A boarding pass is a pretty innocuous object for a frequent traveler. It can also signify the fulfillment of your dreams if you were dreaming of getting a job abroad. I remember keeping the first few boarding passes that I had – back when they were more durable and didn’t fade with the passage of time. Now, boarding passes come in all shapes and sizes. You can get it emailed, downloaded, and even printing is optional if you have a mobile device with you. The introduction of barcoded boarding passes (BCBP) in 2007 eliminated the need for magnetic stripe boarding passes. With the advancement in technology, anybody can print boarding passes now – and this comes with its own security issues.
Fake recruiters and con artists
Scams are not exactly new. We’ve all heard of instances where very cheap tickets have been the result of fake boarding passes or cases where fake recruiters say that you are on your way to your job abroad, and send you to the airport with a printed fake electronic ticket.
What you can do: An extremely easy way to prevent being victimized is to check your boarding pass online. Most airlines nowadays have websites where you can check-in online, check your bookings, and search for flight details. If you know how to Google, you know how to check for the legitimacy of your e-ticket. Make sure that it is your name reflected on the booking.
Don’t post on social media
There’s a lot of articles and posts cautioning against publishing the pictures of your boarding pass online. Yet, people still do it. Your pass contains a lot of information, imagine the havoc that a scammer can do with your personal information. Other people will post on Instagram but “cover all the pertinent information” and then forget to blur or cover the barcode. Identity theft is a real danger nowadays.
What you can do: Refrain from posting your boarding pass on social media. If you absolutely must flex those #travelgoals, blur everything.
Inform on a need-to-know basis
Going away somewhere? Inform only those who need to know. Do you want to go back to a house that you left empty to find it really, really empty of your belongings? Do you want a scammer to contact your family and tell them that you were in an accident and that you need cash?
What you can do: Post your travel information after you’ve gone back. Establish emergency communication protocols with your family so that all of you know what to do. Preparation is key to any undertaking.
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