Fake Credit Card Miles or Points: Phone Scam Overview
Imagine flying around the world first-class for pennies. You might have seen the story about the man who paid just $300 for a $60,000 trip around the world in Emirates first-class, he managed to pull it off using rewards miles and various loopholes. The idea of taking the trip of a lifetime without spending your life savings is a nice one.
You may even be registered in a frequent flyer rewards program or have a credit card that gives you points or miles so that you can get your hands on some great travel deals. Phone scammers knowing that mile rewards offers and credit card points are highly appealing, use them as a tactic in order to scam their victims out of cash.
The eagerness that most people show when trying to obtain air miles or points is one of the biggest reasons why this scam is so successful. Below you will find information on how this scam works and how you can beat the scammers at their own game.
The Fake Credit Card Miles or Points Phone Scam
The air miles/points scam will begin with an automated call. The call will inform you that you have been chosen to receive free air miles by an airline, like Delta or United, or by a reputable travel business, like Travelocity, Expedia.
They will usually state that if you are interested in claiming these miles, you need to press a number to speak with a representative. If you press the corresponding number, you will be one step closer to being ripped off.
The representative that you speak to will usually inform you that you have to book a trip with the air miles right away in order to claim them. They will need your credit card information in order to book the trip.
Beating the Scammers at Their Own Game
This phone scam falls into the "too-good-to-be-true" category, much like the Jamaican lottery scam and the free vacation scam. Major travel companies will never use automated calls to reward customers with travel miles, nor will they call you unsolicited.
If you get one of these calls you can bet it is a scam. If the automated message instructs you to press one to be connected to a representative or be removed from the calling list, do not. By pressing a number on your phone's keypad you will alert the phone scammers to the fact that your number is live and belongs to someone. This could result in an increase in the amount of nuisance and scam calls that you receive.
If you receive a call from a travel agency that you are not familiar with that is offering free miles or discounted vacations, take the time to research them first before committing to anything. You can check ratings of hotels and vacation activities on TripAdvisor.
To learn more about actual travel loyalty programs and how you can use them to your advantage, take a look at this guide on earning and redeeming reward miles.
Stop the Scammers
If you receive an automated message or call with a special miles or credit card points - hang up. Take the time to do some research, look up the number that called you in our iPhone phone number lookup app for suspicious behavior. If you do find complaints against the number or you feel that it is a scam, report the phone scam immediately to the FTC.
You can also report the scammer's phone number by leaving your feedback in the CallerSmart app. If you don't have an iPhone you can still search unknown phone numbers and leave your feedback with our phone number tracer available on our site.