Travel Agent Communications

PED 01/26/2014

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Fraud Prevention Tips on Sneaky Fraudsters

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 photoshopped/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 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

ARC provides fraud prevention resources, including credit card acceptance and chargeback prevention tips for agents, and best practices, such as credit card red flags, on My ARC's landing page. Check them out today!

Tip of the Week: Approved Companies Issuing Bonds or Letters of Credit

ARC is unable to recommend a particular company or institution for obtaining a bond or letter of credit, but the links below provide a list of approved companies from which you can obtain one of these surety instruments.

The United States Treasury issues Circular 570 entitled Surety Companies Acceptable on Federal Bonds. Any surety on the current revision of Circular 570 is acceptable to ARC. ARC will accept a bond using the ARC Bond Form.

ARC will accept an irrevocable letter of credit using the ARC LOC Form. The LOC must be issued by any federally insured lending institution (FDIC or NCUA) or a state chartered lending institution—at ARC's discretion. A certification letter must accompany all letters of credit.

If you need additional assistance, please contact the Customer Care Center at (855) 816-8003 or We are happy to walk you through the process.

Please distribute the ARC TAC among staff and colleagues.

ARC Customer Care Center | Tel. (703) 816-8003 | Fax (703) 816-8039 |

ARC Corporate Communications | Tel. (703) 816-8525 | Fax (703) 816-8168 |