Nectar card customers warned over fraudsters STEALING thousands of points worth hundreds they've saved up for Christmas

Shoppers say they will struggle to afford their Christmas food shop after fraudsters wiped out points they'd been saving up.

Dozens of customers on social media have said that their points have been fraudulently spent at shops including eBay and Argos in the last month.

Seventy-one-year-old Mary Barrass told This Is Money she'd had £100 worth of points stolen from her account.

She said that she'd been saving up her points all year to pay for her festive food shop, but scammers hacked her account and spent the points on eBay.

She's not the only one. On Facebook, frustrated customers said their accounts have been hacked too.

How much are Nectar points worth and where can I spend and collect them?

You can collect them by shopping at Sainsbury's, Argos, Asos, Debenhams online, Disney Store online, eBay, Expedia, Three mobile online.

You can find the full list of brands offering Nectar points and their current deals on the Nectar website.

You can spend your points at a number of retailers such as Argos, eBay, Eurostar, Go Ape, and Sainsbury's.

Nectar card holders collect one point for every £1 you spend – but it's worth 0.5p when you spend it.

That means 500 points are worth £2.50.

Shoppers Julie Thomas-Scanlan-Coupe and Jemma Griggs both said they'd had £40 worth of points stolen from their accounts and spent fraudulently at other shops this month.

Another customer, Hilary Hagan commented: "My Nectar account appears to have been hacked of all the points I was saving to use for my Christmas shopping have been redeemed – but not by me!"

Nectar said the issue is not "widespread" when questioned by The Sun, despite multiple reports of points being spent fraudulently.

Nectar has now reiumbursed Ms Barrass her points, and given her an extra 2,000 worth £10 as a goodwill gesture.

The firm also gave her tips on how to stay safe online and avoid being scammed.

A spokeswoman for Nectar – which is owned by Sainsbury's – told The Sun there had been no data breach of customers' accounts.

She added that shoppers may have been victims of phishing scams, or had weak passwords for their accounts that hackers could access.

But Nectar has not yet explained why the same issue has affected multiple customers.

Phishing scams are when fraudsters text, email or call and pose as a trusted company you recognise.

The scams are designed to convince people to disclose valuable personal details, download viruses onto your their computer or even hand over cash.

The Sun has asked Sainsbury's to look into the complaints of the other Nectar card holders and we will update this story if we hear back.

The issue comes days after Nectar card holders complained they'd had thousands of points deleted from their accounts after buying tickets for London North Eastern Railway.

This isn't the first time Nectar customers have been the victims of fraudsters.

In August, Nectar had to warn its millions of customers about a new phishing scam text message targeting Nectar card holders.

Sainsbury’s bought Nectar in a £60million deal earlier this year. Here's more on what changes Sainsbury's made when it took over Nectar.

Nectar – which launched in 2002 – has more than 19million users in the UK and is the largest loyalty scheme in the country.

How can I protect myself from phishing?

  • Don’t assume anyone who emails, calls, texts or tweets is who they say they are.
  • If you're ever asked to make a payment, log in, or offered a deal, be cautious. Real banks will never email you asking for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • If you get a call from someone who claims to be from your bank, hang up, ring the number on the back of the card and check the call is legitimate.
  • If an email looks dodgy or is unsolicited, delete it without clicking any links. If you think it may be legitimate, open your web browser, search for the official company number and call customer services. Do not use the number provider in the email.
  • Check your bank accounts and credit score regularly. If there are payments or activities you don't recognise, you may have been the victim of fraud.
  • Report any scams to Action Fraud using their online form.

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