Attention java junkies! If you have and use Starbucks gift card linked to your bank account, you need to listen up. Hackers could be draining your bank account dry right this second.
Hackers have found a way to break into Starbucks gift cards without even knowing account numbers. It turns out, they can access the gift cards, take money off of them so the gift card balance reaches $0.
That might not seem like much, but here's where it gets scary. They can then use the auto-reload function to load up your Starbucks card with even more of your money, then steal that too.
Consumer reporter Bob Sullivan told us one woman's story:
Maria Nistri, 48, was a victim this week. Criminals stole the Orlando women’s $34.77 in value she had loaded onto her Starbucks app, then another $25 after it was auto-loaded into her card because her balance hit 0. Then, the criminals upped the ante, changing her auto reload amount to $75, and stealing that amount, too. All within 7 minutes.
Scary stuff. The thieves didn't even know Nistri's credit card number and yet still managed to steal so much in such little time.
Nistri was alerted to the activity by an automated email telling her that her username and password had changed. It also told her that if she didn't authorize those changes, she should call customer service. But here's the problem. The email came to her at 7 a.m. and customer service wasn't available to speak to her until 8 a.m.
“Whoever did this knew the right time to do it,” she said.
If you use the auto-fill feature for your Starbucks - or any gift card - I recommend you turn it off immediately. Instead, simply reload your card manually whenever it gets too low. Check your bank statements and balances and contact your financial institution as soon as possible.
You'll also want to make sure your Starbucks password is a strong one. Click here to learn how to make a strong password.