Read This Before You Respond to SAM-Related Spam

If you have been in the federal grants community for any time at all, you probably know that your organization needs an account with the System for Award Management (SAM), or, to do business (e.g., receive grants) from the U.S. government.

SAM registration is relatively simple (you’ll need a DUNS number), and it’s free. However, there is no shortage of spam calls and emails offering paid services to register and maintain your registration. These can cost hundreds of dollars, but be cautious when responding to such appeals. Registering, renewing, and updating your SAM registration is absolutely free.

Spam-like Appeals

SAMThe third-party emails or unsolicited calls will typically warn you of an impending expiration.

For example, an email might read, “You’re receiving this message because the registration for [your entity], in the U.S. Federal Government’s System for Award Management (SAM), will expire [date]. It is time to update your annual registration.”

The message will then follow with a link to a non-government website.

Buried on that website are often details about the costs involved with handing your registration maintenance over to the vendor – often hundreds of dollars for a multi-year service agreement.

Be Cautious

“There is NO FEE to register, or maintain your registration, in the System for Award Management (,” reads a notice on the Federal Service Desk website. “If you receive an email from a company claiming to represent, be cautious. If you get an e-mail from a company offering to help you register in [and] asking you to contact them and pay them money, be cautious. These messages are not from the Federal Government. It is FREE TO REGISTER in for any entity.”

In case you’re wondering, getting help with your SAM registration is also free.

“Just contact the supporting Federal Service Desk (FSD) at 866-606-8220 or,” counsels the Federal Service Desk., meanwhile, offers user guides and demonstration videos to help with the registration, renewal and maintenance process.

To be sure, it is important to keep your SAM registration active and accurate – especially if you are applying for federal grants. But you can do this quite easily without forking over hundreds of dollars to a third-party company.

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4 thoughts on “Read This Before You Respond to SAM-Related Spam

    1. When you’re working on a grant application in Workspace, your organization’s SAM expiration date is visible on the Manage Workspace page. Regarding a notification, it is currently planned for Release 16.3 (October 2018) to add an automated email notice about SAM expiration.


  1. Where do I report spam? I just received 3 spam emails within the span of a week. One from a company who called me, another from, and This level of spam from SAM is really intolerable and I don’t know what to do. It is a little confusing because SAM requires a DUNS number from a non government site, so if there is one non government site, then there may be more. I don’t see any spam profiles for the above two sites, so I don’t know what is legit and what is not. I really hate giving my email address and contact info out to the public just for this reason. But SAM requires my contact info be out for all to see. There should really be an option for me to give a public profile and the profile I submit to SAM.

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    1. Hi Brandon, you can report any scams to the Federal Trade Commission online, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. As for spam, be sure to mark the spam emails as such and hopefully they will be funneled to your spam folder moving forward.

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