How do I say this kindly...Buyer Beware? Know what you're signing up for?
Either way, this morning I experienced a sharp pain only business owners will appreciate. Some email from some person with a subject line including "Deactivation Notice". Immediate fear! Did I miss a calendar reminder? Did I not file something I was supposed to? How will this impact my business operations?
We can't help ourselves from going through this process in our own minds. I know I'm not allow here either. Several of my clients ask me to validate similar emails. And sure, I appreciate the constant LinkedIn messages that promise leads and sales or the Labor EEO Compliance Poster letters we all get a couple weeks after registering a company with the state. Marketing and SPAM is a fact of life in today's economy and has been. It's part of doing business and a significant reason why some companies decide to use registered agents (to keep their contact information as private as possible).
All of that said, it still happened. This morning, that email from a company I shall not name caught my eye and gave me a minor cardiac event. Of course I know better than to click anything, let's not go crazy.
The email said:
This email is intended for the following recipient:
Business Name: NATIONAL CENTER FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING, LLC
CAGE Code: 9HHU0
SAM UEID: FFG9W77UB558
Contact: ANDY BENNETT
The System for Award Management ("SAM") profile associated with this CAGE/UEID identification information is scheduled for deactivation on 3/5/2024.
For renewal assistance:
CALL - Nope, saving you the time
SAM Support Center
Guess what? This is all public information! And if you watch my videos or have attended my workshops, you know this too.
Here are the facts, SAM registrations ALWAYS expire after 1 year. They are just like your state registrations. You must update and renew every year. Unlike the state though, SAM annual updates are FREE. You can pay me or some other company to do it for you. I will happily accept your business. BUT YOU CAN DO THIS YOURSELF FOR FREE.
The telltale clue when you get emails like this is to look at the sender's email address. Notice the domain. In email addresses, everything following the "@" is the domain. For example, my email is email@example.com. The email domain is nc-rgc.com. You can pull just that part from my email and go to my website.
Specifically notice the ".com". Lots and lots of these exist. .us, .com., .org and a whole bunch more.
The ones to pay attention to end with ".gov". At least for now, that is a good signal the email is likely legitimate. For those with GSA contract for example will get regular emails from firstname.lastname@example.org for sales reporting. Again, notice the ".gov" at the end of the email. It's legitimate.
Buyer beware and check before you click!