Email Solicitations for Business: Agents continue to receive emails from prospective customers who pretend to represent a company (engineering, medical, educational, etc.) soliciting a travel agent to do their corporate business travel. At first, the email/caller will request a benign point-to-point domestic ticket (straw purchase) for him or her, using a credit card. Straw purchases are usually for future travel and are never intended for use. Sometimes as soon as the next day, the email/caller will ask for tickets for other passengers. The itineraries will include international gateways (usually to/from West African airports, e.g., ACC, DKR, CMN, LOS), and additional credit cards will be offered as the form of payment. The email/caller may even sway you with details as to why that overseas employee needs an immediate ticket, and the details may fit into an international company profile. The fraudster may provide photo-shopped/fake passports, drivers' licenses and credit cards (be wary of all unsigned credit cards)—all of which are compromised. Send such solicitations to ARC's Fraud Prevention Team at email@example.com for review, as we may be able to advise you of potential or confirmed fraud!
Calling to Confirm Your ARC/IATA Number: Agents, staff and independent contractors have reported receiving calls from an individual (pretending to be from a GDS, airline or tour company/supplier) asking to confirm agency information—particularly asking to confirm or correct your ARC/IATA number. Fraudsters then use the agency information (agency name, address, phone number and ARC number) to sign up to use the carrier or tour company/supplier portals, which may allow direct ticketing, invoicing, etc. If you get such a call, ask questions, identify the caller ID or request a phone number to call back. Agents who have pushed back with questions state that the caller gets frustrated and hangs up.
Do NOT provide your ARC number to anyone who calls you. If you receive unfamiliar ticket confirmations or invoices/commissions from suppliers, or see unfamiliar tickets/commissions in your IAR report, contact the airline or tour company/supplier to question the transaction(s), and contact ARC's Fraud Prevention Team for other important information or instructions at 855-358-0393 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARC powers the U.S.-based travel industry with premier business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools, and powerful data analytics. In 2013, ARC settled $86 billion worth of carrier ticket transactions for more than 9,400 travel agencies with 13,000 points of sale. By providing world-class business services and products, ARC enables participating agencies and 200 carriers to focus on what's important—increasing their revenue. Established in 1984, ARC is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com.