Cybercriminals are taking advantage of a relatively new U.S. requirement for travelers from these countries, who register online for travel authorization, and are spreading confusion about the process. Cybercrooks know that the only way to register for travel authorization is online, through Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), and they have been building phony websites designed to take user information and money.

When McAfee recently did a simple search for “ESTA,” “ESTA form,” or “ESTA online registration” a variety of dangerous websites showed up in search results. What’s more, incidents of these fake visa sites have escalated over the last two weeks following the government’s announcement that it is enacting a $14 fee for travel authorization, beginning September 8, 2010. Now scammers are asking for credit card numbers and financial information as well as personal details on these fake sites.

Due to this visitors to these fake sites face a series of dangers, including loss of money, identity theft, an infected computer, and even burglary since the scammers know what dates visitors will be away from home. Victims may also not be able to travel to the U.S. as planned since they did not get official travel authorization.

Anyone traveling to the States and going through this process are recommended to get in touch with McAfee .

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