A real travel hacker has fraudulently booked reward nights all around New York City this week redeeming hotel points from several of my accounts. So far this has wiped out over 200,000 points on my account balances for Choice Privileges, IHG Rewards Club and Club Carlson. By the end of next week I may find I have no hotel points remaining in any of my hotel loyalty program accounts.
The reason I became aware of these transactions is Choice Privileges sent me an email March 30 with subject line: “Your USA TODAY e-Newspaper | Thanks for Checking in with Choice Privileges”.
A line in the email reads, “You are receiving this email because you are a current guest at a Choice Hotels property.”
Since I was at home and not at a Choice Hotel, I immediately called Choice Hotels to find out if they showed I was at a hotel somewhere. The Choice Hotels representative stated there were no reservations currently in my account.
Yesterday, I logged into my Choice Privileges account to see my points had been redeemed for two nights for a Choice Hotel in Brooklyn, NY. I was pissed off to see the New York hotel folio for the reward stay shows the room number I supposedly was staying in on the same day I called Choice Hotels to find out if something fraudulent was happening with my account. My Choice Privileges account shows I was at the hotel in the middle of a two-night stay at the time I made the call to Choice Hotels four days ago.
Not just my Choice
To make matters worse, today I learned this is not an isolated hack of my Choice Privileges account. Hotel reward nights were booked at New York City hotels for Friday and Saturday nights this weekend using my IHG Rewards Club account points too. The reason I learned of those hacks was an email from IHG Rewards Club today stating 500 welcome amenity points were added to my account. I have not stayed at an IHG hotel since February.
That hack prompted me to check my other hotel accounts to find another reward stay Saturday night at Radisson Martinique on Broadway, New York for 105,000 points.
I wonder how much worse this will get?