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February 21
The real (and frightening) reason to always shred your old boarding
We've all done this. Before you head to the airport, you print out your boarding
You go to an airline's website to remotely check in. You make sure you have a
good seat, pay for your luggage and print out your boarding pass. If you don't
have it with you, you'll have to print it out at the airport.
You're not getting past airline security without it, and that's a good thing. It's
ensuring that only ticketed passengers are getting onto planes.
There is a serious downside to those boarding passes, though, and criminals know
about it. Once you get past security, or arrive at your destination, you probably
toss your boarding pass in the trash. Don't. Instead, shred it.
It turns out that criminals can use the information on your boarding pass to book
flights in your name. Next time you have a boarding pass, look at the information
on there from a criminal's perspective.
That tossed boarding pass probably has your name, your frequent flyer number,
and other information a criminal can use to call an airline to book a flight. Plus,
there's also a barcode, like the ones you scan at grocery stores.
To most of us, those barcodes are meaningless, so we don't even notice them.
But, to a criminal, those are codes they can decode to get more of your personal
Criminals also take another step to make sure they know enough about you to
comfortably talk to an airline agent. They'll use your name to find you on Facebook
and other social media sites. They'll look around to see where you were born,
where you went to school, your siblings' names and more.
February 24
How to Spot and Avoid Income Tax Scams