Credit card fraud is something we all know about, but what about rewards point fraud? Recently we have seen an uptick in reports of people losing their credit card rewards points. So what does that mean exactly? There have been reports of people losing their air miles, hotel rewards, and other rewards and loyalty points.
Rewards points are ideal for hackers or thieves because they are easy to use and most people pay less attention to rewards points then they do with their money. If someone can get a hold of your credit card they can save it on Amazon and see how many rewards points you have. They can then use your rewards points without raising too many red flags. Most people are alerted of suspicious activity on their cards but rewards points are much harder for busy people to keep track of.
One of our clients, a Hillsboro, Oregon resident, was a recent victim of reward point theft. After a trip to Eastern Oregon in May, their reward points were cashed out to buy gift cards. Thankfully, their credit card company refunded them after they noticed the fraud but to avoid the hassle and headache of fraud here are some things we can do to protect yourself from these hackers:
Use Stronger Passwords– We all know it is easier to use the same passwords so you can remember it across the board but it’s important to make sure you use strong passwords to protect important information, especially your banking information.
Check Your Accounts Often– Monitor your rewards points often and write down the number of loyalty points you have somewhere secure so you always know what you had last time you checked. Put a reminder in your calendar or add it to the list of tasks while paying bills to remind you to check your points and if you see something wrong you can report it right away.
Be Careful With Your Loyalty or Rewards Number– When you book a flight or check in to a hotel using your points they often have your rewards account number on documents associated with that trip. Make sure to not leave those documents lying around or easily accessible. If you don’t need them anymore shredding those documents is the safest way to make sure they don’t get into the wrong hands.
Keep Your Credit Cards Secure– We have heard numerous reports about people who have gotten their information stolen by simply giving their credit card to someone who then took it out of their sight. It only takes a few seconds to write down a credit card number and it can lead to so many problems for you. So make sure you are being careful with your credit card and pay attention if someone takes it where you cannot see them.
Use Extra Protection– With the world we live in now, there are added protections like two-factor authentication, security questions, and more to help keep our accounts safe. Yes, they may take a little longer to login but sometimes it is “better safe than sorry”.
You work hard for your rewards points and now is a great time to pay more attention and keep them protected. We firmly believe that life should be a balance of work hard and enjoying yourself. You can afford to travel the world if you use your rewards points to help, so keep those points safe!