Scammers target flight schools, CFIs

May 7, 2013

AOPA has received notification from flight instructors and the FBI that scammers are once again targeting flight schools and instructors.

In the scam AOPA has seen, a foreign individual contacts a school or instructor expressing interest in setting up daily training for one month during the summer for a group of foreign students who will be in the United States on vacation.

Once the school or CFI responds to the email, the scammer requests details of the training program and costs. After that, the person offers to send more money than the cost of the course and asks the business to return the balance of the overage.

“Flight training professionals who receive similar scam attempts should contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center to notify them of the scam,” said Tom Zecha, AOPA manager of aviation security. “Please also let AOPA know as we track the different scam attempts. If you receive a request that seems questionable, check it out with the specialists in our Pilot Information Center.”

AOPA’s Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA) is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.