Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing

  • Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2018

 MO PTAC staff continually warn clients of companies that engage in deceptive marketing practices by disguising themselves to look like official government websites, then charge businesses for things that are free, such as registration in sam.gov, the federal government’s system for award management.

Well, the wolves are out again, this time preying on businesses looking to help in areas of the U.S. devastated by natural disasters. In fact, if you do a Google search for “FEMA contracts,” only some links point to official FEMA or Department of Homeland Security websites.

Can you guess which ones are official government sites and which are impersonators? You may also receive an official-looking email urging you to take action.

Here’s how to spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  1. Look at the URL. Official government websites will typically end in .gov rather than .com or .org.

  2. Examine the URL of the email sender, too. Does the email address end in @fema.com or something similar? A .com is typically a dead giveaway that the email is not coming from the U.S. government.

  3. Are they asking for a fee? The federal government will never send emails soliciting money for vendor registration or any other service.

  4. When in doubt, ask your MO PTAC representative! We have seen far too many deceptive marketing practices over the years, and can help you identify wolves.

Feel free to forward your MO PTAC counselor any suspicious email or website URLs for a free evaluation.

Find a MO PTAC counselor close to you.

–Article courtesy of govology.

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