A computer programmer is accused of booking luxury hotel rooms in Dubai, Florida, and Colorado as well as multiple rental cars (including one that he crashed) using $260,000 worth of stolen AAdvantage miles. The miles were accessed via hacking American Airlines accounts and then using the points to book hotels and rental cars…apparently airline tickets were avoided due to the greater amount scrutiny placed upon those redemptions. One of the hackers favorite bookings was the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai.
American says they began investigating the defendant in 2014 when six customers in Florida had their accounts hacked, email addresses changed, and then noted awards booked with their stolen miles. All trips were booked under the same name and originated from the same IP address. Full details here.
I had a similar incident last year and American was not much help. My account was being targeted by an aggressive hacker – each time I would regain access and use a strong system generated password, the hacker would once again somehow get back into the account. The only way to eventually stop the cycle was to create a new account and move my miles and status over. I did my own investigation and found that the hacker was trying to sell the miles online…crazy! See – My AAdvantage Account was Hacked Multiple Times this Week! Scary Stuff & AA No Help!