Royal Caribbean - Identity Theft

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Apr 6, 2017
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Identity Theft at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines - Beware

I am a victim of identity theft and fraud by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. I work in the technology industry and am very sensitive to protecting my identity. Royal Caribbean was where I became a victim of identity theft.

Background: In September of 2016, I reserved a cruise for my wife and I to celebrate our anniversary. I called Royal Caribbean to make the reservation. I gave the agent my credit card info and security code. Two days later, an address change was filed with the United States Post Office via the internet. This required a credit card with a billing address that matches the changing from address. This was the same credit card I provided Royal Caribbean. They also had my address from the reservation and the security code from the credit card. This was the ONLY transaction on my credit card making it obvious that the breach happened at Royal Caribbean. The address changed to is in Hialeah, FL which is a suburb of Miami where Royal Caribbean is based.

Impact: As I didn’t receive notification of the address change for a week, the impact this was far reaching. I had to close banking accounts and credit card accounts. Both my wife (an elementary school teacher) and I took time away from work and hours on the phone with USPS and the Hialeah Police Dept. I’ve had to secure credit protection. I was at a conference, had to leave two days early and drive 5 hours home in the middle of the night to fight this. Even worse, my elderly mother had mailed me a check which was rerouted in this fraud. Thus she had to close her checking about too. This was very trying for her as well. All of which is a result of Royal Caribbean’s inability to protect my credit card and address information. It’s hard to put into words the impact this has had on my family, it has been and continues to be significant.

Status: I have been pursuing this with Royal Caribbean for SIX months now. Royal Caribbean refuses to acknowledge their ownership in this issue. Other than two weeks ago, I have had no communication from Royal Caribbean since early December. Very unprofessional. After numerous emails and calls this month, I’ve finally made contact and the matter is pretty much being denied by Royal Caribbean and swept under the rug.

Royal Caribbean continues to refuse to acknowledge this incident or take responsibility. I am a Platinum member of their Crown & Anchor Society which means I’ve cruised with them a number of times. Yet, they continue to avoid this issue. Clearly they don’t value loyal passengers.

If you want to avoid Identity Theft, I recommend avoiding Royal Caribbean and its affiliate Celebrity Cruise Lines. Please use my experience to protect yourself. Find another company to cruise with, I know I will.

Make everyone aware!

Rick Watson
Tempe, AZ
 
Likes: mmb

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,032
15,548
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Rick have you checked our company contacts? We have the email addresses of the Executives at Royal and I would suggest you write to them to make sure they are aware of this. This employee could have done this to others and if they don't have people like you telling them about this, the employee can go on to do this to others.

We usually advise folks to start at the bottom of the executive chain but in your case I would suggest that you start at the top.

My wife was the victim of identity theft about 10 years ago and I know it took months to straighten this out so I understand what you are facing.

The Credit Reporting companies are supposed to provide free credit monitoring after identity theft so make sure they all do this for you.
 
Apr 6, 2017
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#3
Thanks Neil. Yes, I have have escalated it to all levels of the organization. They continue to deny responsibility. And I've had no response from the senior levels.

Rick
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#4
[QUOTE If you want to avoid Identity Theft, I recommend avoiding Royal Caribbean and its affiliate Celebrity Cruise Lines. Please use my experience to protect yourself. Find another company to cruise with, I know I will.

Make everyone aware!

Rick Watson
Tempe, AZ[/QUOTE]

Like this as a warning, but as with all scams, this will quickly become a thing with many others jumping in this bandwagon, especially if OP isn't getting any cooperation,
RIck, has USPS been any help in tracking down the culprit? Obviously they have the address where the mail was being rerouted.
 
Likes: VoR61
Nov 20, 2015
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#5
This sounds like a nightmare. Can I ask when did the change of address get activated after someone initiated the change? How were you finally made aware that a change was made?

I read on the USPS site there is a safeguard to prevent this from happening

https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/...aud/fraudschemes/mailtheft/IDProtectName.aspx

"In response to recommendations by the Chief Postal Inspector, a prevention measure that addresses some of consumers' concerns was adopted by the U.S. Postal Service. Aware that a crook could submit address changes to divert customers’ mail without their knowledge, post offices now send a "Move Validation Letter" to both an old and new address when a change is filed. The letter requests you call an "800" number if you did not file the change."

Did USPS change the address prior to you receiving the Validation Letter?
 
Apr 6, 2017
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RIck, has USPS been any help in tracking down the culprit? Obviously they have the address where the mail was being rerouted.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I opened a case with USPS and one with the Hialeah police. The address is a store front with a mailbox in front (Google Earth). They both said they have so many cases that they would likely not pursue it. The address was corrected with USPS. The Mail Inspector, the Hialeah PO, and the Tempe PO have all been very helpful thru this.

It's Royal Caribbean who doesn't accept responsibility.

Rick
 
Apr 6, 2017
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#7
This sounds like a nightmare. Can I ask when did the change of address get activated after someone initiated the change? How were you finally made aware that a change was made?
We did get the notice from USPS 6 days after the change was made. It looked like junk mail and was almost thrown away. We went into action as soon as we read it. I was able to determine the change was made online do to the $1.00 charge on my credit card. That is part of the USPS process to validate the credit card/address.

Rick
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#9
We did get the notice from USPS 6 days after the change was made. It looked like junk mail and was almost thrown away. We went into action as soon as we read it. I was able to determine the change was made online do to the $1.00 charge on my credit card. That is part of the USPS process to validate the credit card/address.

Rick
Well, that certainly is a major factor in holding the USPS liable as their system certainly does not protect the customer.
 
Nov 20, 2015
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One thing we have implemented with all of our cards is "transaction alerts". Anytime any of our cards are used, for any amount, we get a text and e-mail as the transaction happens. We have caught only one fraudulent charge, so far. It was a charge that stayed "pending" for six days, then dropped off, so we didn't have to formally dispute it.

Is there anyway to track who lives at the changed address? Google or some other search tool?
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jan 11, 2017
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#11
Because many credit card thieves use this $1 USPS charge to check the validity of the stolen card numbers, my credit card company does not let this type of charge through. Denies it, then contacts me to verify the request. (It happened a couple of times when our family members moved.)
 
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Apr 6, 2017
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#12
One thing we have implemented with all of our cards is "transaction alerts".
Is there anyway to track who lives at the changed address? Google or some other search tool?
Since the incident, I have implemented the alerts. it's very helpful.

The address is s store front on Google. As of the Google image, it was vacant. You can clearly see the easy access mailbox in front. The thieves then just watch for the postal delivery and grab the mail. The address is 4109 E. 10th Lane, Hialeah, FL

https://www.google.com/maps/place/4...6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6319b196cb7f0840!6m1!1e1
 
Dec 27, 2014
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NoVA
#13
I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I would certainly want to RCCL to pull their call logs and start the conversation with the employee that took the reservation in the first place. Then I'd look to the people immediately around him. If the employee repeated the details back to the customer, anyone nearby could have written it down.

I hope you find someone in RCCL that can address your concerns.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
This is an astonishingly horrible story. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I agree with my colleague, if you can prove your story that RCCL was the only entity that could have accessed your CC, contact the Attorney General ... or talk with some law firms to see if this might be a situation for a contingency case. I am travelling, but the minute I return home, I'm putting those alerts on all my CCs. I

'm sure that RCCL's legal department has decreed that nobody talk with you about this - no doubt they are aware of other cases involving this person or group as well. Really disgusting corporate behavior. Please keep us updated.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,032
15,548
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#15
Rick, how can you work in tech and not understand there are a million ways that this could happen. Royal Caribbean is a huge company and not stealing your credit card. To the extent that a rogue employee illegally use the information, then RC is not responsible for someone's criminal acts outside the scope of their employment, if it's procedures meet privacy standards.

Moreover, you didn't have any identity theft. The process worked exactly as it should. You received a letter informing/confirming your change of address, and you immediately contacted the relevant banks re: the fraud. You close the cards and reopen the accounts, which is a process that requires you do absolutely nothing. You freeze your credit in case anyone seeks any in your name, which takes less than 5 minutes, and you receive your credit cards, checkbook overnight.
I had my debit card stolen last week. The bank contacted me, froze the card and issued a new one by the next morning.
RC did not do this, and You have no evidence it was even an RC employee.

You reported the fraud to the banks and police and now you move on with your life. Let those parties trained and tasked with handling fraud do their jobs. You will not be privy to your card isssuers investigation and contact with law enforcement anyway. This happens to everyone at some point and nothing even happened. The process worked and protected you.

Did you even have one fraudulent charge? Not that you would have to pay it anyway.
Some banks don't work that quick. My wife used her debit card at the gas station a few years ago. The next day she received a call from the bank asking if she had just bought gas at a station in North Carolina. Charges started on her account at gas stations from Brooklyn all the way down to N. Carolina for over $1100. Her bank waited exactly 10 days before they credited the money back to her account even though she filed a police report immediately. The law permitted 10 days for the account to be credited back and thats exactly how long the bank let her hang with an overdrawn account.
 
Apr 6, 2017
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#17
Rick, how can you work in tech and not understand there are a million ways that this could happen. Royal Caribbean is a huge company and not stealing your credit card. To the extent that a rogue employee illegally use the information, then RC is not responsible for someone's criminal acts outside the scope of their employment, if it's procedures meet privacy standards.

Moreover, you didn't have any identity theft. The process worked exactly as it should. You received a letter informing/confirming your change of address, and you immediately contacted the relevant banks re: the fraud. You close the cards and reopen the accounts, which is a process that requires you do absolutely nothing. You freeze your credit in case anyone seeks any in your name, which takes less than 5 minutes, and you receive your credit cards, checkbook overnight.
I had my debit card stolen last week. The bank contacted me, froze the card and issued a new one by the next morning.
RC did not do this, and You have no evidence it was even an RC employee.

You reported the fraud to the banks and police and now you move on with your life. Let those parties trained and tasked with handling fraud do their jobs. You will not be privy to your card isssuers investigation and contact with law enforcement anyway. This happens to everyone at some point and nothing even happened. The process worked and protected you.

Did you even have one fraudulent charge? Not that you would have to pay it anyway.
This is about corporate responsibility. Companies are responsible for the actions of their employees and need to have preventative measures in place to ensure identity theft doesn't happen.

It's odd that you say the process worked as it should have. Does the process account for the hours I spent on the phone working to stop this? The negative impact on my family? My mother being adversely affected by this? I had to leave a convention early (which I had paid for), paid non-refundable hotel, etc all due to this.I had new credit cards that were routed to the Hialeah address. A checking account statement with images of my checks and signature.was rerouted The letter from USPS looked like junk mail and was almost thrown away. And, we did not receive it until 6 days after the change of address was initiated.

Yes, I did have fraudulent charges on the card.

I hope you're never a victim of such a crime.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,911
7,796
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San Francisco
#18
This is about corporate responsibility. Companies are responsible for the actions of their employees and need to have preventative measures in place to ensure identity theft doesn't happen.

It's odd that you say the process worked as it should have. Does the process account for the hours I spent on the phone working to stop this? The negative impact on my family? My mother being adversely affected by this? I had to leave a convention early (which I had paid for), paid non-refundable hotel, etc all due to this.I had new credit cards that were routed to the Hialeah address. A checking account statement with images of my checks and signature.was rerouted The letter from USPS looked like junk mail and was almost thrown away. And, we did not receive it until 6 days after the change of address was initiated.

Yes, I did have fraudulent charges on the card.

I hope you're never a victim of such a crime.
I apologize for the rough treatment you've just faced with my colleague. I've had no personal experience (it's my worst nightmare), but everything I've read or heard indicates that straightening out a situation like yours is very complex and requires a great deal of your time and is VERY stressful ... just as you describe.

I also agree with you that you gave your CC info to an RCCL employee, therefore they are responsible for this mess; at the very minimum they should make every effort to help you.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,032
15,548
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
This is about corporate responsibility. Companies are responsible for the actions of their employees and need to have preventative measures in place to ensure identity theft doesn't happen.

It's odd that you say the process worked as it should have. Does the process account for the hours I spent on the phone working to stop this? The negative impact on my family? My mother being adversely affected by this? I had to leave a convention early (which I had paid for), paid non-refundable hotel, etc all due to this.I had new credit cards that were routed to the Hialeah address. A checking account statement with images of my checks and signature.was rerouted The letter from USPS looked like junk mail and was almost thrown away. And, we did not receive it until 6 days after the change of address was initiated.

Yes, I did have fraudulent charges on the card.

I hope you're never a victim of such a crime.
I stand behind you and also hope that AAGK never has this happen to her. I DO know what you are going through thanks to it happening to my wife. She still feels violated and is very careful not to use that debit card for many things, she prefers her credit card now. Unless it happens to you you really have no idea what you have to go through to straighten this out - it takes MONTHS and HOURS of time - it isn't something to take litely by anyone. And you also stop trusting yourself using your card anywhere for a long time after too.

Your advocates here are behind you! And RCCL shouldn't be glossing over this or not responding - if the agent did steal the card information, they can continue doing it if Royal does nothing about it.

Have you thought of posting this information on their Facebook page?
 
Apr 26, 2016
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#20
This is about corporate responsibility. Companies are responsible for the actions of their employees and need to have preventative measures in place to ensure identity theft doesn't happen.

It's odd that you say the process worked as it should have. Does the process account for the hours I spent on the phone working to stop this? The negative impact on my family? My mother being adversely affected by this? I had to leave a convention early (which I had paid for), paid non-refundable hotel, etc all due to this.I had new credit cards that were routed to the Hialeah address. A checking account statement with images of my checks and signature.was rerouted The letter from USPS looked like junk mail and was almost thrown away. And, we did not receive it until 6 days after the change of address was initiated.

Yes, I did have fraudulent charges on the card.

I hope you're never a victim of such a crime.
AAGK's response bothered me, too, for all the reasons the Elliott advocates mentioned and more. I am dismayed by Royal Caribbean's total lack of concern over this matter and I clearly feel what happened to you is their responsibility - not only because you are a multiple repeat customer, but also there may be others who have had their personal information compromised. What happened to you is a CRIME and Royal Caribbean should investigate the person(s) who committed this crime - whether it is an actual employee or contractor hired by them. We ALSO recently submitted personal info to Royal Caribbean for an upcoming cruise. It was through our travel agent who fortunately has the name of the person who took our information. This reminded me to always get the name of the CS rep and possibly an employee #. If the individual refuses, I will ask for a supervisor. Thank you for sharing your story and yes, I feel you should share it on Royal Caribbean's FB page.