Published: 10:00, 24 December 2019
| Updated: 12:15, 24 December 2019
A hacker has stolen a grandmother's Morrisons loyalty points which she planned to buy Christmas treats with.
Sue Cave made the discovery after her partner returned from shopping at Morrisons in Strood.
The mental health support worker, who also volunteers for charity Animals Lost and Found in Kent, was racking up the points to put towards her Christmas meal and treats for animals under the charity's care.
When she took up the issue with Morrisons, she found the points on her Morrisons More card, which had been reduced from around 50,000 to 6,000, had been cashed in back in January at Morrisons in Banbury, Oxfordshire – a store she had never visited.
Sue only discovered what had happened after her partner, Andy Furley, returned from shopping on December 14 and handed her a receipt showing the points balance on the card which she believed was locked, meaning she should not have been able to cash it in until it was unlocked.
After the incident, she tried logging into her online account to find she was unable to. She subsequently contacted Morrisons which told her the correct email and password had been used to obtain the points and therefore they could not offer her a refund.
The grandmother-of-four from Rochester Road, Burham said: "I am a carer, I don't earn a lot of money.
"That's how I was going to pay for Christmas but we'll get through it, you always do.
"But the thing is, it would have been nice. It's now going to make it tougher.
"It's not just that, that's all my data that has been compromised."
Shoppers get five points added to their card for every £1 spent in store, online or in a Morrisons Cafe.
Points can also be obtained by purchasing certain products and fuel from Morrisons petrol stations.
For every 5,000 points, customers can claim a £5 voucher so Sue expected she would be able to spend £50 worth.
"There are others like me who specially save to help out with the financial burden of Christmas and I want others to use or check theirs before they get struck as well..." - Sue Cave
Customer services denied there had been a breach of their security and instructed Sue to contact Action Fraud or the police.
Although she doesn't regularly shop at Morrisons, Sue says she sometimes goes to the store in Knight Road, Strood, or her partner will use the card when he goes to the store in Coldharbour Road, Gravesend, on the way home from work.
Digging deeper, Sue joined a Facebook group of people whose points had also gone missing.
She said: "I found out it's nationwide; mine's only about £50 but other people have lost £150.
"Morrisons are saying it's our fault our accounts were compromised.
"There's people joining every day, up and down the country."
One user on the Facebook group has been producing a map of all known supermarkets in which cards have fraudulently been cashed in.
In November, the website Moneywise reported people had shared similar incidents on social media. Morrisons again denied it had suffered a data breach.
It said the issue occurred due to customers using the same username and password across multiple sites.
Sue wants to warn others to check their Morrisons More cards before they try and cash in this Christmas.
She added: "There are others like me who specially save to help out with the financial burden of Christmas and I want others to use or check theirs before they get struck as well.
"I didn't even realise mine were gone until the points showed up on my receipt as mine were locked for Christmas so now all my details along with others have been compromised."
In a statement, Morrisons told KentOnline the company takes online security very seriously and their customer data had not been breached.
They said they remind customers about the importance of using a unique password.
Have you also been affected by the Morrisons points scam? Email firstname.lastname@example.org