Boarding passes become ticket to identity theft

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS. Fla. — A simple piece of paper used for traveling has made it easier for thieves to steal identities.

Debbie Dyer, an experienced traveler, was surprised that a person’s identity can be stolen from a boarding pass.

“I would have just never thought about that,” she said.

Beth Schell, a Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud specialist, explained a boarding pass reveals more information than most people realize.

“We don’t realize that inside that barcode is other personal information,” Schell said. “That could be our frequent flyer mileage account, it could be if we’re traveling internationally, our passport number, our country of origin.”

Travelers should not throw away their old boarding passes, as thieves can still find it and steal personal information.

Instead, travelers are advised to shred their boarding pass or download an eBoarding pass onto their phone.

Tim, who didn’t want to reveal his last name, was a victim of identity theft and knows how sophisticated these scammers can be.

“They can steal it from anything,” he said. “I try to be as private as I can be.”

Travelers should check with their airline as each boarding pass contains different information depending on the airline.

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