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Missing / someone else used / unauthorized use my SWU / VIP / eVIP (merged)

Missing / someone else used / unauthorized use my SWU / VIP / eVIP (merged)

 
Old Apr 8, 2010, 4:19 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA Platinum - 1MM+
Posts: 148
Average AAdvantage customer service reply time – incorrect eVIP deduction

I had a case with an incorrectly deducted eVIP coupon (the issue arose after using my eVIP upgrade to clear one of two segments before Feb 28th, but with the international portion being waitlisted and clearing post Feb 28 - I posted on this thread here)

I went back and forth with the Executive Platinum desk that was very supportive of my case, and the AAdvantage desk that were “less supportive” of my case. Eventually I gave up on the phone calls and sent them a letter via fax.
What type of response time should I be looking at?
mrtrickdk is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:00 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 172
Fraud Alert: SWU's being pulled without authorization and used to upgrade third party

Has anybody in this forum been a victim of SWU robbery?

I was checking my SWU balance the other day and noticed that I had one missing. After calling AAdvantage customer services, I was told that my last SWU was used to upgrade a certain Mr. Smith on January 3rd. I told them I didn't know Mr. Smith and that I hadn't authorized any SWU to be used.

They are investigating the issue but I started thinking: there is no real mechanism today to prevent somebody from calling AA, providing a random EXP AAdvantage number, asking for the SWU balance and then requesting an upgrade using it on a certain reservation.

This is the second time it happens to me so I was curious to know if I am the only sucker or if anybody else was a victim of fraud/tampering as well.
ckn2 is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:02 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LAX
Posts: 6,769
Originally Posted by ckn2
Has anybody in this forum been a victim of SWU robbery?

I was checking my SWU balance the other day and noticed that I had one missing. After calling AAdvantage customer services, I was told that my last SWU was used to upgrade a certain Mr. Smith on January 3rd. I told them I didn't know Mr. Smith and that I hadn't authorized any SWU to be used.

They are investigating the issue but I started thinking: there is no real mechanism today to prevent somebody from calling AA, providing a random EXP AAdvantage number, asking for the SWU balance and then requesting an upgrade using it on a certain reservation.

This is the second time it happens to me so I was curious to know if I am the only sucker or if anybody else was a victim of fraud/tampering as well.
If it's the second time for you, your information must be compromised.
FlyMeToTheLooneyBin is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:09 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by ckn2
Has anybody in this forum been a victim of SWU robbery?

I was checking my SWU balance the other day and noticed that I had one missing. After calling AAdvantage customer services, I was told that my last SWU was used to upgrade a certain Mr. Smith on January 3rd. I told them I didn't know Mr. Smith and that I hadn't authorized any SWU to be used.

They are investigating the issue but I started thinking: there is no real mechanism today to prevent somebody from calling AA, providing a random EXP AAdvantage number, asking for the SWU balance and then requesting an upgrade using it on a certain reservation.

This is the second time it happens to me so I was curious to know if I am the only sucker or if anybody else was a victim of fraud/tampering as well.
Interesting theory. If you will post your Advantage number here, I'll give it a try and let you know if it is possible.

Do you by any chance leave your boarding passes on aircraft?
gemac is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:11 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 5,270
Not sure how easy or widespread this kind of fraud is, but I shred my old BPs and itineraries just to be on the safe side. Those SWUs and miles are worth a lot!
rjw242 is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:12 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 172
Originally Posted by FlyMeToTheLooneyBin
If it's the second time for you, your information must be compromised.
That's the thing, though. What information? My AAdvantage number? That's just a number and not a really secret ID.

I never leave my boarding pass on seat pockets but I lost the count on how many used bp's I have found on airplanes. Plus the status of the passenger. So, I could easily call AAdvantage and say I'm Mr. Johnson with AAdvantage number xxxxx and ask the agent to upgrade another passenger.

Other than the phone number recognition, there is no real user authentication on AA's auto attendant system.

Granted, last time I had to issue an award ticket to another person, I was asked personal questions like last flight activity and address in the account. But nothing is asked when asking for upgrades.
ckn2 is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:18 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LAX
Posts: 6,769
Originally Posted by ckn2
That's the thing, though. What information? My AAdvantage number? That's just a number and not a really secret ID.

I never leave my boarding pass on seat pockets but I lost the count on how many used bp's I have found on airplanes. Plus the status of the passenger. So, I could easily call AAdvantage and say I'm Mr. Johnson with AAdvantage number xxxxx and ask the agent to upgrade another passenger.

Other than the phone number recognition, there is no real user authentication on AA's auto attendant system.

Granted, last time I had to issue an award ticket to another person, I was asked personal questions like last flight activity and address in the account. But nothing is asked when asking for upgrades.
Yeah. I know. I've used my eVIPs before and never felt like any security was taking place. It's not really real security, but security through obscurity. If someone wanted to mess with my account, they probably could.

It sounds like someone took a penchant to you and decided to go crazy. By any chance, were the two screw ups on your upgrades used to upgrade the same passenger? You'd think this is pretty bold of the perpetrator as the person getting the upgrade can easily get caught.
FlyMeToTheLooneyBin is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:20 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador, AA EXP
Posts: 2,712
AA does not really have any security measures in place. I can call in and make chances to the reservations of my family members. It does make it very convenient, though. But there is a tradeoff between convenience and security.
Xero is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:23 pm
  #54  
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The title appears to be overly dramatic. Yes, I've had VIP errors occur at least once a year, and they're always promptly corrected. Nothing new to see here.

And I leave my BPs in the seat pocket all the time. I guess God looks out even more for those of us who are not paranoid enough!
vasantn is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:23 pm
  #55  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.654 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/104)

Make sure to shred BP at all times after use. Try not to leave them in your seat, at the airport, or in any public place. Shred it and dispose in your personal trash or hotel
demkr is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:25 pm
  #56  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LAX
Posts: 6,769
And shred any junk mail with your name and address. It's pretty easy to shred things.

Identity theft can be a pain to fix. Even though you will probably get your old life back, it's still a pain. Shredding is easy.
FlyMeToTheLooneyBin is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:27 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 172
Originally Posted by FlyMeToTheLooneyBin
By any chance, were the two screw ups on your upgrades used to upgrade the same passenger? You'd think this is pretty bold of the perpetrator as the person getting the upgrade can easily get caught.
To be frank, I don't remember the name of the first passenger upgraded, but I advised AA that it had happened before. Agent put me on hold for a while so I guess she thought it was something grave.

Anyways, it's very easy for AA to track down the passenger. Luckily, I check every now and then my balance (now that's available on the web) but he could have got away with it if I was less attentive to my precious eVIP's.
ckn2 is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:28 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP 1MM, Delta Platinum, HH Silver, Hertz PC, National ExEl
Posts: 115
I noticed one too many SWU's taken out in 2011. I thought they pulled the SWU twice for the same upgrade, initially.
Then I was told a Mr. X ( don't remember name) had used one of my upgrades.

After putting me on hold, it took less than 2 minutes, without any further ado or explanation but with an apology and my SWU was redeposited in my account by next day.

I always thought it was a clerical mistake, but now this thread makes me wonder. I never leave my BP around, but what happens when an upgrade is issued at the gate , are the old Bp's unrecognizable destroyed or just dropped in the wastebasket only later to be retrieved?
Artur is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:34 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SFO
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Posts: 5,270
Originally Posted by vasantn
The title appears to be overly dramatic. Yes, I've had VIP errors occur at least once a year, and they're always promptly corrected. Nothing new to see here.
So I've never been on the business end of those reservation/ticketing terminals, but could a simple clerical error be the most likely explanation? AA's system is obviously designed to allow one person to upgrade another, but I wonder if there's some quirk in the system that makes it easy for the SWU to accidentally be taken out of some random account (like if the agent forgets to close the previous window/screen before starting work on the next person's reservation, or something).
rjw242 is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2011, 10:43 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 974
Originally Posted by vasantn
And I leave my BPs in the seat pocket all the time. I guess God looks out even more for those of us who are not paranoid enough!
This may be drifting off topic, but I always thought one of the "golden rules" of the serious frequent flyer was to hang on to the BP's until your miles had posted.

Or do some of you have so many miles that it just doesn't matter ?
thebobmc is offline  

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