Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has one of the strongest, most profitable and most coveted mobile apps in retail That app has been considered largely secure, but recent customer complaints claim the app has been breached—a claim Starbucks denies.
There have been reports that hackers accessed various Starbucks customers' cards and app profiles, creating new accounts with the users' information before loading and reloading the cards with money from the linked credit card, PayPal or bank account.
In most cases, the new cards were created in a matter of minutes, and money was drained from each card just as quickly. Users claimed that Starbucks failed to alert users of unusual activity or halt it in anyway.
Starbucks denied these claims.
"Like all major retailers, the company has safeguards in place to constantly monitor for fraudulent activity and works closely with financial institutions," noted a company statement. "To protect the integrity of these security measures, Starbucks will not disclose specific details but can assure customers their security is incredibly important and all concerns related to customer security are taken seriously."
Starbucks acknowledged that it occasionally receives reports from customers of unauthorized activity on their online account, but then put the responsibility back upon the users. "This is primarily caused when criminals obtain reused names and passwords from other sites and attempt to apply that information to Starbucks," the statement said. Starbucks recommends that users create stronger unique passwords.
For Starbucks, any threat to its app and rewards program is one to be taken seriously. Roughly one in six transactions at Starbucks last year were made via the app, which processed close to $2 billion in mobile payments.
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