Watch out for this expensive TSA PreCheck software rip-off

The Transportation Safety Administration’s mission is to “shield the nation’s transportation programs to make sure freedom of motion for folks and commerce,” however it has additionally taken up the mantle of defending TSA PreCheck candidates from scams that may be expensive and irritating, and doubtlessly put your identification and bank card data in danger.

A string of internet sites posing as official TSA PreCheck software processing suppliers are claiming to help in checking your software for accuracy and discovering an in-person appointment to finish your software. These scammers cost as much as $100 on high of the TSA PreCheck software price, which prices between $78 and $85, relying on which supplier you utilize.

Associated: Is TSA PreCheck value it?

Not solely do these doubtful websites cost candidates pointless charges, but additionally there isn’t any assure your information is secure or that they’ll really go your software by to the official channels. On high of that, the help they promise is already constructed into the appliance course of.


In talking with TSA Traveler Populations department supervisor Anne Walbridge to study extra about why these websites are so harmful and how one can guarantee you might be making use of by official channels, TPG discovered that the TSA has contracts with two non-public firms that conduct TSA PreCheck enrollments: Telos and Idemia; you possibly can attain each by the TSA’s web site.

“One of many best methods to know if you’re making use of by one among our licensed enrollment suppliers is to see if the web site ends in ‘.gov,'” Walbridge suggested. “One other simple method to know is that if you’re enrolling for the primary time and you might be requested to enter your fee data on-line, that’s undoubtedly not a licensed enrollment supplier.”


Once you apply for TSA PreCheck by official channels, you’ll pay whenever you go to an in-person enrollment middle to finish the registration course of. When you full the in-person enrollment course of, the licensed supplier may even match the knowledge in your identification documentation (passport, driver’s license, and many others.) to your software data. If there are any errors or errors, the licensed supplier can help you in correcting your software.

Associated: Which airports and airways use TSA PreCheck?

“Our enrollment suppliers even have customer support capabilities,” Walbridge stated. “If there may be an error in your software, you possibly can contact the enrollment supplier you used to resolve any discrepancies.”

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As for locating an enrollment middle, know that you must have loads of choices.

“The TSA PreCheck software program has over 600 enrollment facilities and the bulk have availability inside two weeks,” Walbridge stated. “The web portion of the method walks you thru discovering an enrollment middle close to you, scheduling an appointment and guaranteeing you carry the proper paperwork with you.”

Rip-off websites promise that can assist you schedule the in-person appointment needed to finish your TSA PreCheck enrollment, however it’s one thing you possibly can simply do by yourself. Most enrollment facilities even permit walk-ins, although scheduling an appointment is most well-liked.

For those who apply by an unauthorized website, there isn’t any assure your private data is being dealt with securely.

“Our licensed suppliers should meet the TSA’s necessities relating to utilizing safe software information,” Walbridge stated. “For those who enroll through a licensed enrollment supplier, your safe information will solely be used for the TSA PreCheck software. For those who enroll by an unauthorized website, there isn’t any assure they’re storing your data correctly.”

Associated: What to do if a boarding go is not marked TSA PreCheck

“We mainly ensure you are bringing the best paperwork to the best place on the proper time,” Walbridge stated. “There’s completely no cause to make use of one among these unauthorized websites.”


These websites look so legit that it is easy to see why folks consider them to be actual. TPG reader Matt Kelly solely realized the positioning he had used to use for TSA PreCheck was fraudulent when he realized it had by no means prompted him to schedule an in-person appointment, even after he paid them $85.

“After that, I researched the positioning and realized it was a rip-off,” Kelly stated. “I used to be capable of dispute the cost by my bank card firm and the customer support agent even informed me she had helped different individuals who had been scammed this fashion.”

Walbridge shared that there are two widespread methods candidates notice they’ve been scammed.

“The primary is when folks inquire as to the standing of their software and notice the positioning did not even go alongside their data to a licensed supplier,” she defined. “We additionally see people who arrive to an in-person enrollment middle and notice they need to pay an extra price.”

The TSA takes authorized motion towards these websites when potential and works with Google to take away them from search outcomes, however training is the perfect weapon towards these rip-off websites.

For those who do fall sufferer to one among these unauthorized websites, Walbridge recommends you contact your monetary establishment to tell them of the fraudulent cost.

“We additionally suggest folks contact their native police division and file a report with the Federal Commerce Fee in order that the suitable authorities are conscious of those entities,” she stated.

Falling sufferer to scams is simple, however, fortunately, making use of for TSA PreCheck by a licensed supplier is even simpler.

“If folks can take away one factor, it ought to be to begin their TSA PreCheck enrollment by From there, you will discover data and software hyperlinks from our licensed enrollment suppliers,” Walbridge stated.

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