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Watch out for loyalty points scams


Received a text asking you to click on a link to stop your loyalty or reward points expiring? It’s likely to be a scam.

The ACMA is seeing a sharp rise in reports of shopping points and rewards-based SMS scams. 

These scams impersonate trusted brands that have well-known loyalty programs, including companies such as Coles, Woolworths, Optus, and Telstra. 

These scams try to create an urgent need for you to click on a link to redeem your points or rewards before they expire. The links then take to you a scam website that looks like the real thing and prompts you to provide your login or financial details, which the scammer then steals.

What to look out for

Two key signs that an SMS about loyalty points may be a scam are:

  • a sense of urgency – scammers will try to rush you by saying that your points are about to expire, and you need to urgently act by clicking on a link.
  • an incorrect website address – while the link leads to a web address that may contain the name of the company being impersonated, it will be different to the real brand’s website address and may include misspellings, unusual words or random letters and numbers.

How to protect yourself

If you are unsure if a message is genuine - stop and check. Don’t rush to act. 

Never click on any links or provide any personal or financial details if the sender is unknown or suspicious. If you need to check a message is genuine, contact the business using details you confirm yourself – for example, via an official website, a bill or an app.

If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank immediately to stop any payments, tell your telco and report it to Scamwatch.

Scammers target everyone. Talk with your friends and family – especially if they are in potentially vulnerable circumstances – about how to identify scams. 

Get informed:

The ACMA supports the government’s Fighting Scams initiative to address scams and online fraud and protect Australians from financial harm. It supports the work of the National Anti-Scam Centre, which commenced operations on 1 July 2023. The National Anti-Scam Centre coordinates government, law enforcement and the private sector to combat scams.

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