Scam Alert_ Fake Global Entry Sites Dupe Travelers

Scam Alert: Fake Global Entry Sites Dupe Travelers

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) published an new scam alert earlier this month about fake Global Entry sign up sites duping travelers into giving money and personal information.

GE_Logo_Black&Blue.jpg

Global entry is part of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Network (which includes TSA Precheck). It’s expedites border entry process for U.S. Citizens.

The BBB notes that is has received several reports of misleading websites. Here’s how they say it works:

  1. Traveler does a web search for Global Entry Application
  2. Not surprisingly, the real website (CBP.gov) shows up…but so does a very similar looking website or ad.
  3. You click the ad (instead of CPB) and you find a company willing to do all the work for you
  4. You may be asked to share personal info like name, passport # and home address, plus pay the $100.00 the government charges for the service AND a separate fee for the service

What the BBB is saying is that you’ve been duped into paying extra money to fill out and complete the form. And, now they have your personal info and your credit card.

Advertisement:

Here are the CBoardingGroup, we did a test to see if we could find any of these companies. Here’s our results on a few different search platforms including Google, Yahoo and Bing:

Google – showed the following ads from companies offering this service:

Google Search Results

Epedite HQ

Epedite HQ Price

These fellas (Expedite HQ) at least look / seem like a real company.

Yahoo – an ad from a company offering this service showed up. See below:

Yahoo.png

 

Global Entry Enrollment Firm

Global Entry Enrollment Firm Cost

And extra $150 for this service!?

Global Entry Enrollment Firm Contact.png

No Address listed…just a phone number. These guys feel pretty scammy to me (maybe they aren’t, but I ain’t doing business w/ them)

Bing – see results below (same company shows up, plus another one)

Bing Search Results.png

Passport and Visa Service

These folks are charging an additional $140 to $170 dollars for this service.

Passport and Visa Service Contact.png

But they seem like a real company at least. Or do they? Look further. 

Passport and Visa Service Contact 2.png

Let’s look deeper.

Passport and Visa Service Contact 3

Ok, the address exists. But it’s also a delivery company?

Passport and Visa Service Look legit

Looks totally legit <snark>. #hardpass on giving these folks my info

Important Note: We are not suggesting that all of these companies are, in fact, scammers. While certainly you could argue they are unscrupulous in offering a service that is totally and utterly unneeded, we did not investigate these companies any further nor do we know definitively they are scamming anyone. For all we know they are legit companies in good standing offering a real service. We just think the service is highway robbery AND some of them certainly FEEL scammy to me… BUYER BEWARE.

According to the BBB’s report, there are some legit scam companies out there and they didn’t name names in their report. So, again, be careful.

You might be interested in 7 Cyber Security Travel Tips: Don’t get hacked on your business trip:

Cyber Security.png

How to to avoid getting scammed?

The BBB offers the following tips (with some color commentary from us) on how to avoid getting scammed when applying for Global Entry:

  1. Visit the official CBP website, first. You will find you don’t need a 3rd party service and the process is not that hard.
  2. If you feel you must use a 3rd party, read the fine print.
  3. Make sure the business is legit. Do some simple research like we did. If your radar goes off move along. Legit companies will have established office, mailing and physical addresses, phone numbers, etc.

Our advice to readers…do this yourself. It’s NOT THAT HARD. Save yourself the money, and reduce the chances of you getting scammed.

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Check out our other travel safety articles:

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If you’ve been a victim

The BBB notes the following for victims:

“If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it on  the BBB.org/ScamTracker. By doing so, you can help others protect themselves from falling prey to similar scams. Learn more about scams at BBB.org/ScamTips and learn how to avoid them at BBB.org/AvoidScams.”

By the way…here is the official website you visit to sign up for Global Entry: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry

Read the full BBB report here.

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For more travel related news, check out our travel news section.

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2 comments on “Scam Alert: Fake Global Entry Sites Dupe Travelers

  1. Ben

    Ironic that the link you give isn’t the real domain either (but an easily confused typo)… travellers should use CBP (in that order!!)

    Reply

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