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Thieves steal hundreds from Starbucks app users, but Starbucks denies it’s been hacked

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Earlier this week, Starbucks customers reported that hundreds of dollars were stolen from their credit cards. The Starbucks mobile app lets customers pay at checkout with their phone. The app can also reload Starbucks gift cards by automatically drawing funds from bank account, credit card or Pay Pal.

Criminals are siphoning money from Starbucks customers by breaking into their Starbucks accounts online, adding a new gift card, and transferring funds over. Earlier this week, Maria Nistri, was a victim of a Starbucks app hack. Maria believes the criminals stole a total of $75, all within 7 minutes. Maria then received an automated email, saying her username and password had been changed, and if she didn’t authorize the change, she should call customer service.

The hackers were able to steal money from Maria’s credit card, because her gift card was loaded onto her Starbucks app. They didn’t even need to have all of her credit card information.

“It was crazy. I was like, what in the world?” Nistri told journalist Bob Sullivan. “I was lucky I happened to check my email when I did, otherwise who knows how much they would have gotten.”

Starbucks denied that its servers had been hacked, despite multiple complaints from other customers. The company said in a statement on Wednesday, “Starbucks takes the obligation to protect customers’ information seriously. News reports that the Starbucks mobile app has been hacked are false.”

However, the company did mention in its statement that it received reports from customers that contain complaints of unauthorized activity from their online accounts. Starbucks said hacks like this happen when criminals obtain reused user names and passwords. To protect security, Starbucks encourages its customers to use different user names and passwords, especially if they keep financial information in the app. If you see any suspicious activity on your Starbucks card or mobile app, you can call Starbucks customer service at 1-800-STARBUC.

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Karen Tumbokon
Karen is a technology, music and entertainment writer. Originally from New Jersey, Karen began her writing career in music…
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