The National Anti-Scam Centre, an initiative of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is warning travellers to be on the alert for a new pitfall doing the rounds focusing on members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer loyalty program.
The alert comes following more than 200 reports from consumers in recent months of attempts to target personal details registered with their Qantas Frequent Flyer account, along with loyalty programs run by both Telstra and Coles.
Members are being targeted by an email or a text message advising that their loyalty points are expiring soon, with a link to a fake website that prompts users to log-in to “renew” their points.
Users may then be prompted to secure their points balances by entering credit card information as security into the website. Scammers then either steal customers’ points or credit card information with the view to committing 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 ACCC Deputy Chair, Catriona Lowe.
The ACCC urges travellers not to click on any links included in these messages and to log-in to their loyalty program via a new browser window to check on the status of their 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,” Lowe added.
“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.”
If you’ve received any of these emails, you can report them to Scamwatch on 1800 595 160.
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