to our attention involves an email sent to vendors asking for a quote on some computer equipment. The email is supposedly from a contracting representative with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Vendors are asked to quote on name-brand portable hard drives and two brands of laptop computers. The solicitation document appears to be a version of the federal Standard Form 1449. But there are several suspicious elements associated with the solicitation:
- While the email purportedly is from the SEC’s headquarters, the document indicates that the SEC office is in Germany.
- Place of delivery is not listed.
- The solicitation is pre-signed by the contracting officer.
- The solicitation number is not consistent with standard numbering.
- The phone number provided could be a cell phone number.
We have seen suspicious documents like this before. What can result is that a vendor will respond with pricing. Then, the scam artist will respond by saying that the quote has been accepted and directing that the products be shipped to a particular address. After that, all communication ceases. The vendor is cheated out of products (plus the cost of shipping), and receives no payment.
Be alert to scams like this. If you receive something that looks suspicious, call it to our attention. We’ll help you figure out what to do.