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ARC Alerts About Phishing Scam Targeting its Agencies

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) has released a fraud warning to all ARC agencies cautioning against a phishing scam that tries to steal passwords and PINs to facilitate identity theft.

According to ARC, online fraudsters could rip user off his personal details. The most common way is to pretend as a genuine representative of the user's organization by using fraudulent e-mails and phony Websites mimicking the legitimate organization and then trying to gather sensitive, confidential data from the person, as reported by TravelAgentCentral on September 26, 2008.

The Corporation further cautioned that the scammers want logins, city codes, passwords, PINs, social security numbers and other identity information. After successfully obtaining them (personal details), these scammers might access the user's ticketing, including after the user has authorized his IAR report, during post work hours or during holidays and weekends. The purpose is to issue e-tickets of a high dollar price while stick the user victim with the expense.

Hence, ARC recommends that agents should examine agency IAR reports early every day even on holidays and weekends. They should also pay particular attention to sale spikes from familiar or unfamiliar outside sales persons. Also, agents need to take care of high-risk travel plans, typically international flights from and to West African destinations, and of high dollar value tickets.

ARC also advises agencies that if they find any unauthorized ticketing, fake passports/driver's licenses or compromised payment cards, they should properly void the ticket at the earliest through their GDS to obtain the ESAC code from the airline's e-ticket database. Furthermore, they should remind their employees, sub-agents, affiliates and external sales people that sensitive details like logins, city codes, passwords, or PINs should be kept safe from disclosure to others.

On the other hand, ARC advises online users to raise their awareness about ID theft, both business and personal. The Federal Trade Commission runs a Website dedicated to public education on ID theft by providing resources that common people could utilize for self-education, as well as to educate affiliates, external sales agents, staff, and others.

Related article: AirUC Affected with Trojan, But Problem Fixed

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