Identified Scam:

TSA PreCheck Renewal: Beware of Scam Emails

If it's time to renew your TSA PreCheck membership, visit the TSA website directly versus clicking a link in an email—a new scam is underway targeting PreCheck members.


Verified.org
Updated 17 November 2021
TSA PreCheck Renewal: Beware of Scam Emails
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Identified Scam:
Key Finding

Scam emails are being sent, tricking you into paying double to renew your TSA PreCheck.


Key Risk

You pay twice as much to renew your TSA PreCheck membership, and your membership isn't even renewed.

Sections on this page
  1. How the TSA PreCheck Renewal Scam Works
  2. Warning Signs of the TSA PreCheck Scam
  3. What to Do If You Fall For This Scam
  4. Process for TSA PreCheck Memberships
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

Scammers are taking advantage of the holiday season, targeting those with TSA PreCheck renewal. Although the emails and websites seem very legitimate and professional, according to several news sources, it's a total scam. You are paying double the price for an unnecessary service, that may not even result in your membership being renewed.

How the TSA PreCheck Renewal Scam Works

This scam is pretty simple—there’s really not that much to it. Everything happens online, from receiving the initial email, to entering your personal details and payment information. What the scammers hope is that you'll think:

  • The email is coming from the TSA
  • The website is the legitimate TSA website
    OR
  • Their application services are worth the cost

They're banking on you not realizing that renewing your TSA PreCheck membership is simple and half the price of what they're asking of you. 

You Receive An Email About Your TSA PreCheck Renewal

The TSA PreCheck scam starts with you receiving an email reminding you to renew your PreCheck membership. It may look legit, but there will be signs of the scam to look out for, such as:

  • The sender’s email not from an official TSA address
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
  • Formatting issues within the email (e.g., different fonts and sizing)
  • External links not going to an official TSA website
  • Non-TSA branding (these emails can come from third-party companies who charge you a fee to submit your renewal application)
Example TSA PreCheck Renewal Scam Email

Dear John,

Your TSA PreCheck membership expires soon - you can now apply for your renewal up to 6 months in advance - the additional time left to run will be credited to your new membership. 

If you have already applied for your renewal - please ignore this email. 

1. If you wish to renew your membership please follow the steps below to submit your renewal application: https://airportprescreening.com/application/

2. Click the blue payment button marked "Proceed to Payment" and pay the IVT Service Fee which covers the application review, checks and processing fee.

If all of your information is the same as when you applied 5 years ago you will not have to attend an interview. IVT will inform you of the next steps once your application has been submitted for background and security checks.

Kind regards,

Dolores Green
IVT Applications Manager

Don’t Click the Link & Don’t Enter Your Information

If you click the link to sign up for TSA PreCheck you’ll be taken to a website that asks for your personal information, as well as payment for membership. While the site itself isn't pretending to be the actual TSA website, it's still a scam. 

Airportprescreening.com website (TSA renewal scam website).
AirportPrescreening.com is a reported scam website, tricking people into paying double the amount to renew their TSA PreCheck membership.

These websites, although they have disclaimers saying they aren't affiliated with the TSA, are still fraudulent in nature. They take you through almost the exact same questionnaire as the TSA website takes you through to renew your PreCheck membership but will charge you double the price. What's more, you're not even guaranteed that your membership will be renewed.  

The scam site:

  •  Doesn't save you any time—since you still have to enter all of your information
  •  Charges you twice as much
  •  Doesn't guarantee a successful renewal

Only renew and apply for TSA PreCheck from the official websites:

You Pay Double The Price & Your Membership Isn't Renewed

After entering your information and payment into the scam website, you're not guaranteed that your PreCheck membership will be renewed. You've paid double the price for something you could have done yourself within minutes and in the end, you might need to pay more fees if your renewal wasn't approved.

Warning Signs of the TSA PreCheck Scam

It can be easy to fall for this scam if you don’t know what to look for since these scammers have taken the time to make their emails and websites look professional and genuine. Although these scam sites and emails are extremely detailed, there are still easy ways to spot a fake. 

Signs of TSA PreCheck Renewal Scam Emails

These particular scammers have put in a lot of effort, creating emails that look extremely legit and are missing some of the typical signs of phishing scams, however, there are still tell-tale signs. 

If you receive an email about your TSA PreCheck, you know it's not from the TSA if:

  • The sender's email isn't an official TSA address: Even if the email sender’s name includes TSA, that doesn’t mean it’s actually the TSA. The sender’s name can be manipulated, but the email address can not. 
  • There are design issues or inconsistencies with fonts.
  • There are spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: Scam emails typically have typos and errors in the copy.
  • URLs in the email don’t go to a government website: Hover over any links within the email to check where it takes you to. If the domain doesn’t end in “.gov” then it’s not an official government website and you should not click it.

Scam TSA PreCheck renewal email.
Scam emails telling you to renew your TSA PreCheck will have tell-tale signs of a scam.

Signs of Scam TSA Websites

If you do click on the link to sign up for TSA PreCheck membership, look out for these red flags of a scam before you enter any information: 

  • A non-official URL: The official website to sign up for TSA PreCheck is https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/workflows?servicecode=11115V&service=pre-enroll. If you’re taken to a different website, it’s not genuine. 
  • A request for payment via PayPal or other unconventional methods: TSA PreCheck renewal cannot be paid using PayPal.
    Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: Fake websites typically have typos and errors in the copy. 
  • Fees costing more than the official renewal fee of $70 (as of November 17, 2021).

Scammers Charge You Double the Price

TSA PreCheck renewal costs $70. These scam websites are known to charge double that amount. AirportPreScreening.com charges $139.99 to renew your PreCheck membership with no guarantees that your membership is actually renewed.

Although the website looks extremely professional and lacks the usual errors you’d normally find in a scam website, don’t be fooled. While these scammers may be more advanced, you can still beat this scam by knowing what the genuine TSA website looks like.

Real TSA PreCheck renewal site vs scam site.

What to Do If You Fall For This Scam

If you fall for the scam and enter your information and payment details into a fake TSA website, you need to act quickly to protect your information and money. Follow these steps:

This TSA PreCheck renewal scam is aimed at stealing your money and not your identity, but identity theft can still happen, so it’s important to remain vigilant and monitor your accounts regularly.

If you used a third-party application service, like AirportPrescreening.com, it may be more difficult to get your money back, since the site has done its due diligence putting disclaimers up so you can't claim they are impersonating the TSA. It's technically a legitimate site, just with sketchy practices. 

If you use their service but are unhappy with the results, you can:

Process for TSA PreCheck Memberships

The process for renewing your TSA PreCheck membership is different from applying for a new membership. Understand the process so you can identify when you’re being scammed.

TSA PreCheck Renewal

If you want to renew your TSA PreCheck membership, visit the official TSA website and fill in the information required. You’ll be able to enter your payment information at the end of the questionnaire. 

TSA PreCheck renewal website
Only renew your TSA PreCheck membership on this site—the official TSA PreCheck site.

Applying for New TSA PreCheck Membership

When you’re signing up for TSA PreCheck, you’ll be taken to the following website:

TSA PreCheck application website.
Only apply for TSA PreCheck online using the official website.

You’ll then be taken through a multi-page questionnaire, requiring you to enter your:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Eligibility information
  • Documents required to enroll

The final step in the online form requires you to search for an enrollment center and schedule an appointment. This is where your government identification will be checked/confirmed and your fingerprints will be recorded. 

You do not pay for TSA PreCheck Membership online. Payment is only submitted in person after showing your ID and recording your fingerprints. 

Any “TSA” website that asks you to pay for your membership online is a scam! 

Final screen of TSA PreCheck application.
When applying for TSA PreCheck for the first time, you do not submit payment online. Instead, you'll need to pay in person.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does TSA PreCheck renewal cost?

TSA PreCheck renewals cost $70 (as of November 17, 2021) to renew your membership for 5 years. New applicants must pay $85 for the first 5 years. 

How difficult is it to renew TSA PreCheck membership?

Renewing your TSA PreCheck membership is generally a straightforward process that you can complete online. Just visit the official TSA website, complete the online form, and submit your payment.

Is it worth using a third-party application service?

No. Third-party services that help you apply for or renew your TSA PreCheck membership scam you out of your money. You will spend just as much time and energy filling in their online form as you would if you were to apply for or renew your membership directly via the TSA PreCheck website. What's more, you'll pay twice as much if you were to use a third-party service. 

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