CBP Warns Public About SENTRI Enrollment Fee Scam
EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations is alerting members of the community to be aware of a Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection enrollment service that has been brought to the attention of CBP. A local woman recently paid $862 to an unknown individual to secure a SENTRI application appointment with CBP. The actual appointment fee is $25.
“The public needs to know that they do not need to utilize overpriced services of a third party to apply for the SENTRI program. It can be done easily and inexpensively through the official Global Online Enrollment System,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations. “Paying someone else to do this is unnecessary and can be very expensive as in this case.”
The issue was brought to the attention of CBP this week when a female resident of Juarez arrived at the CBP SENTRI enrollment center at the Ysleta international crossing bearing a receipt indicating that she had paid an $862 linea express processing fee as well as a $180 CAPUFE processing fee and 9,815 pesos ($573) for linea express registration in Mexico. Linea express is a term commonly used to refer to the SENTRI program in El Paso and Juarez.
The woman told CBP officers she made the payment at an unknown location in Juarez after hearing of the service through word of mouth. The receipt she presented included the address of a south El Paso business not affiliated with international trade and travel. It also included a fictitious company name not associated with the El Paso address.
The woman did have an appointment with CBP but still had to pay $205 in processing fees for herself and a family member. CBP does not know if the woman received any services or benefits for the other itemized fees which were also included in the receipt she presented.
SENTRI is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using dedicated primary lanes into the United States at southern land border ports. Travelers must be pre-approved for the SENTRI program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.
Travelers wishing to enroll in SENTRI can apply at the Global Online Enrollment System website. Additional information about the SENTRI program including program costs, benefits and more can be found on the CBP website.
There are currently about 44,800 people enrolled in the SENTRI program in El Paso. Approximately 100,000 vehicles enter the U.S. at the Stanton SENTRI lanes and 60,000 at the Ysleta SENTRI lanes monthly. Approximately 6,000 locally approved Global Entry members can also use the SENTRI lanes.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.