MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - While you're catching a flight out this holiday season, seeing your family and friends might be what's your mind the second you get off that plane. But your boarding pass is something else you should also take notice of. It seems harmless, but it's what you do with it after that can protect you from thieves looking to steal your identity.
"I toss it," said traveler Dolymight Hanks. "I don't leave it laying around but I throw it away."
"I assume it's like hotel keys so we don't toss them in the airport so I keep them so I can discard of them at home," said traveler Terry Burke.
It goes beyond reading between the lines. The barcode holds more information that you think.
One of the best tips is to make sure you use a boarding pass on your phone. But if you happen to use a physical pass, there's a barcode on there. Once that barcode is scanned, a scammer has access to a frequent flyer number. Once they get that frequent flyer number, they can change your PIN number which in turn, accesses your personal information. They can change your seats, steal the miles you traveled or even cancel your next flight.
"It changes my mind about tossing it," said Hanks.
Barcode scanning apps and websites allow scammers to pull up your information. If you use an electronic boarding pass, avoid screenshotting it and sharing it on social media. Those can be accessed just as easily if shown publicly.
"If you're not going to save it for sentimental value, it's better to be safe than sorry so nobody can get your information," said Burke.
After you're done traveling, throw your boarding pass in the shredder so it doesn't become your ticket to identity theft.
"Still, even at home, toss it in the trash, it can be picked up, it can be scanned," said Hanks. "So I'm going to rip them up now. Thank you for the warning."