Fraud Alert

HOST AGENTS – Reducing Risk from Agency Identity Theft

Recently agents have reported that criminal(s) have stolen the identity of an ARC/IATA agency (recently Canadian agents) and signed up on a host’s website pretending to be an accredited agency. Most Independent Consultants (IC) are very responsible, honest and trustworthy individuals, but there are cases where an IC has committed fraud.  In these cases, the criminal poses as the ARC/IATA agent using the agency code number and address, and a ‘similar’ email address of owner/employee of the approved agency. For example:

Mary Smith’s real email address may be
The criminal will establish and use

The host agency verifies the agency code number is assigned to the named ARC/IATA agency, with the same location, and then the host approves the new IC to use their on-line booking tool.  The criminal then uses compromised credit cards, which will be rejected by the real cardholder.

Here are some recommended best practices to help you verify the identity of an agency/IC when you are vetting them before joining your agency, as well as after they are approved:

    • Verify at least two business references
    • Require proof of E&O Insurance
    • Obtain applicant’s notarized picture ID
    • Independently verify the agency/IC through internet searches, and use information found there to contact the agency/IC to ask if they applied to be an IC with your company
    • Review agency’s website to identify valid email domains, telephone numbers
    • Monitor IC’s ticketing after approval for same day/next day departures, international departures, especially from LOS, ACC, ABJ, BOG, LIM, GRU
    • Determine if cardholder and passenger are the same

If you suspect such a scheme, you can contact ARC's fraud prevention team at 855-358-0393 or

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 2014, ARC settled $89.6 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