Fraudsters use phishing and other scam tactics to gain access to user accounts via text, email, bad downloads, etc. Phishing is any fraudulent tactic where attackers deceive people into sharing sensitive information. Once fraudsters get into an account, they use rewards to book travel in another’s name, convert them to gift cards for later use, or even sell them on the dark web. This can happen so swiftly and under the radar that you won’t know until you attempt to redeem the points or rewards yourself. There are a few safety measures you can take to keep your points safe until you want to use them.
7 ways to keep your points and miles safe
- Regularly check your rewards and points account balances. Contact program administrators if you suspect theft or fraud.
- Secure your account information. Strictly limit access to your loyalty programs and associated membership numbers.
- Create strong passwords for all of your accounts. Unique passwords and phrases should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t recycle passwords across multiple accounts. Do change passwords frequently.
- Set up multi-factor, or two-factor, authentication for every account that provides the option.
- Keep your passwords secure and private; don’t write them down or share them with anyone. Install a reputable password manager on your devices to help you remember and manage them.
- Never respond to or click links in emails from unknown or suspicious senders. When in doubt, contact your loyalty program directly to confirm that communications you receive about your account are legitimate.
- Keep up-to-date with changes in your loyalty programs and rewards accounts.
My travel rewards were stolen! Now what?
If scammers successfully swipe your rewards or points despite your best efforts, contact the loyalty program immediately. Visit their website or look for contact information on official cards or apps to be certain you’re contacting the proper resources. Provide as much detail as possible to assist the program in investigating and (hopefully) returning points or rewards to you based on the policies, rules and guidelines you agreed to at enrollment.