Travel Agent Communications

PED 11/15/2015

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Thanksgiving Holiday Fraud Alert

Fraudsters are unusually active on holiday weekends (and sometimes the weekend before a holiday). With Thanksgiving coming up quickly, be aware of different types of ploys used by criminals to obtain information, use stolen credit cards or attack your computer!


Phishing emails instruct the reader to click on link(s) to confirm credentials or to check on a client's booking. In all the examples, the links lead to a replica of your GDS login screen. You may believe it is real, but it is not! Never enter your GDS login ID or password through an email.

Other types of phishing emails circulating include attachments or links, which contain malware, or an email disguised to be from your manager asking you to help pay a vendor and wire funds. Always verify email requests to wire funds with your manager before sending any wire transfer, and do not open attachments or click on links without verifying the legitimacy of the sender.


New or unknown customers may contact your agency or independent contractors to get last-minute tickets right before the holiday. These customers may have great explanations as to why they have to travel at the last minute (i.e., medical emergency or funeral), and you may be pressured into providing the service.

Another ploy is when the unknown customer purchases a domestic ticket departing one week or more in advance and then shortly thereafter wants a ticket for someone else, now traveling same day or next day in or out of an international airport. High risk transactions include: unknown customers, last minute request for ticket(s), same-day/next-day departures, high risk itineraries (especially ACC, LOS, ABJ, CMN, BOG and SDQ) and cardholder not traveling (third party transaction).


Persons may call your agency pretending to be from an industry partner (i.e., an airline, GDS, ARC, tour operator, etc.) asking you to confirm some private information about your agency. Never give out your IATA/ARC agency code number, bank account number, etc., to anyone who calls on the phone.


  • Carefully monitor your booking and ticketing in your GDS on the weekend before Thanksgiving and during the long Thanksgiving weekend. If you find unauthorized stolen tickets or bookings, immediately attempt to void them through the GDS and contact your GDS for further instructions. Immediately change the password of the employee or IC whose credentials were used to issue the tickets.
  • If you find unauthorized/stolen tickets/bookings, contact ARC's Fraud Prevention team for additional important information at or 855-358-0393.
  • If you receive requests for last minute tickets (domestic or international), carefully weigh the risk of accepting those credit cards. You may consider asking the caller to come to the agency with the credit card and their ID before you issue any tickets.
  • Educate everyone on the current ploys used by criminals.

Examples of current schemes and other valuable information can be found in ARC's Fraud Prevention Archives at by clicking Support and then Fraud Prevention or visiting ARC's Fraud Prevention page.

Tip of the Week: Carrier Credit Card Acceptance Chart

Did you know that the Carrier Credit Card Acceptance Chart for ARC Settlement is available online? To view the chart, please visit Section 6.3 of the Industry Agents' Handbook. This chart lists each ARC participating carrier's acceptance of credit cards and also identifies any restrictions a carrier may have for accepting credit cards on their behalf. ARC highly recommends that you familiarize yourself with this chart to be aware of each participating carrier's credit card acceptance guidelines.