/ 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.

Carol Durston says:
25 January 2014

SuperDrug cancelled my Beauty Card points (value £5), which I was saving up, because they said they are only valid for 1 year. When I asked the manager of my local store he didn’t know anything about this rule!

e smith says:
29 January 2014

I have often said to my mum and dad that I don’t see to get my points added up onto my Tesco card even when I had spent a fair bit with them. but never thought of anyone hacking the account. so I will now keep a better check on all of the cards. thanks for this site.

Well known Restaurant Loyalty Card points qualified me for 2 free meals recently. Having enjoyed the benefit I later found the cost deducted from my Credit Card. Probably a genuine mistake so I’ll not name them. However, a good reason to check your statements thoroughly.

Pearl Saunders says:
2 August 2014

Having a problem with theft from my Nectar card from what is apparently well known scam
Nectar have useless call centre (probably overseas) & Sainsbury’s don’t follow-up phone calls & my emails bounce back. They also say can’t help as Nectar is a third party ?

Michael Tucker says:
2 August 2014

Just had £400 of Nectar points stolen and used at Argos without me knowing….in the process of working through what I need to do but I suspect this will not be easy to get them back.

Have been building these up for years and now gone in an instant…

Nectar’s call center has been useless so far (just say contact the police…)

Pearl Saunders says:
2 August 2014

Try the nectar social contact email address sent to me on Twitter. ^MG has confirmed he has chapter & verse from me & is “looking into it” but I won’t hold my breath !
I’ll keep posted on it

Pearl Saunders says:
3 August 2014

Thank you Twitter.
Using this medium has resulted in finding someone at Nectar to take it seriously.
What had dragged on for over a month with negligible responses from either them or Sainsbury has been resolved in a day

B Thompson says:
21 August 2014

I also had £120 worth of Nectar points stolen at Argos about 10 days ago. Contacted the Nectar helpline who said I needed to get CCTV footage from Argos to prove it wasn’t me in the store but they couldn’t tell me which store they were spent in. I have since called Argos who have said it is a matter for Nectar but that mine wasn’t the first call of this sort they had received recently.

I had £75 worth of points disappear, spent at Argos on the 11th August. Looks like whatever they bought was delivered to them. If the are purchasing gift vouchers they are certainly making a mint:(. Have contacted Nectar today but it doesn’t look hopeful after reading posts on here.

Sandhurst_Sus says:
10 October 2014

I too had my points (19,000) spent at an Argos store on 11 August. The odd thing was that I then had 7 points put back on the card when it was used in a Sainburys petrol station on the same day in East London. I have not driven to London in over 30 years! Have reported this to Nectar, been sent a new card and have been told my 19,000 points will be reimbursed within ‘3 working days’. I wonder what is going on???

Michael says:
1 September 2014

Steph – Get on twitter and contact @nectar. Got mine refunded the same day using this method. The helpdesk were useless, they just read a script.

You should be able to get the £75 back.

Thanks, will give that a try and keep you posted,

Good news, Nectar have issued me with a new card and given me back the points that were fraudulently used. Still no idea on how I am able to stop this scam happening again though.

Just out of interest how many have recently registered their card details with British Gas/Centrica? Or was it just coincidence that the fraudulent activity occurred just after I registered mine with them.

Good look to all waiting for a positive outcome.

Angela says:
4 September 2014

I have just noticed my Nectar card has been used over the bank holiday in Argos, £45 worth of points been taken! Have rung the Nectar helpline and he said they would send out a new card and investigate. I’m hoping I get it back,

Julie Collings says:
6 September 2014

I have just had £120 (24,000) nectar points stolen from my account in one transaction in Argos.

Argos were extremely rude and unhelpful on the phone (apparently they cannot track a transaction down to a store?!) and Nectar were not great either. God knows if I will get the £120 back. I used to think Nectar was great but sounds like there are some major security issues – was saving the points up for Christmas =0(

I too have just had £75 taken from my Nectar Points.. Spent in an Argos store on 4th September..

The woman at Nectar wasn’t too interested and said they would investigate and it could take 28 days to get a decision, but didn’t sound too hopeful.. Again it was Points that had been save up for Christmas..

Just wondering……….

How many of the people having their points stolen are using the Nectar Toolbar?

Angela says:
7 September 2014

I have not used the Nectar toolbar, only thing my card was linked to was Sainsburys online shopping and British Gas

No.. Never had it… Would never have it…

Seem quite a regular occurrence by the looks of things though… And nearly always ends up happening in an Argos store…. I guess folks use can use the points against better stuff in there than in Sansburys though…

Looks like the toolbar is not the root of the problem then. It is powered by Yahoo who were compromised some months ago which was why I suggested it.

This is theft and fraud on what could be quite a big scale. Can Which? organise a police contact to catch and prosecute those responsible?

Not used the Nectar toolbar…….Nectar and Argos have big issues going on here and need to start doing something about it.

£55 worth of my points spent at an Argos store yesterday………..certainly not by me. I have my Nectar card and it’s never been out of my possession. How is this done – are people cloning cards? Nectar help centre useless, and read from pre-prepared script. So many similar complaints, hasn’t action got to be taken?

Must be Gaz cos they can’t buy online with Nectar. Think the fraudsters must have hacked online accounts unless it is the checkout operator at Sainsburys 😉 They are supposedly investigating mine but have asked me for the same info twice so far…………….not looking hopeful!

Have just found out that £55 of my nectar points were spent in Argos on 4 September. Surely action must be taken. Sounds like this is a wide scale problem!

Just checked our Nectar account – over £80 spent in a single transaction at an unnamed Argos! Have sent Nectar a message through online help, since the helpline is closed in the evening. I’m really hoping we get the points back as we were saving them. It seems my card was used (strange, since it never left my possession), not my partners.

Angela says:
26 September 2014

Update on my Nectar points – I have now got them back plus extra 2,000 points, they rang me up and said the fraud was being looked into but did not give anymore information.

Alan says:
2 October 2014

Have been saving Nectar points for a long time and planned to book Easyjet flights when I reached £200. I passed that total a couple of months ago and had about £213 ten days ago and then when shopping in Sainsburys I checked my receipt and was shocked suddenly to have less than £2. The store put me through to Nectar and I reported problem. They said points had been redeemed through Argos and said they would investigate and get back to me within 3 days and send new card within 10 days. After a week I have phoned again and been told that my new card is on way but investigation could take up to 28 days so I will have to wait to find out what is going to happen. Can’t understand how it has happened but at least I’m not alone.

Carmen says:
2 October 2014

Husband just back from Sainsburys and noticed we only had £3 in nectar points – last week our balance was £125.

Nectar Card have said they will investigate but it will take 28 days. Points have been spent in Argos but they can’t tell me what store. They have also cancelled the account and will be sending us new cards.

Incidentally my nectar card is linked to my british gas account.

We have been saving these points for Christmas and I hope we haven’t lost them.

It is worrying that this is still happening and has been going on since August which is more than 28 days ago. I am one of the lucky ones who has had my points refunded but do I just spend now or risk saving them until Xmas. Nectar/Argos really do need to stop this now!

Chris says:
5 October 2014


Following on from the theft of my nectar points and use at Argos, I have now obtained a crime reference number – NFRC141000788748 – if you wish to report the crime, it maybe of use referring to this so that the police can link the crimes together.

I used the actionfraud website to report.

Good luck!

carole says:
6 October 2014

£75.00 spent at a homebase store Ive never been to, same old 28 days to investigate had to ask for new account number and card useless call centre keep telling me my £5 balance i have left is really good!!! also connected to british gas and ebay.