Ad Alert

US Federal Contractor Registration flags imposters.

Ad Alert

US Federal Contractor Registration

In a recent comment filed in support of the FTC’s proposed Rule on Impersonation of Government and Businesses, noted a trend of private, for-profit companies posing as the System for Award Management (, an official website of the U.S. government.

In order to be eligible to receive grant money from the federal government, including COVID relief funds, businesses and organizations must register at SAM registration, which is also required to bid on government contracts, is relatively simple — and 100% free. And not only is it free to register, it’s free to renew registration, which can also be done through

Yet some firms design their websites to look like the government website – including through the use of the official logo and/or other government seals, a practice that would be prohibited under the FTC’s rule – without adequately disclosing that they’re actually third-party, for-profit companies and that the same registration and renewal services for which they charge hundreds to thousands of dollars are available for free on the actual site.

In its comment, identified several companies engaging in such deception, including US Federal Contractor Registration (USFCR).

On USFCR’s homepage, the company does disclose that the “government offers SAM registration forms at no charge,” but this important information appears inconspicuously below links to “Start SAM Registration” and “Renew SAM Registration” at the top of the page. (According to the FTC, material information must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed.) reached out to USFCR for comment. Check back for updates.

In the last five years, consumers have reported losing more than $2 billion to government and business imposter scams. Among other things, the FTC’s proposed rule would allow the agency to recover money from scammers who harm consumers in violation of the rule.

Read more about’s efforts to eradicate deceptive marketing in this area here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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