Fraud Alert

Midwest Corporate Travel Fraud Scheme

A fraudster is calling travel agents and independent contractors, particularly in Iowa and Minnesota, stating that he represents an auto repair, contracting company or building company (engineering/moving company, etc.) in need of a travel agent to fulfill their travel needs. The first tickets are often for domestic travel, followed by international departures. Once you become suspicious of the number of tickets and credit cards being used as well as the international departures, it may be too late. Credit cards may already be compromised. Even though you have obtained a credit card authorization code, your agency can be held responsible if the real cardholder rejects the sales as fraudulent.

What to consider as high risk:

  • A new corporate account approaching you to do international tickets for immediate departure
  • Third-party transactions (passenger and cardholder are not the same)
  • The so-called company website domain may look legitimate, but additional webpages are not developed or under construction
  • The website/domain is only a few months old
  • International departures (mostly to/from South American airports, i.e., BOG, LIM, EZE, GRU)
  • Multiple credit cards used

Consider using ARC's Red Flags list to determine the risk before you issue tickets. To find the Red Flags list, visit the My ARC homepage and click the Best Practice tab under Fraud Prevention. Provide a copy of the Red Flags document to each of your front line staff, including full/part-time employees and independent contractors.

If you suspect such a scheme and want assistance to assess the risk, contact ARC's Fraud Prevention Team to at 855-358-0393 or fifp@arccorp.com.

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.