More than 11 million Australians have a Rewards card with supermarket giant Woolworths.
More than 11 million Australians have a Rewards card with supermarket giant Woolworths.

Woolworths shoppers fall victim to scammers

EXCLUSIVE: SHOPPERS who are members of the Woolworths Rewards program have fallen victim to scammers stealing their points.

Woolworths tonight issued an email alert to hundreds of its 11 million members, informing them their accounts had been compromised or may be impacted.

It made a pledge to restore the points of any customers who have had them stolen.

News Corp can reveal the scammers accessed Rewards memberships using valid login and password details.

Fraudsters are also believed to have obtained these login details using separate online scams or other sources.

To put a stop to the fraud Woolworths implemented the following changes for members:

- One time code : Members will need to enter a unique one time code sent to the email address if they want to change their point redemption preferences.

- Auto-notification of redemption changes: Members will receive immediate notification via email if they redemption preferences are changed.

A Woolworths Rewards customer loyalty card used by Australian shoppers.
A Woolworths Rewards customer loyalty card used by Australian shoppers.

When updating passwords, members will have to implement a new one that meets tougher criteria.

A new password strength indicator will help customers ensure their password is hard to crack.

Woolworths director of loyalty Ingrid Maes said the changes indicate they are taking the "security of accounts seriously."

"It's clear fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in the ways they target users online and our members are unfortunately not immune to these threats," she said.

"We value the trust of our members and take our responsibility to uphold the security of their accounts seriously."

Customers who collect 2000 points at applicable stores including Woolworths supermarkets can save $10 on their next eligible shop.

They can either redeem the points by getting a discount at the checkout, banking the points and using them at Christmas or converting them into Qantas points.

A spokesman at the Australian Competition and Competition Commission said consumers should be careful and sceptical about any emails purporting to be a business.

Latest ACCC data shows Australians have reported 104,000 scams so far this year, totalling $84 million.

"If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact the institution immediately to report it," an ACCC spokesman said.

Woolworths also confirmed it had found no evidence its systems had been breached or comprised.

If you have been scammed you can also visit scamwatch.gov.au.



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