Not all potential security breaches at an airport can be captured on a cell phone and posted as a YouTube video.
One such danger lurks in the form of free wireless Internet access offered by many airports throughout the nation and in other public places.
Authorities warn travelers to beware of hackers setting up fake wireless fidelity – or Wi-Fi – connections to steal passwords, credit card and bank account numbers, and other personal information.
Experts say the threat is not new, but it's not clear how prevalent it has become over the years because tracking where information was initially compromised in most identity theft cases is often difficult.
"Ever since Wi-Fi became available, criminals have found a new way to exploit new victims," said Tom Osborne, a supervisory special agent with Sacramento's FBI office who manages the cybercrime squad.
Osborne said some airports and other public places reported Wi-Fi security issues a few years ago, but his office has not encountered similar cases to date.
"A lot of people don't report," said Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Bill Mannering of the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force.
Victims may not even know their information has been compromised when they click onto a network or access point created by the hacker, officials said.
"All it takes is a person with a laptop two seats away from you," said Gary Almond, president of the Northeast California Better Business Bureau.
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