NEWS

Applicants for TWIC Should Stick to TSA Website or Hotline, Agency Says

By Matthew Harwood

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is telling applicants for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to only trust information on the TSA's Web site or its information hotline, according to Land Line Magazine.

The magazine, published by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, says a truck driver contacted it and said he feared his personal information had been stolen from TSA's TWIC Web site.

Gary, a driver from Georgia who asked that his last name not be used, set up his TWIC enrollment in recent weeks and applied in person on Jan. 15 at an Indiana TWIC enrollment center. Two days later, he received an e-mail from an address attached to twicprogram.com, which is registered to Los Angeles-based Oversee Research and Development LLC.

Twicprogram.com has no affiliation with TWIC or the federal government, or the 1.5 million truck drivers and other port workers required to be enrolled in TWIC by April.

Oversee Research and Development didn’t immediately return a phone message left by Land Line Thursday.

The magazine also says simply searching TWIC in any search engine returns many private businesses advertising TWIC-related goods and services in the search results.

Gary said he’s concerned someone has hacked into the TWIC Web site and possibly taken information that could be used for identity theft.

TSA responded to an inquiry by the magazine by stating it was unaware of any data breach on its Web site or that of its lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, which administers the TWIC program.

Lauren Gaches, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security (TSA's parent agency), told the magazine that the department wants to get people "the best possible information, and the best way to do it is on our official Web site or by calling the TWIC hotline.”

Gary says he will continue to monitor his credit card accounts for fraudulent transactions just to be safe.

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