Amtrak Guest Rewards Account Hacked
One thing that technology has brought into our lives is more “accounts” and “logins” than ever existed before. For most people logins for email, banking and social media are enough, but us miles/points crazies just have to go and sign-up for every single loyalty program. More logins!
While we often think about securing our banking and social media logins, loyalty accounts are just as vulnerable. Unfortunately I learned that the hard way yesterday when I received the following email from Amtrak Guest Rewards:
Thankfully I saw the email almost right away and immediately went to login to my Amtrak Guest Rewards account. I have/had about 64K points in my account, mostly because I transferred over Ultimate Rewards before that option ended, but had to back out of a trip I was going to book.
Fortunately the thief had only changed my email address so I was able to login and see the bad news. My 64K balance was down to just 4K. Someone had tried to redeem my points for $300 in Gap gift cards and $300 in Gamestop gift cards. I called Amtrak almost immediately and went through the process of getting everything disputed.
While redeeming Amtrak points at $.01 each should be an additional crime, I’m quite sure we’ll never catch this person. Luckily since I was able to call so quickly they never received the gift cards and I have been told the points will be returned to my account shortly although it can take a couple of days.
Protecting Your Accounts
While I resisted for quite awhile, I finally began using a Password Manager awhile ago. I personally use LastPass which I am quite happy with. It generates very secure random passwords that are stored and easy for me to import when signing in. My only issue is that I neglected to change passwords on some loyalty accounts which obviously was a big mistake.
If you want to try LastPass you can get 1 free month of their Premium service with this referral link. There are other options out there as well. No matter which password manager you choose, I think it is an essential tool for protecting your accounts. I was skeptical of the hassle of getting it setup, but am happy with the ease of use and added security. Now I just need to get all of my accounts switched over to more secure passwords.
Thankfully companies are getting better and better at stopping these attacks through notifications and IP tracking. In this case Amtrak’s notification system worked and their customer service rep was very friendly and efficient on getting this escalated and fixed. I’m just glad my very valuable Amtrak points aren’t gone. Lesson learned.
Have you recently had any of your loyalty accounts hacked? Share your experiences in the comments.