Internet scam targets flight instructors

May 5, 2011

Flight instructors beware. A new scam uses email to contact flight instructors saying that a group of foreign students wants to train with them in the United States this summer.

It requests the instructor to submit a proposal of what the training program would entail. After that, a second email is sent requesting banking information to make a direct deposit for the program. In another case, an email correspondence offered to pay more than the program would cost if the balance could be forwarded to another individual.

The Transportation Security Administration is aware of the scam and believes that there is no connection to terrorism. However, instructors should report any such scam notices. CFIs can alert AOPA at 800/USA-AOPA or file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Instructors are encouraged to research any questionable requests they receive to prevent time wasted in creating a training proposal. Banking information should never be shared based on these types of requests.