Scammers target supermarket loyalty points

Coles flybys

It seems with every new day there’s a new scam, and the latest targets Australians keen to find a bargain at the supermarket.

Scamwatch has issued a warning for Coles loyalty program members, along with Qantas and Telstra.

“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 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair Catriona Lowe.

Scammers are sending consumers a text message with a link to a fake website, informing them that their loyalty points are expiring.

When customers log in or provide credit card details, scammers steal the customer’s points and use the personal information to commit identity theft.

To protect yourself, don’t ever click on a link in a text message and access the business app or website independently to check the status of your points.

“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,” Ms Lowe said.

“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.”

This week’s best deals

Coles

Sensible: Sacla Pasta Sauce varieties, $3.80, save $1.20. Awesome stir-in sauce for a quick meal. Make a meal look fancy with zero effort by also tipping in some cooked prawns.

Indulgence: Golden Sunset oil varieties, half price $18. Never pay full price for this range; they are constantly on special at half price. I have switched over my everyday cooking oil (olive oil) to this brand and I’m rather pleased with myself. It’s much cheaper than olive oil and doesn’t seem as ‘heavy’ as olive oil when shallow frying.

See the catalogue here.

Aldi

Sensible: Killarnee Lamb Loin Chops, $19.99/kg. I can’t remember the last time I saw lamb under $20/kg. Snap up this bargain while you can. In fact, take a picture so you can tell your descendants.

Indulgence: Surely up there in the top 10 totally random stuff Aldi sells, this week you can buy a telescope for the bargain price of $129. Or you can wait a few weeks and snap it up cheaper in the specials bin when it undoubtedly gets discounted.

See the catalogue here.

IGA

Sensible: Finish Rinse Aid, half price $4.40. Always good to have some of this stashed away in the cupboard because it’s so very annoying when you randomly need it and it’s not there. At half price you can afford to buy a few and squirrel them away.

Indulgence: Western Star Butter, 250g varieties, $4.40. Others may think butter is an indulgence, but not me. Get away from that margarine stuff. I once heard margarine described as ‘yellow-coloured chemicals’ and I couldn’t agree more. Butter all the way.

See the catalogue here.

Woolworths

Sensible: Hass avocadoes, $1.20. At this price you can afford to make a few extra payments on your mortgage.

Indulgence: Capilano Hot Chilli Honey, $6, save $1.50. I guess you use this for Asian food, otherwise that’s quite the kick to your morning crumpet. I’ll give it a shot for the novelty value alone.

See the catalogue here.

Have you received a dodgy text you believed was a scam? Did you report it? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: How pricing psychology tricks you into buying more

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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