We’re all given the advice to take advantage of loyalty programs and credit card rewards to pay for some or all of our vacations. With the summer travel season rapidly approaching many consumers may be looking to do just that. According to The Loyalty Report 2017, consumers have approximately $100 billion in unredeemed loyalty points. That’s a lot of money and it makes it a prime target for cyber thieves because points and miles thefts often go unnoticed, says Eliot Buchanan, co-founder and CEO of Plastiq.
Here’s his advice if you do become a victim of credit card reward theft:
- Contact your credit card company (credit card rewards) or your loyalty program provider (such as Hilton Honors, etc.). Both are likely to reinstate your points if you can prove they were taken fraudulently.
- File a report with local law enforcement.
- Consider filing a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Buchanan also advises that consumers take regular precautions including:
- Regularly track the rewards you’re earning for your loyalty programs. If possible, set up email alerts.
- Don’t use the same login and password everywhere. This opens the floodgates and offers would be thieves a veritable gold mine. Password management and protection software such as 1Password and LastPass are popular with many cardholders.
- Pay attention to the news. Loyalty programs have been hacked before. If you’re a part of that program, you should check your account to see if anything was taken illegally.