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Boots halts Advantage Card payments after cyber attack

Boots customers have been left unable to use Advantage Card points to pay for their shopping, after a cyber attack on almost 150,000 customers' accounts.

Boots says the company's IT security team spotted "unusual" activity on a number of loyalty card accounts, but it insists its own systems weren't compromised and says attackers tried to access accounts using details from other sites.

Customers will still be able to use their Advantage Cards to collect points while the issue is ongoing.

The news comes just days after Tesco reported itself to the Information Commissioner's Office, after scammers targeted it with a similar attack.

As scams get clever, we need to get clever too – see 30+ Ways to Stop Scams.

What will happen to affected customers?

Boots says the cyber attack has affected less than 1% of the company's 14.4 million active Advantage Card users.

It adds that it is writing to customers if it believes their account has been affected, and if their Boots Advantage Card points have been used fraudulently, it will replace them.

The store insists credit card information was not accessed as part of the attack.

What does Boots say?

In a statement, Boots said: "Our customers' safety and security online is very important to us. We can confirm we are writing to a small number of our customers to tell them that we have seen fraudulent attempts to access accounts. These attempts can be successful if people use the same email and password details on multiple accounts.

"We would like to reassure our customers that these details were not obtained from Boots. We are aware that other organisations may be impacted too.

"As an extra precaution we have temporarily stopped payment by Boots Advantage Card points on 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."

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