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Millions of Boots Advantage Card holders unable to spend points

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

More than 14 million Boots Advantage cards have been suspended from making payments as the health and beauty retailer investigates fraudulent attempts to access accounts.

Boots has temporarily suspended payments in-store and online by customers using their loyalty Advantage Card.

The move comes as the health and beauty retailer said its IT security team spotted unusual activity on 1% of the accounts – 140,000 card holders.

It is writing to customers they believe may have had their accounts compromised. While payments have been suspended, customers can still use their cards to collect points in-store and online.

What happened?

It is believed that scammers who obtained passwords and email addresses from another database used the same details to try their luck in accessing Boots accounts. This is typically known as ‘password stuffing’.

The attempts can be successful if people use the same email and password details on multiple accounts.

Boots said these details were not obtained from Boots and comes after Tesco blocked 620,000 Clubcard accounts amid a similar security issue.

A Boots spokesperson, said: “Our Customers’ safety and security online is very important to us. We can confirm we have written to a small number of our customers to tell them that we have seen fraudulent attempts to access boots.com accounts.

“As an extra precaution we have temporarily stopped payment by Boots Advantage Card points on boots.com or in store. This removes the ability for people to attempt to access any Boots accounts, but means that customers will not be able to use Boots Advantage Card points to pay for products in-store and online for a short period of time.

“We would like to reassure customers that credit card information cannot be accessed.”

They added that if points have been used fraudulently, they will be replaced. The retailer is also urging customers to use different passwords for different accounts held.

Boots Advantage Card customers collect four points for every £1 spent. Once they have 100 points, they have £1 to spend in-store or online.