Fraud Alert

Criminals Pretending To Be From Well Known International Entities

Agents continue to receive emails from prospective customers who pretend to be from a well known, international company or entity associated with foreign governments (e.g., consulates, companies promoting foreign tourism or business opportunities, etc.). The email seeks a travel agent to fulfill their requests for international airline ticketing (currently for South America departures from BOG and EZE). The criminal sets up a fake domain to look like his or her emails are coming from the well known company. He or she may use most of a real domain name and add a dash or underscore. The fraudster will provide photo-shopped/fake passports, driver's licenses and credit cards.

Before you issue tickets for an unsolicited international corporate account, you may want to contact ARC's Fraud Prevention Team, since we may be able to immediately advise you of potential or confirmed fraud.

What to consider as high risk:

  • Non-local company approaching you to do international tickets
  • International tickets (South American airports, such as BOG, LIM, EZE and GRU, or African airports, such as ACC, DKR and ABJ) for immediate or next-day departures
  • Third-party transactions (caller, passenger and cardholder are not the same)
  • Extensions in email addresses of a well known international company, e.g., using a dash, such as visitmexico-us.com instead of visitmexico.com
  • Newly set up websites rarely belong to a well established international company, or you may find that the domain was set up in a different country than the international company requesting tickets. Verify the domain address, especially those with extensions, e.g., visitmexico-us.com, through whois.com to determine where and when the site was created.
  • Use of multiple credit cards
  • Driver's license/passport/credit card copies sent to you appear fuzzy and contain errors, e.g., using GI instead of GA for Georgia on a driver's license.
  • Credit cards may not be signed.

What should you do if you suspect compromised credit cards? Act quickly to properly void transactions with confirmed compromised credit cards through your GDS to obtain the ESAC code from the carrier's e-ticket database.

Contact ARC's Fraud Prevention department for more ways to identify possible compromised credit cards and important follow-up information at fifp@arccorp.com, 703-816-8137 or 855-358-0393.

About ARC:
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.