A number of Sainsbury’s shoppers have reported that the Nectar points they have been saving up have gone missing.
Loyalty card operator Nectar is advising customers to beware of fraudsters in the run-up to Christmas.
And in at least one case a woman who suffered substantial points losses has been advised to involve the police.
According to the Mail Online, hundreds of pounds have been reported as missing from some Nectar accounts.
With Christmas only a few weeks away, many intended to use the points to purchase gifts for friends and family.
One such victim, Nick, has been frustrated by his inability to resolve the issue.
“I have two receipts that show I have accumulated 22,656 and 22,619 Nectar points respectively,” he said.
“I have used my cards a few times since these balances and my account and receipts show I only collectively have 18,000 points with a value of around £94.
“My other balances in October as given were valued at £113.09 and £113.28 respectively.’
“I was planning to use my points to do my Christmas shopping but cannot get in touch with Nectar. When I try I keep getting an error page.”
The Nectar card scheme was launched in 2002 and currently has more customer numbers than any other loyalty card in Britain.
Each Nectar point is worth 0.5p meaning 2,000 points are worth £10.
Some of those who have suffered losses have discovered their points being redeemed online.
Michelle’s experience typified this: “I had roughly £60 to £80 worth of Nectar points, now I have £0.82,” she said.
“I have spoken to customer services whom cannot give me any conclusive answers whatsoever.
“They have blamed eBay but I have checked with eBay and they said no points have been redeemed by us.
“I look forward to spending my points at Christmas and I haven’t spent or redeemed any points since last Christmas.”
Other Nectar users have discovered their points being redeemed in stores around the country, presumably by fraudsters who have hacked their account.
Claire, said: “I have been hit by this scam – 22,000 points were taken from my Nectar card and spent in Brixham… nowhere near where we are in Southampton.
“I broke down in tears as I was using this as my Christmas spending for my children.”
Another victim, Marianne, was even told to contact the police about the incident.
She said: “I have had 18,000 points spent on my Nectar card two months ago and it wasn’t by me.
“Nectar say the transaction happened in the store I shop at. They contacted the Sainsbury’s that I shop at who told Nectar they cannot find any wrong-doing.
“Nectar told me to contact the police so I did but they told me they have too many things going on to bother with my problem.”
It has been suggested that fraudsters get hold of someone else’s Nectar number, change the address in the account, report the card as lost and then get a new one sent and spend the points.
A Nectar spokesperson said: “We ask customers to report any points they believe are missing from their account so we can investigate and take appropriate action.
“We also advise customers to be mindful of phishing attempts from fraudsters, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated.”