Old Dec 2, 13, 10:40 pm
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 696
Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Setting up an account and buying a ton of miles in a short span will set up red flags on many carriers. I'm not sure what the ID part is for.
It's to safeguard against credit card fraud. AS has experienced considerable fraud where people open a Mileage Plan account, then immediately use a fraudulent credit card with Points.com to buy miles and stock the account for quick ticket purchases on Partner airlines, usually 100,000 miles or more.

The fraudster usually has ads on Craigslist or other online services offering to sell international tickets on the cheap. They get the name of the buyer - who pays them cash - then convert the miles into an international Partner award on a carrier like BA for that person which gets ticketed for travel within the next day or so.

It's like an attempt at "mileage laundering." Side note - they're almost always traveling to Lagos, Nigeria (LOS).

Anyway, by the time the actual cardholder realizes fraud has occurred and reports it, the transaction gets flagged at the point of sale - Points.com - and they try to rescind the miles. By that time it's too late; the miles have been redeemed, turned into a ticket, and the ticket buyer has already flown.

While the credit card companies almost always make their cardholders whole in the event of fraud, AS is still on the hook to BA (or whatever partner carrier the miles were used on) for the cost of the transportation they provided in good faith.
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