Scammers are using cost-of-living pressures to prey on loyalty program members.
The consumer watchdog’s National Anti-Scam Centre has detected a a sharp rise in loyalty program scams following 209 reports to Scamwatch during the past four months.
The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission deputy chair Catriona Lowe expressed concern Australians experiencing cost-of-living pressures may be more susceptible to the scam.
“Scammers are deliberately panicking consumers by claiming their points are expiring soon,” she says.
Customers are being urged to remain vigilant about text messages or emails from large and well-known companies saying their loyalty points are expiring.
The ACCC says these texts or emails include links to a fake website which prompt customers to login and provide credit card details to use the points.
Scammers will then steal customers’ points, along with login details and personal information which they can use on other platforms to commit identity fraud.
Ms Lowe says the vast majority of Scamwatch reports have related 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,” she says.
People are urged to never click on links included in text messages and to access the app or website independently to check on their points status.
The National Anti-Scam Centre is working with the impersonated companies and web host providers to have fake websites taken down.
(Australian Associated Press)