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If scammers can find a way to trick you into giving them money, personal information, or both, they will—including by posing as government contractors offering assistance with processing TSA PreCheck applications.

As The Points Guy describes, numerous scammers are pretending to offer legitimate TSA PreCheck application support—such as reviewing for accuracy and scheduling interview appointments—and charging up to $100 for the service. These websites claim to be official but are simply stealing money and personal information from applicants.

How to avoid TSA PreCheck enrollment scams

First things first, head to the official website, which will link you directly to the enrollment partners contracted to process TSA PreCheck applications. Note that a legitimate government website will end in .gov. TSA works with Idemia, which operates more than 620 enrollment centers, and Telos, which has 26 locations, to help travelers sign up for TSA PreCheck. There are no other third-party services in the mix.

Beyond a website with another company name and a different domain, there are a few big red flags that could indicate you’re being scammed. First, initial TSA PreCheck enrollment costs $78 through Idemia and $85 through Telos, so if you’re being asked to pay a fee on top of that, do not proceed. Second, you should not pay anything online during the application process—all payments are taken in person at enrollment locations when you complete your fingerprinting and photo capture. (However, renewals are available online for $70 through both contracted enrollment providers.)

Scammers may try to trick you by promising assistance with enrollment appointment scheduling, but this process is easy to do yourself. There are more than 600 enrollment locations in U.S. states and territories and many permit walk-in appointments.

If you do pay a fraudulent service for TSA PreCheck application help, you can report the charge to your financial institution and file a claim with the Federal Trade Commission.

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