Boarding passes: A ticket to identity theft?

- Those slips of paper that get you past security and onto your plane are really no good to you once you've reached your destination, but for someone who wants to steal your identity, your boarding pass could be a golden ticket.

"These paper boarding passes, you really need to think of like a second photo ID," warned Gaelan Adams, who leads the National Champion Cyber Defense Club at the University of Central Florida.  "There's your first name, last name, frequent flyer number, as well as other identifying information."

Adams knows what fraudsters can do with the information that's hidden underneath the bar codes on your boarding pass.

"They just don't realize what's actually in this information because to them it's just a little block of squiggly lines," he continued.  "They don't comprehend that all that information is actually on there."

Passenger George Danker was skeptical, but he let us demonstrate using a simple QR reader that loaded onto a cell phone.

We found his frequent flyer number, reservation code, and record number. 

"Now that we have that, we can go to Facebook or other social media sites and look up challenge questions," Adams continued.  "If you had a dedicated enough fraudster, they could call up the airlines, provide all this information…and then they could book travel, say it's for a relative, and then they could get the free travel themselves."

Adams suggests shredding your passes instead of just throwing them out.  He also warns against posting photos of your boarding pass to social media, which he says is a surprisingly common thing people do.

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