/ Money

Your view: have you been affected by loyalty card fraud?

From a few pounds and pence to £900 – the amount of money people have lost to loyalty scheme fraud has been eye-watering. And when we asked for your experiences, the response was quite staggering.

The issue was first flagged up at the beginning of last year when customers claimed they’d fallen victim to online fraudsters who had hacked into their Clubcard accounts and taken hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers. Tesco believes fraudsters steal people’s online IDs and passwords through phishing emails and use them on the Clubcard website on the offchance their victims use the same password for that site.

Tesco called in the police to investigate, which it is continuing to do, but there still seems to be an issue.

Fraudsters cash in at the checkouts

Less than two weeks ago on Convo, Sue said:

‘We too have had over £900 stolen/missing, which Tesco say have been used! This has been going on for over 2 years and they still say we have spent them, which we most definitely have not, as we have been saving up for a big family holiday.’

The fraudulent activity appears to have caught most customers by surprise. Annette said:

‘I had no idea that this was happening. Just by chance I went onto my account and I have discovered that my points have been used at Lea Valley and Tottenham stores in London. I live in Lancashire and have only been to London once in my life and that was about 5 years ago. There is nothing on the website to warn that this has been happening. It amounts to over £50 worth of points that I was saving up for Christmas. My husband and I are retired and in poor health and this has come as a real shock to me.’

Change your account password 

Samantha Warren was equally shocked when she discovered her account had been hacked in November. She said:

‘Whoever did it got the benefit of £57.50 worth of my vouchers. I’ve changed my password now as I was not even aware that this was a problem.’

If you believe you have been affected you should tell Tesco and contact Action Fraud. It’s also worth changing the password to your account.

While some people have managed to get their rewards back, many have reported it can take a long time. Cheeze439 said:

‘Finally, my promised £110 giftcard arrived…As a goodwill gesture they have upped the card to £150 which is nice of them. Only took approx 100 days and 8 promises to reach a resolution, but stick to your guns everyone and don’t let them put the blame your way…’

Are other loyalty schemes being targeted?

While the focus up to now has been on Tesco Clubcard, we’re keen to find out if other loyalty schemes have been affected – whether that’s your Nectar Card of Boots Advantage card. You might want to check any other loyalty card accounts and balances as a precautionary measure.

If you’ve lost out on any loyalty scheme in the past or been affected by such fraud, please tell us about it. How much did you lose and were you able to get your points/vouchers back? We’re still keen to find out how many people are affected by this and whether it’s a more widespread issue.

Comments
Profile photo of hedgepig
Member

Absolutely fuming. Had the good fortune to win a million nectar points last year, which was amazing.

Until the fraud started,

A month ago, £3700 worth of points were spent in various Argos stores around London. Much like many of you here, I had no joy from the helpline and it was only when I took to Twitter that the points were refunded to a new card. My plan was to basically spend as many of the points as I could on various gift cards, as I no longer trust Nectar.

So, today I log in with my brand new card, which hasn’t left my house, and guess what? Yep, another £3700 worth of points spent in several London-ish Argos stores.

It’s made me feel sick. Something that was so amazing has turned into a massive source of stress. I know it’s not my bank account, but it still represents a lot of money. Nectar have a thief, and they need to sort t out.

Member

I’ve just found today that I’ve had 36,500 points, worth £182.50, stolen through being redeemed in Argos in Leatherhead, Surrey (110 miles from where I live) last Sunday. I immediately rang Nectar and spoke to a difficult to understand gentleman who has set me off up a new account and says I “should” get my points back when their ‘fraud team’ has investigated. I’m currently not hopeful, but will wait and see and if not, I will kick up a fuss on social media.

Reading the comments on here and on Twitter, I’m disgusted by their lack of security and apparent reluctance to do anything about it. It’s obvious they have a thief, or thieves, working for them with access to the live database of card numbers and balances and they need to do something about it.

Profile photo of BrendaMyles
Member

Stu – did you ever get your points back? Same thing has happened with me as over £500 of points used in Croydon Argos. They’re investigating and say the points will be reinstated after 28 days but it’s now been 5 weeks and it’s me having to call them all the time. Not one email from them!

Member

Yes, I got them back last week. I was on the Nectar website when I noticed an online chat facility for their customer services. I decided to try it and ask if there was any update and the agent I was talking to said they were still investigating but he had gone ahead and refunded all my lost points to my new card, along with 2000 points as an apology for the inconvenience. I suggest giving that a go as 5 weeks is just ridiculous. Good luck as that’s a lot to lose. When you get the points back, I suggest going to Sainsbury’s and spending them on gift cards, such as for Amazon, as a way of making sure they can’t be stolen again.

Member
Zahra Reilly says:
19 December 2015

Stu, this is really helpful l am going to try and do the same thing as you, deal with customer services at Nectar.
Thank you

Member
Zahra Reilly says:
19 December 2015

This happened to me too the exact same thing. I went to Sainsbury in Epsom that’s my local. Got to information desk to check my points l was told l have points worth £1.25 I was so shocked l told them I never use my points until Christmas time. Apparently l bought electronics that’s what husband does at Currys not me at sainsbury. They even said it was on Feb 2015 and then again on May 2015 They had to cancel my card and get me a new one l am very upset about the whole situation all my effort for the whole year is worth £1.25 They are investigating l demanded to how it happened so now the waiting game begins…. bah humbug…..😲😬😠

Profile photo of Crystal.w86
Member

I currently save points on the boots advantage card was told last week I had 5900 points which is £59 by there Putney branch so decided to spend £5 of it on a purchase on the 20/11/2015 I then visited the same store today 27/11/2015 to be told there is nothing on my card after calling the customer service I was called a liar and that I haven’t been to the store since July 15 when I go twice a week very angry

Member
Stephen says:
12 December 2015

I discovered that 34000 Nectar points had been redeemed at an Argos store 227 miles away when Sainsburys sent me an e-mail of offers and my balance was £4.35 instead of £174.27
I had points credited at 11.29 on Sunday the 6th December at my local Sainsbury store and have the receipt as proof some time after this my points were stolen on the same day. Trying to convince Nectar’s call centre that I did not have a Time Machine and it was not me who redeemed them is proving difficult in the extreme. Having Googled this problem it appears to be rife. Surely asking for some ID when redeeming points at Argos would reduce this problem.

Member
George says:
1 January 2016

Had recently had 20,000 Nectar points stolen in Argos, Croydon. I live 150 miles away and have never been there. Nectar have sent me new cards but no points yet.

Member
Mary Leaming says:
7 January 2016

I have had 17,000 points ‘redeemed’ from my Nectar card on Sunday 3 Jan at my local Sainsburys. My husband and I have not lost our cards and we did not leave the house on Sunday. Found out this morning when I checked balance on the app. Three calls and one online help chat disconnected so far as well as being put on hold when I am paying for the call. So far I have been told that an investigation will take 28 days and I may get the points reinstated. The third person at the ?Indian call centre that I spoke to cancelled our cards and said new ones would arrive in 10 days, but would not give me a name and contact email or phone number in UK for me to speak to. I wish I had seen this article and others’ comments earlier – would have bought gift cards as recommended. Reading other reports this cloning problem is rife, and Nectar promised two years ago to improve security but nothing done. Tomorrow I will contact Sainsburys, the police, Action Fraud (whose online reorting firm does not include this particular fraud), Nectar head office (who did not return my call today), the PR firm for Nectar and possibly the local newspaper.