Cybersecurity experts warns of TSA scams during holiday season

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – With the holiday travel season in full swing, cybersecurity experts say there’s been a surge in TSA PreCheck form scams across the country.

“They always take advantage of specific times during the year to prey on potential victims, and the holiday season is definitely one of those times,” says Crane Hassold, the Director of Threat Intelligence at Abnormal Security.

Hassold says from the start of the holiday season, scammers are in full force. He says with the pandemic affecting how much people have traveled over the past year or so, travelers aren’t being as detailed orientated.

“Given the fact that we have been in this pandemic for almost 2 years now, I think this is another time of the year you might seeing people travel,” Hassold says.

Hassold says scammer websites for TSA PreCheck can look credible, but making sure emails say “.gov” at the end of the address is crucial.

“Domains that look like they could be legitimate, but they are all “.com” domains. That means that it is not coming from a “.gov” email address and its not being authorized by the government,” he says.

Making sure there are multiple payment options can also show if it is a scam or not.

“When it comes time to pay for the supposed application, the only option it gives you is to make a payment using PayPal,” Hassold says.

Hassold says a scammer taking your money is one loss, but losing all of your personal information such as date of birth and social security is why double checking for your safety is important.

“You have not only a financial loss, but also the potential of your identity being compromised as well so that’s why it’s really important to identify these attacks,” he says.

Experts say to make sure you pay using either credit or debit rather than just one form of payment on websites, will determine whether or not you it is a scam.

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