New scam targeting customers of loyalty points programs

The National Anti-Scam Centre has warned of a new scam targeting customers of loyalty points programs with large Australian companies.

Following 209 reports to Scamwatch in the past four months, consumers are being warned of a text message scam targeting Coles, Telstra, and Qantas Frequent Flyer loyalty programs.

Catriona Lowe, Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said the National Anti-Scam Centre has contacted the companies that have been impersonated by scammers and is working with web host providers to have the fake websites taken down, to minimise harm to the community.

“We are very concerned that Australians experiencing cost-of-living pressures may be more susceptible to these scams. Scammers are deliberately panicking consumers by claiming their points are expiring soon. We urge people to immediately delete or ignore any message regarding a loyalty program that contains a link.”

The scam works by a consumer receiving a text message or email stating their loyalty points are expiring with a link to a fake website encouraging customers to log in. Once logged in, scammers then steal customers’ points and can use the login details and personal information to commit identity fraud.

“While the vast majority of reports to Scamwatch received so far are in relation to Qantas Frequent Flyer, Telstra and Coles loyalty programs, it is important for Australians to be aware that any loyalty program could be referred to in this type of scam,” said Lowe.

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