There are several unwanted telemarketing calls making the rounds in our state and they’re not limited to medical braces or extended vehicle warranties. Robocall scams have been targeting small businesses that sell their products or services to the federal government. In 2018, Americans were hit with 26.3 billion robocalls, a 46% increase from the year before, according to Robokiller.com. An important part of avoiding government contracting scams is to identify the typical scams pushed by these robocallers:

Scam #1: Caller claims that SAM registrations are no longer free

Scammers have been telling businesses that due to recent security updates to the SAM website, there is now a mandated registration fee.

The Truth: There have been security updates to the SAM website which now require all federal contractors to use www.login.gov to gain secure access to the SAM system using two-factor authentication. However, the federal government has not passed the cost of these security measures on to federal contractors and SAM registration remains free.

Scam #2: Caller claims that your SAM account is being audited

In these calls, scammers claim to be auditing SAM accounts and ask businesses for their personal key, which is the unique 16-digit code they use to sign into Login.gov.

The Truth: The federal government will NEVER call you requesting personal data or login information. If you receive these calls, hang up and do not give them your personal key or any other information.

Scam #3: Caller claims you SAM registration needs renewal

These calls target federal contractors offering to help them renew their SAM registration either over the phone or via a third-party registration website. Furthermore, they warn contractors that failure to renew their SAM registration will result in their business being put on a federal watch list.

The Truth: SAM renewals are done online via their official website www.sam.gov/SAM, not over the phone. Any third-party website is likely a private company that will charge you for something you can do for free. Also, there is no such “federal watch list.”

If you ever have any questions about avoiding government contracting scams or registering with SAM, the Wyoming SBDC Network’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center exists to offer you no-cost support. Click here to learn more and get in touch with your local specialist.

About the Author: Rich Lyles is the Program Manager for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center in the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network. Previously, he worked as a Government Contracts Advisor and as the Deputy Director of the Procurement Outreach Program in the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Rich is a 1991 graduate of UNLV with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and received his MBA from UNLV in 1994. When he’s not in the office Rich likes to travel and do leatherworking.

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