Deal websites like Groupon can be ideal if you're looking for an alternative gift. You can pick up experience packages such as an afternoon tea for two or an overnight stay in a rural hotel. However, fraudsters are now targeting customers of the site.
Groupon users have seen money taken from their accounts after fraudsters used their details to make unauthorised purchases. To help you check whether you've been hacked, we're taking you through the details of this scam and how to claim a refund.
Groupon customers are reporting that thousands of pounds have left their bank accounts after fraudsters placed orders in their name.
The scam works by fraudsters finding the login details of Groupon customers from elsewhere and using this to hack into individual user's accounts. Scammers then use this information to place expensive orders for high-end items such as a holiday, PlayStation 4 and iPhone 6 – one order amounted to more than £2,420.
One customer who hasn't used their Groupon account for months received around 20 purchase confirmation emails from Groupon on one day. The items the scammers bought were worth between £10 and £900.
Groupon insist that there hasn't been a security breach on its website or app but the firm has said that customers might have had their personal details compromised through other hacks.
Can I claim a refund?
Groupon will refund any money that fraudsters spent on your account without your consent. The company advises anyone that believes they've been a victim of a fraudulent attack to visit its customer support centre.
A dedicated team will investigate it and if confirmed, they’ll block the account immediately and refund the money back to you. Don't forget to report the fraud to your bank if you have been hacked. You should call a Money Manager on 0161 779 5000 if you're a thinkmoney customer.
How do I stop this from happening again?
One way that a fraudster can get their hands on your personal information is if it's made available through a security breach. They can then use it to log into websites where the password is the same.
Make sure you protect your personal details with the following tips.
• Never use the same password twice – a hacker will try to use the same password on multiple websites so don't make it easy for them. Instead, create unique passwords for each account you have and change them regularly.
• Don't share too much on social media – posting your personal information on Facebook or Twitter can help fraudsters figure out your password details. Find out how to protect your personal details on social media.
• Check your email – you should check your email on a regular basis to make sure you don't receive any emails about unauthorised purchases or password changes.
• Don't save your bank details online – although it's convenient, you shouldn't save your bank account details on payment websites. Fraudsters can use this to spend if they gain access to your account.
This scam is not exclusive to Groupon and can impact any organisation – that's why it's so important that you create a strong password for all of your accounts.