Check Your Starwood Account! How Much Do Hackers Value Your Starpoints?

Starwood Preferred Guest is the most recent loyalty program to announce that members have had their accounts hacked, following on the heels of hacks at American Airlines and United Airlines.

According to this Consumer Affairs article, a “large number” of accounts have been compromised.

Everyone has a different idea of what a large number is and I haven’t found any estimates reported. But, I did get an email from SPG yesterday suggesting I change my password. I disregarded it, as I use a program that creates complex passwords and change them periodically.  Shortly, thereafter, I saw the Consumer Affairs article.

First, the easy message.  Go change your password and make sure your balance is correct.  Second, consider buying a program to manage your passwords.  I use 1password and love it, but there are plenty of others.

The part of the article that was somewhere between amusing and depressing was what the hackers value Starpoints at:

Krebs notes that less than 24 hours after that anonymous hacker-helper released the Starwood account-checking tool on the hackers’ forum, forum members were offering to sell compromised Starwood account info at prices that are. Quite literally, a steal: a Starwood account with 70,000 points selling for $3, another account with 40,000 points going for $1.50.

Don’t the hackers understand that Starpoints are pretty much the gold standard of loyalty points????  4/1000ths of a cent per point?

Tongue in cheek, for sure.  Hackers are assigning values that small because of the likelihood they can get a cash value out of these accounts.  While it’s possible someone could fraudulently book a vacation to the Caribbean, it’s more likely they’re trying to cash out some gift cards and hoping the account holder and SPG don’t realize until after the gift card has been (anonymously) spent.

Bottom Line It For Me, Ed

Treat your loyalty accounts like your bank account.  Check your balances frequently (or use a program like Award Wallet).  Change your passwords and make them more difficult than you think they should be.

And, don’t let hackers determine the value for your Starpoints.

The post Check Your Starwood Account!  How Much Do Hackers Value Your Starpoints? was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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