Anyone Who Has Your Phone Number Can Steal Your Rewards In Gas Promo

A Giant/Shell gas promotion ties access users’ rewards points to their phone numbers, opening up a gaping security breach for unscrupulous users who want to swipe points from others.

Mike from Clever Dude says the promotion lets you access your points by typing in your phone number at the gas pump. If others know that you use the promotion, or just want to take a wild guess, they can get ahold of your points and drain your discounted gas down their tanks.

Mike recommends avoiding this potential exploit by registering your account under a Google Voice number you keep to yourself.

How you can cheat on Giant’s Gas Promo…and steal from others! [Clever Dude]

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  1. El_Fez says:

    No big shocker here – I always use 867-5309 for my phone number when they ask for it – and one time I at Safeway, I used it and wound up with 20 bucks of free credit. Someone had been using it when buying groceries and earning 5 cents a dollar (or whatever nonsense they were running at the time).

    So sweet score on my part.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’m curious what the point was for you to display your number…

    • Marlin says:

      Really, what a coincidence. I just got back from Safeway and used that number and it had a lot of credit. I used it all as I did not want to let any of it get away.

    • Alvis says:

      7-digit-dialing seems so odd to me nowadays.

      • mariex05 says:

        I enjoy living in a small town…a lot of the older people use four digits, since the three digit prefix is the same for the whole town. It’s weird for me though, because I come from a metropolis where I’m custom to using a ten digit number.

    • Aennan says:

      You do know that 867-5309 is a real telephone number that real people have? It’s not just a fun number from a song?

      So, you’re proud of swiping that credit from someone else?

      • El_Fez says:

        On the other hand, I’ve been using it for years – so “They” have been enjoying the fruits of my labors of some time now.

      • Sanspants says:

        I’m assuming that not every area code has an 867 exchange. If I’m correct in assuming this, most people will not be using someone’s real phone number.

      • libertysubvian says:

        I always use that number too. It works in any area code and is usually set up by someone in on the joke or who is concerned about identity. I got the idea when it was suggested in a magazine… So lay off…

    • tmac40 says:

      I use that number all the time too. No one has ever recognized it either.

  2. Zeniq says:

    King Soopers gas rewards is the same way. I never really considered it as a problem.

  3. DariusC says:

    This is why my local store has a card that you use to get discounts in the store and get a discount at the pump (swipe the same card). Easy, secure, fun! (What was the last word? “Uh… secure?”)

  4. dsgnomite says:

    What about when I use my phone number and another person’s name comes up? Considering that it is my phone number, I think I should be entitled to my $.03 gas discount.

    • bethanyboo says:

      The Giant/Shell discount gets you $.10 for every 100 points you earn. I got $.40/gallon last time I used mine. So I’d be pretty upset if someone used it!

  5. RandomHookup says:

    Other than a few easy to guess numbers, the ones most likely to steal your points are your friends and family?

  6. AstroWorn2010 says:

    I use my Social Security number which I have printed in a large bold font on a t-shirt that I wear all the time so I will not forget it. What could go wrong?

  7. DigitalShawn says:

    The PlusCard that Kroger uses has a system in place where if you forget your PlusCard, you can punch in the phone number associated with the card at the register instead to still receive the discounts. I use this method every time I shop there, much easier than carrying a bunch of shopper cards. I am not afraid of someone punching in my number and getting my points, I used a number I had in my first apartment some 16 years ago, so good luck to whomever guessing.

    • ssm316 says:

      They have a deal with Shell in Cincinnati were you can use your points. However they also let you use your phone number. So you can just guess

    • Selunesmom says:

      The phone number thing is nice at Kroger, since if you’re visiting relatives and don’t have a card, you can borrow theirs (as long as you know their number.) I wouldn’t do it on the gas pumps or if they’re an employee (only actual household members can use the employee cards), but otherwise, you get the discount, they get points.

  8. Binaryslyder says:

    Yeah, found this out the hard way when I stole my mothers points. In other news, we’ve been using the same phone number for our giant cards : )

    • Rain says:

      My Mom and sister accidentally picked up each other’s debit cards, since they both have the same first initial. They also had the same PIN. Hilarity ensued when my Mother’s purchase was declined for insufficient funds.

  9. RAEdwards says:

    This is just the standard method that Kroger’s uses (in fact this is a cross deal in my area at least for Kroger’s/Shell). I use my number until I run out of points, then I use my mother’s. She never gets gas at either Kroger’s or Shell, so they would go to waste. On the other hand, I usually put more then 100.00 in sales on her card once a month taking advantage of Senior Discount Day (automatic 10% off on top of coupons)

    • mr cloudy says:

      I have a Kroger rewards cards and so do my parents. If I don’t have my card to scan at the pump I just put in my phone number (or if I don’t have any points I use my parents’ number).

  10. PLATTWORX says:

    These supermarket gas rewards programs are really not as good as they sound.

    Locally, at Stop & Shop, you get 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent in the store. Ok, at the very most, my car holds 15 gallons and that is when it’s REALLY empty. SO, the offer really means “Save up to $1.50 for every $100 you spend in our store”. Even if you had some huge vehicle with a 30 gallon tank and it was empty as can be… it’s “Save up to $3.00 for every $100 you spend in our store.”

    REALLY? If any store said “Get 1-3% off your purchase for every $100 you spend customers would roll their eyes, laugh and shop elsewhere. However, people don’t do simply math in their head and realize they are spending $$$ just to save a couple bucks at the pump.

    • hypochondriac says:

      That all depends on why they are shopping. If they spend that much anyway why not get the discount. My credit card gives me 1-3% rewards. Which is peanuts, but since I pay it off every month, why not take the free money/discount

      • Jerem43 says:

        My wife has gotten up to 50 cents off per gallon. They have special bonus sales where you buy six items and get a special 30 cent off reward. It is your own fault if you do not take advantage of those giveaways.

        Don’t like the stuff? buy it any way and return it the next day. You still keep the points.

        BTW, the Giant Markets in this article is Stop and Shop, there is another Giant chain that is not.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      Yeah but I shop at Pricechopper anyway, so why not use the gas discount I’m going to get? I’ve let it rack up to the point where the gas ends up being $1 a gallon.

  11. JohnnyP says:

    They have the same promotion with Kroger and Shell here btw. When I signed up for my card it apparently never made it with my phone number into what ever system and I thought that I wouldnt be able to use it at Shell since I only have the key ring card that only has a barcode but you can punch in the card number too.

  12. Outrun1986 says:

    Pretty much every rewards program does this, to my knowledge. If you don’t have the card on you, they can look you up by phone number in the register.

  13. Rain says:

    The grocery store I work at won’t add or redeem points without being able to scan the card. I get a lot of dirty looks when people forget we aren’t Safeway and start to rattle off their number, but there is a reason behind it.

  14. Daedelus says:

    Fred Meyer tracks gas reward discounts the exact same way. I’ve never had to use the card, I can just punch in my number when I fill up for the 10 cents off.

  15. Daedelus says:

    Fred Meyer tracks gas reward discounts the exact same way. I’ve never had to use the card, I can just punch in my number when I fill up for the 10 cents off.

  16. indiegeek says:

    Entirely unrelated to the article, but Damn You, Consumerist, for making me homesick by posting a picture of the Shell on Mem. Drive in Cambridge.

  17. MountainCop says:

    I make my own phone numbers for the King Soopers discounts at home.

  18. themrdee says:

    Actually, I think that’s Pythagoras’ number.

  19. conswirloo says:

    Isn’t a google voice number that you keep to yourself defeating the point of a google voice number?