As the miles and points market is almost entirely automated these days, the possibilities for losing your points to fraud are increasing.
Last year, for example, I wrote about how a lot of people had their Priority Club points stolen. If programmes offer instant redemption offers – Priority Club will let you redeem your points for an Amazon discount code which they email to you immediately – then fraud will be a risk.
Tesco had similar problems last year. A couple of weeks ago, a HFP reader, Mark, emailed me to say that he had recently been a victim. And, according to this moneysavingexpert report, it is still a major problem. If someone gets access to your Tesco Clubcard account, it is easy enough to order some e-codes for various retailers or to have paper vouchers sent to a different address.
It is not clear how people are getting access to Tesco accounts. It is possible that they are trying random email addresses and easy to guess passwords. Perhaps more likely, they are being harvested by spyware or people responded to a spam email and gave out their details.
The good news is that Tesco is reinstating stolen points very quickly when you report it.
There are two ways to help protect yourself against fraud.
The first is to use a service like AwardWallet to track your miles and points balances. With Tesco Clubcard, AwardWallet shows not only your current points balance but also your total of unredeemed vouchers. It is therefore easy to notice if someone redeems your vouchers fraudulently.
Secondly, use a secure password. If you have a lot of unspent vouchers sitting in your Clubcard account, treat its security with the same importance that you would your bank account.
(Thanks to Michael and Mark)