Travel Agent Communications

PED 09/11/2016


Fraud Alert: "Corporate Booking Scheme"

A serial fraudster is targeting corporate travel agents with a scheme in which he impersonates a real corporate executive to order tickets for his own customers. 

Agents contacted by ARC advised that the fraudster appears quite knowledgeable about the corporation and often tricks a corporate employee into introducing him by phone or email to their corporate travel agent.  Thus, the travel agent believes they are dealing with a legitimate corporate customer placing legitimate ticket orders, but it is all a ruse.

The fraudster conducts internet research on these corporations to appear legitimate.  Then he employs “social engineering” skills to gain trust.

Characteristics of this fraudster:

  1. Insists upon the receiving the GDS and Airline Record Locators over the phone.
  2. Itineraries are emailed to a legitimate, though generic, email address at the corporation  (e.g. info@xyzcorporation.com or sales@abccompany.com).
  3. All itineraries are for international travel.
  4. Same day/next day departures.
  5. Insists on working with the same agent each time he calls. He may hang up if another agent picks up the phone, but then, he immediately calls again.
  6. Calls are placed using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) telephone numbers.
  7. Tickets paid with the existing corporate account; fraudster does not have to use his own compromised credit cards.
  8. May refer to a Cost Center Code or Purchase Order Number for the corporation to further his appearance of legitimacy. 

What agents can do:

  1. Recognize where your corporate clients travel to/from and flag tickets with characteristics outside that pattern.
  2. Verify referrals with the corporate client when expected travel patterns change.
  3. Verify the telephone number used by the caller with someone at the corporate client.
  4. Trust but verify. 
If agents believe they have had interactions with this fraudster fitting this profile, please contact ARC Fraud Prevention at 855-359-0393 or email fifp@arccorp.com .

Upcoming ARC System Outages

All of ARC's systems will be unavailable starting Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 11p.m. EDT until Sunday, September 18, 2016, at 11 a.m. EDT due to routine but necessary maintenance work. In addition, any output files that you typically receive during these hours will be delayed until after the systems are back online.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to further improve ARC's systems. Please share this information with others in your organization that may be impacted by these scheduled outages.


ARC Implements Functionality to Send EDIFACT Messages for EMDs

ARC implemented functionality on August 18, 2016, to send EDIFACT messages for Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD) voids, refunds and cancel refunds performed in Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR), ARC's agency sales reporting tool.

While ARC has not yet activated EMD EDIFACT messages with any carriers, a section has been added to the existing Carrier Ticket Matrix to track participating carriers' EMD EDIFACT messaging capability. The Carrier Ticket Matrix is located here.


CityJet Now Accepts UATP

Effective with sales issued Monday, September 12, 2016 (PED 09/18/16), CityJet (689/WX) will begin accepting UATP as a form of payment through ARC.


Air Madagascar Now Accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover

Effective with sales issued Monday, September 12, 2016 (PED 09/18/16), Air Madagascar (258/MD) will begin accepting Visa, MasterCard, and Discover as forms of payment through ARC.


ARC Specialist Training and Certification Class

Do you want to earn your ARC Specialist Certificate?

The ARC Specialist Training and Certification class will be held at the JW Marriott Washington, D.C. from October 3–5, 2016. The class will take place before TravelConnect 2016; additionally, those who wish to attend both the class and conference are eligible for a discount.

ARC developed the ARC Specialist Training and Certification program with the help of industry representatives from the travel agent and carrier communities. This program provides education on ARC's policies, procedures, products, and services.

In class you will participate in written and verbal exercises as well as group discussions. Upon completion of the class, you will receive a Certificate of Completion.

The ARC Specialist exam will be offered online and taken at your own convenience. You will have 30 days to complete the exam. An ARC Specialist Certificate will be presented to those who pass the exam.

The deadline to register for this upcoming class is Monday, September 26, 2016. For more information about the class or to register, please click here.

Don't forget! If you are attending the TravelConnect conference, you will receive a discount for both the class and the conference.


Tip of the Week: My ARC Tools Session Time-Out

ARC often receives questions about the My ARC automatic session time-out period such as "Is the time-out necessary?" or "Can the time-out duration be extended?"

ARC is a Payment Card Industry-Compliant (or PCI-Compliant) company and we have worked hard to earn and to maintain our certification because we feel strongly about data security. One of the ways to protect sensitive data is to ensure that after 15 minutes of idle time within our tools, you will be automatically logged out.

This can prevent an unauthorized party from accessing sensitive data in case a My ARC user inadvertently leaves their computer logged in to My ARC. This security rule means that a new login is needed to re-authenticate and reactivate access to your session once the 15-minute limit is reached with no activity.