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More problems with points theft at Tesco and elsewhere

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More and more tales of points and miles theft are popping up at the moment.  This is nothing new (I wrote about Clubcard points theft last year) and little seems to have improved.

Whilst Tesco Clubcard theft is the most reported problem, it also impacts other programmes.  JAL Mileage Bank, for example, emailed members last week to report that redemptions for Amazon Gift Certificates had been stopped with immediate notice.  They should have learnt their lesson after IHG Rewards Club suffered a similar problem last year.

(Theft via Amazon is too easy.  Most programmes email you an Amazon voucher code as soon as you redeem.  You can place an order immediately for overnight delivery to an Amazon locker or pick up point.  The thief has the goods before you even notice.)

Meanwhile, Head for Points reader Andrew sent me this email last week:

I’d like to let you know that the Tesco voucher theft problem is still happening.  I’ve had over £1000 (thousand!) stolen just over a week ago and all redeemed in one day in stores in the Kent area.  I had no idea of this issue until I googled the problem and found many articles on it!  Tesco have agreed to replace all the vouchers. 

Recent posts on Flyertalk reveal the theft on £60, £130 and £900 of Clubcard vouchers.  In all cases, Tesco has reimbursed those who were impacted.

There are two ways this can happen.  The first is that paper vouchers are stolen somewhere between Tesco and your house.  The second is that your online account is hacked and the vouchers are redeemed electronically.   Whilst it is likely that these are inside jobs, Tesco receipts do print your entire Clubcard number (apart from the last digit) plus your current balance, which makes it easy to see if you are worth hacking.

My usual suggestion is to use a service such as Award Wallet to track the balances of all your miles and points programmes.  Run it once a day and you will see any that have gone missing within 24 hours.  For Tesco, Award Wallet also tracks the amount of unredeemed vouchers on your account from previous periods.

Some people have concerns about sharing passwords with a service like Award Wallet, although you can operate it by having the passwords stored on your PC rather than on their servers.  I would rather have the overview and take the (very small) risk of Award Wallet ever getting compromised.

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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Comments (43)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • idrive says:

    Double points have almost disappeared for me. I only got 1 double points coupon in the last 2-3 months. Fewer bonus points on a couple of items, all the rest money off my usual shopping items.

  • toddy0011 says:

    Literally just logged in to transfer some to Virgin and about £500 have been redeemed in Kidderminster yesterday….not happy!

  • chris says:

    for anyone interested XXLMKY 1000 points on £60+ of wine

  • Chris says:

    I see there is a piece in the BBC News website this morning about tesco accounts having been breached and online login codes and usernames allegedly being posted on a text messaging site. Apparently vouchers have also been stolen.

    • World Traveller says:

      Here’s what Sky News had to say:

      Supermarket chain Tesco has suspended more than 2,000 online accounts after cyber thieves targeted log-in credentials and Clubcard points.

      The deactivation comes after thousands of usernames and passwords – taken from non-Tesco websites – appeared on a text-sharing portal.

      It is believed that cyber thieves then used that data to crack accounts at, relying on the habit of some people using the same usernames and passwords for various websites.

      A Tesco spokesperson told Sky News: “We take the security of our customers’ data extremely seriously and are urgently investigating these claims.

      “We are contacting all customers who may have been affected and are committed to ensuring that none of them miss out as a result of this.”

      The speculative attack on Tesco was also used to steal Clubcard points from some customers – believed to number fewer than 10.

      The company, Britain’s biggest supermarket group, said it would reimburse those hit in the breach.

      The spokesperson added: “We will issue replacement vouchers to the very small number who are affected.”

      In early 2013 a number of Clubcard holders had their vouchers stolen by cyber criminals after Tesco spotted “irregular activity”.

      Log-in credentials of customers were allegedly harvested by hackers using phishing emails.

  • George says:

    Hot off the press
    Tesco suspends 2,000 customer accounts after hacking attack

  • colibob says:

    I’ve noticed have started asking for X, X & X digit from clubcard again – that stopped a month or so back.

  • Idrive says:

    Yes i can not even get into my own account! Ahaha

  • Idrive says:

    As of today, a change on the way AW shows my Tesco Balance occurred. I can now only see current points, not vouchers anymore. Till yesterday, The main line was showing n/a and the details of both points and balances below.
    is this a major change on AW for all? i don’t recall having the app updated yesterday.

    • Simon says:

      That has happened for me also, I assume it’s because Tesco are rolling out the change where you cannot access your clubcard account without entering 3 digits from your clubcard so Award Wallet can no longer track the vouchers.

      There is a page on the groceries site, (click My Account then Your Clubcard details) which has your current number of clubcard points which is how Award Wallet is tracking your balance now.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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