Maybe he will get two years for the price of one!
A London IT worker has been found guilty of fraud offences related to scamming supermarket Sainsbury's out of loyalty points worth £70,000. James Stevenson, 45, of Muswell Hill, was a lead analyst programmer for Sainsbury's and used his position to set up several different accounts to collect the Nectar reward points. …
@ Feldspa - every little helps!
As it happens, back in the early 70s, I was working for a large retail chain, and someone there set-up a scam involving Green Stamps (remember them?). Somehow, the comapny security people thought it was me, and I had a very unpleasant interview with the security director who was an ex Met senior Officer.
It ended up with him threatening me with calling the police to take my fingerprints - I then lost my temper and stood up to him, and suggested we do just that. To cut a rather long story short, they realised they had the wrong person, and to keep me from suing the arse off them, I was offered a more senior job and a pay rise!
I recall some story or other where a bank account was set up with a name beginning zz into which was filtered the fractions of a penny (cent?) arising from interest calculations on all the other bank accounts only discovered when a customer with a name beginning zz opened an account.
No, what happened is that the bank was going to run a promotion along the lines of "accounts for aardvark to ???????" and want to know what was the first and the last (alphabetically sorted) names of people in the bank and got suspicious when the found an account where the names was all Zs.
Can't have been a very good programmer, he forgot to check for boundary conditions i.e. when setting up bogus accounts, pick a common name (John Smith etc)
but it's likely this was just a larger version of the same practices done by workers at petrol stations, supermarkets and other places with such loyalty schemes: swiping their own card when a customer doesn't participate in the scheme.
I have seen this done hundreds of times, but on the smaller scale. One cashier picking up an extra 200-400 points per shift can net around 70,000 points a year. If a point is worth 1p (common supermarket exchange rate) it's a small increase on top of their minimum wage.
I lie thru' my teeth on the "application". Usually, I'm a black one-legged lesbian lumberjack who commutes to the Pacific Northwest on rollerblades (and the like). Every time I use cards like this, I know I'm helping to corrupt a corporate database in a small way.
I also have a double handful of "found" cards that I use at random.
Many supermarkets now have connected Financial Services, things like Car Insurance and Life Insurance.
Now how useful would it be to the insurer to know the food and drink products you buy on a regular basis.
Bottle of Scotch a week? Possible drink driver risk?
Doughnuts? Heart attack?
Cigarettes? Claimed on his application he was a non-smoker.
Unless you have dozens of different debit cards or always pay in cash - in which case I am pretty sure they aren't interested in you anyway.
Now, before anyone tells me that they can't (or at least shouldn't) track my personal details from a debit card - that is not the point. Supermarkets want you to buy shit, so they do this in two ways: either they try to con you into buying shit you don't want* or they try to make you buy more of the stuff you do want from them** rather than anyone else.
The most important factors are buying trends - they will put you in a demographic from what you buy, they don't need to know who you are. In fact it is probably better for them that way - if your shopping habits are that of a 20 year old man but in real life you are an 80 year old woman then it is pointless them trying to sell you Saga magazines and knitting patterns if what you want is cheap lager and condoms.
So, either they know all they need to know about you and they give you nothing directly in return or they know everything they need to know about you and they give you 1-2% back on your shopping plus the occasional money off coupon for stuff you actually buy?
But, all that aside, ASDA manage pretty well with no loyalty scheme that I know about and at least they aren't Tesco.
*such things as product placement and big shiny signs and the like
**through targeted special offers, loyalty cards etc.
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