Stretch your Dollar: BBB warns of fake websites impersonating government travel & security services

Stretch Your Dollar

(ABC News) — As vaccinations ramp up and more people are traveling, an urgent warning comes from the Better Business Bureau, saying some fraudulent websites are either impersonating government websites or are claiming to process your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry applications, only to instead access your personal information and money.

Katherine Hutt said, “BBB has noticed a real uptick in government imposter’s sites that look like Global Entry or one of the other trusted traveler programs.”

TSA PreCheck lets you go through shorter and faster security lines. Global Entry expedites border crossings when you’re traveling internationally.

Both programs are managed by the Department of Homeland Security. But according to the BBB, the problematic websites online are charging top dollar to allegedly help process your applications, only to not follow through with it.

Hutt said, “One of the most dangerous parts of this scam is that the information you have to share in order to get a Global Entry pass is everything that a scammer needs for identity theft. Your name, your address, your birth date, your social security number, even your passport number.”

Look at the Global Entry’s official website on the left and a copycat site on the right; they look similar.

Diana Herrera claims she paid $230 and handed over five years’ worth of her personal information, like former addresses and employers. But later, she discovered the website simply disappeared. She says she still hasn’t gotten her money back.

Herrera said, “Basically, they have all my information so they can open any credit card they want. They can make transactions with my name.”

Remember to go through the official website – dhs.gov – to sign up for these programs.

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