Beware: Crooks are targeting your frequent flyer miles, South Florida cops say

Keys deputies also warn of ongoing phone scams

KEY WEST, Fla. – A South Florida law enforcement agency is warning residents to keep a close eye on their personal data as crooks target not just their money, but their frequent flyer miles.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, deputies in the Florida Keys have received multiple reports of criminals illegally redeeming miles or airline credits.

“In at least one case, it appeared the victim’s personal information was hacked or available online,” a sheriff’s office news release states.

The miles were worth thousands of dollars, officials said.

“The cases are a reminder for travelers and residents alike to ensure their personal information is not readily available online and to take steps to ensure casual thieves can’t access your private data,” the MCSO release states.

The agency also warned residents of ongoing impersonation phone scams.

According to MCSO, a Keys resident recently lost more than $40,000 from a scammer claiming to be a relative in jail who needed help who said the victim needed to contact his daughter’s attorney, who also turned out to be a scammer.

The victim sent three shipments of cash with a rideshare driver and contacted the sheriff’s office after the swindlers continued to seek money from the man, the agency said.

It’s similar to a scam Miami-Dade police said they foiled in February.

In that case, police said a man gathered information from the so-called “attorney” and then contacted the victim’s allegedly-jailed son, who was not actually behind bars, leading him to call police.

“Always hang up and contact the family member, company, or government organization the caller claims to be affiliated with,” MCSO advises. “Scammers can be convincing: they often use real phone numbers, real names of local officials, or computer software that may mimic the voice of a loved one.”

Deputies’ main piece of advice? If someone asks you for a lot of money over the phone — hang up.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.