While planning a visit to the United States, a British woman unwittingly answered “Yes” to an online travel application query asking if she had ever engaged in terrorist activity.
Accordingly, Mandie Stevenson’s U.S. travel application was promptly denied, reports the BBC.
“At first I thought it was a bad dream and then I realised what I had done,” Stevenson said on the BBC radio show “Mornings with Stephen Jardine.”
Stevenson had been applying for a travel application using the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization site, or ESTA, when she erred. Specifically, Stevenson was applying for a “visa waiver program,” wherein citizens of some countries can enter the U.S. without going through a more tedious visa process.
To rectify the digital mishap, Stevenson had to visit the U.S. embassy in London. There, after a series of interviews, U.S. authorities granted her a travel visa to visit the States, but she had to significantly alter her travel arrangements and fly at a later date. The embassy appointment cost 320 pounds ($416).
And so goes this latest instance of beware of what and where you click — especially on government websites.