Are Boarding Passes Targets for Scammers?

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Boarding passes can be a source of identity theft for scammers.

You travel frequently.

Perhaps it is for business.

Maybe you visit family inside or outside the country.

Whatever the reason, you spend a lot of time in airports.

You also have been assigned many boarding passes along the way.

According to a recent HuffPost article titled “How Hackers Can Use Your Boarding Pass To Easily Steal Personal Information,” these boarding passes could put your identity at risk.

Boarding passes can be utilized by scammers.
Be alert and cautious to protect personal information on your boarding passes.

How so?

There seems to be little important information printed on these passes, right?

The key here is “seems to be.”

Far more information can be encoded and made available within the barcodes.

Unfortunately, scammers are becoming more creative with technology.

Barcode scanners are relatively accessible.

Many people can order them on Amazon for a paltry sum.

If your boarding pass falls into the wrong hands, scammers could take advantage of you.


What information could they find?

A scammer could learn your full legal name, your airline account number, your email address, your telephone number, and more.

With this information, a hacker could steal frequent flyer points, change your destination, or cancel your flight.

They could even track your family members and companions who may be traveling with you.

If you have a social media account, the scammer could glean enough information to have the airline reset your password.

How can you protect yourself from potential hackers?

One option is to utilize a digital or mobile boarding pass.

There are potential problems to consider with this method.

For example, you may have spotty service, your phone my die, or you may lose your phone.

If any of these happen, the airline may be unable to scan your boarding pass.

If internet is the concern, you could take a screenshot of your pass so you can bypass internet access concerns and simply access your stored photos.

If you opt for a printed pass, take steps to protect it.

Do not leave it lying in the open.

Do not leave your boarding pass on the airplane.

Be sure not to take a picture and post it to your social media.

Keep it secure during your trip and shred it when you return home.

Taking precautions will protect the information encoded in your boarding pass from those who would do you harm.

Remember: just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you.

References: HuffPost. (accessed December 12, 2019) “How Hackers Can Use Your Boarding Pass To Easily Steal Personal Information.”

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