People across the U.S. and around the world are tired of being cooped up, so the large number of people traveling for spring break shouldn’t come as a big surprise.
But the Better Business Bureau says vacationers aren’t the only ones with their eyes on the skies.
According to the BBB, scam artists are targeting so-called “trusted traveler” programs in hopes of catching unsuspecting people off guard.
Here’s how it works: The BBB says these online thieves are designing websites that look just like the official TSA Precheck and Global Entry sites in the U.S. In Canada, they’re knocking off the NEXUS site.
When someone clicks on the counterfeit website, that person could be asked to provide sensitive personal information and may be charged a “service fee” for helping to fill out the application.
The BBB says the scammers may never actually submit the application, and the personal information could be used for nefarious reasons.
“This company asked for all the information as I would expect to provide in the process… including your full name, passport number and home address. Then, you are prompted to pay $140, making it seem I was paying for TSA fee,” one victim reported to the BBB Scam Tracker, according to a news release.
How to protect yourself:
- Double check the URL – The website address should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase page. Also, government sites in the U.S. end with “.gov.” Canadian government sites end with “gc.ca.”
- Use a credit card – It’s easier to dispute a charge on a credit card than on a debit card, but the BBB says any personal information provided cannot be taken back.