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Scammers targeting business travellers

By Shannon Williams
Tue 21 Apr 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

An increase in travel-targeted scams are leading security experts to warn business travellers to keep a close eye on their business credit cards and frequent flyer points. 

“When people are travelling they are often tired and stressed, making them good targets for people looking to steal information such as credit card details,” Matt Goss, managing director - Australia & New Zealand, Concur, says. “Frequent flyer points are also an attractive target since they can be stolen and monetised relatively easily.” 

“Travellers should avoid taking security short-cuts,” Goss adds. “This might shave a few seconds off the time it takes to access details but can open up significant opportunities for lurking cyber criminals.” 

Concur has identified six steps business travellers should take to protect their identities, their loyalty rewards and their credit card details while on the road: 

1. Avoid taking security short-cuts. This can mean changing passwords regularly, avoiding using the same password to access multiple accounts, and not saving passwords on mobile devices, which could be lost or stolen. Travellers should use strong passwords that reduce the risk of hackers being able to access accounts easily. 

2. Keep a close eye on credit card and frequent flyer points balances so any discrepancies can be reported immediately, keeping losses to a minimum. 

3. Treat frequent flyer and other loyalty and rewards information with the same level of security afforded to credit card and bank account information. Cyber criminals who gain access to frequent flyer accounts, for example, can use the personal information contained there to access other accounts including private bank accounts. 

4. Be just as careful with company credit card details as with personal credit card details. The information that can be gained through accessing company accounts can also be used to compromise individuals. 

5. Provide as little information online as possible to avoid personal details being easily accessible through less-secure sites such as online gaming and apps. 

6. Keep track of all physical credit cards and cash while travelling. Stress and exhaustion can cause travellers to lower their guard, which can result in theft. 

 “Cyber criminals are smart and they’re looking for the easiest ways to exert maximum damage,” says Goss. “Travellers can make it more difficult by taking a few simple steps to protect themselves and the companies they work for.” 

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