Scam Alert: Fraud Procurement Officer Almost Scams Maryland-Based Business Out of $22,000

ST. PETERSBURG, FL--(Marketwired - June 08, 2015) - When business owner Maryjoe Phillips of Paratus Unlimited, Inc entered the federal marketplace at no point did she think she would encounter a cyber scam. Most companies fail to take into account that there are scams that pose as Procurement Officers and Government Buyers in an effort to steal from innocent federal contractors. Government contracting can be a difficult field for businesses that are completely brand new to the topic. Experienced government contractors know that winning your first government contract can mean all the world to a business. Once the first contact is awarded and past performance is established businesses have an easier time winning more contacts in the future. Which made this possible contract deal for Paratus Unlimited, Inc much more tempting.

Paratus Unlimited, Inc has 15 years of experience in the wholesale brokering business. They recently enrolled in US Federal Contractor Registration’s Simplified Acquisition Program in early March 2015 to start winning government contracts. Shortly after their initial enrollment, they were contacted by a University of Michigan Procurement Officer on March 20, 2015. The Procurement Officer requested a number of different materials that he would be interested in acquiring from Paratus Unlimited, Inc. Overjoyed in the anticipation of their first government contract, Paratus Unlimited, Inc began contacting their vendors to broker the material deal. On March 24, 2015, the Procurement Officer requested that Phillips submit the bid by the end of the day and mail out the $22,000 in products to a disclosed location. Phillips called her vendors to broker the deal and that is when she realized she was being scammed. After consulting with trusted advisors in Phillip’s network, it was determined the Procurement Officer was a fake. All orders were immediately stopped and all transactions were postponed.

After noticing some red flags in the process, Phillips soon realized this procurement officer was not a government official and was trying to steal from her company. Luckily no money was lost. After checking the scammer’s credentials and contacting the real Procurement Officer at the University of Michigan it was discovered their businesses was the victim of a common federal cyber scam. The scam generally involves an off-shore company who poses as a government buyer in an attempt to trick businesses into sending them thousands of dollars in materials.

In an online interview with US Federal Contractor Registration’s Director of Marketing Max Timko, Phillips stated, “My advice to other contractors is check it out thoroughly. Even if the Duns number, EIN number, address, procurement officer contact info is correct, still check it out. Even if they send you a credit reference sheet, do your research. If they rush the delivery date at the last minute don’t be too eager to meet their new requirements. With this solicitation being my first order and being new to this business I was afraid to offend anyone so I didn’t press too many questions and accommodated all their requests to ensure future orders. I had no idea that this type of cyber crime was going on. I didn’t think that any criminal could steal a federal institution's identity. Protect and educate yourself! I learned my lesson.” US Federal Contractor Registration encourages businesses to make sure they carry out market research on government buyers before trusting them with their federal information. This particular situation could have easily happened to any business looking to win government contracts.

US Federal Contractor Registration (USFCR) marketing programs and campaigns stretch far across the nation. Businesses that are looking to network directly with real Procurement Officers utilize the Simplified Acquisition Program. Phillips commented about the Simplified Acquisition Program and USFCR customer service stating, “I would recommend US Federal Contractor Registration to other businesses. I needed their guidance as to how to look for opportunities and the protocol that is involved in working with the Federal Government. It is very important that you work with an Acquisition Specialist that you feel comfortable with. You need to be comfortable to ask questions and have things explained to you at your pace. There is a lot to learn and US Federal Contractor Registration can teach and coach you to be successful! My Acquisition Specialist Robert Renzella is my crutch; my go to person for answers.”

Vendors can trust US Federal Contractor Registration with their federal information and for advice on related fraudulent activity. Recognized in the industry as the world’s largest and most respected third party government registration, US Federal Contractor Registration helps small businesses market themselves directly to government agencies. They apply the same tools Fortune 500 companies use in order to win government contracts and establish business relationships with procurement officers across the nation. Their Simplified Acquisition Program has helped businesses win millions of dollars in the federal marketplace, and continues to be the top small business government marketing solution to date. Businesses that would like to learn more about enrollment into the Simplified Acquisition Program can contact Acquisition Specialist Robert Renzella at 1 (877) 252-2700 Ext 767 or visit to get started.

To inquire about Paratus Unlimited, Inc’s services please contact Principal Officer Maryjoe Phillips at (443) 271-5849 or email her at Procurement officers and Prime Contractor can view Paratus Unlimited, Inc’s government-formatted website at

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Contact Information:

Max Timko
Director of Marketing
US Federal Contractor Registration
877-252-2700 Ext. 750