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Despite the recent hack of the US Airways Dividend Miles program, it’s not easy for miles thieves to unload their haul.
When it comes to miles theft—a crime that has historically been committed by airline employees or travel agents—making a clean getaway with the loot is exceedingly difficult. Award tickets and upgrades must have a passenger’s name, and merchandise bought with the stolen miles must be delivered somewhere. “Every way I sort of turn in thinking about this, it just ends up being kind of a bad way to go from the standpoint of the thief,” says Tim Winship, editor of FrequentFlier.com. “I’m kind of at a loss here as to kind of what a viable way of using the miles would be.”