EAGLE, Idaho. According to a 2022 report issued by Bond, a financial solutions company, businesses retain 77% of their customer base through incentives and loyalty programs. In a number of ways, it's a win-win scenario. Companies increase their bottom line while store patrons save money.

It all sounds great until someone else starts reaping the benefits of your hard-earned rewards points. In case you didn't know, that's a thing these days, and it's called loyalty fraud.

A growing number of industries have begun offering loyalty programs, which creates an incentive for fraudsters to attack. The travel industry was historically a prime target. Travel agents, flight and hotel booking sites and any other company offering travel rewards are all vulnerable to loyalty fraud. -Seon


LOYALTY FRAUD: what is it?

Also referred to as "rewards fraud" and "points fraud," loyalty fraud occurs when one customer or entity benefits from, or uses, another customer's loyalty program. Industries frequently targeted include highly competitive digital retailers, the gaming industry, financial tech, travel agencies, and ride-sharing companies like Uber.

But that wasn't the case for one of our teammates who recently learned their rewards points were being used sans permission by an individual person, not a "scammer" in the true sense of the word.

REWARDS intruder

Our teammate wasn't targeted by a sophisticated scam operation on the hunt for "loyalty points that can be redeemable for cash value, bonuses, products, or services."

Nope. Our teammate discovered someone within their social circle had been using their husband's phone number to redeem points and get discounts at Albertsons. Because this person knew our teammate's spouse's cell phone number, they were entering it in each time they shopped at the local staple.

As you might imagine, our teammate was irritated to say the least. Why wouldn't someone set up their own rewards card at the grocery chain as opposed to using someone else's?

While the practice is irksome and just plain rude, is it illegal in Idaho? Not yet from what we gather. As for our teammate, they're at a loss on how to handle the situation. If you have any advice for them, message us on the app!

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