Locals Say They Were Targeted in Starbucks Hackings

A number of San Diegans say they were among the slew of people hacked through Starbucks' mobile app.

Dozens commented on a story about the hackings on NBC 7’s Facebook page, many of whom said they lost money through a PayPal account attached to the Starbucks mobile app. They said hackers then drew money to go toward hundreds of dollars in e-gift cards.

“Happened to my husband last week via the Starbucks app, which is connected to his PayPal account,” Kayla Baker Viswanathan wrote in a Facebook comment. “$250 worth of e-gift cards purchased and then sent to a random e-mail address.”

How it works is that the Starbucks hackers can access the credit card or PayPal account you have attached to the app if you have the app set to "automatic download." Hackers get the app user's password prior to gaining access to the credit card.

“This happened to me as well. My credit card, which was linked to the Starbucks app, was charged $100 twice for the purchase of gift cards I didn't authorize,” Erin Dempster of Alpine wrote in a Facebook comment.

Many locals were warning others on NBC 7’s Facebook page to not attach PayPal or debit cards to their app.

“Never use a debit card, people,” Chuck Knapp wrote. “Use only credit cards. I load Starbucks with Apple Pay, so I am sure I wasn’t hacked.”

In response the recent flurry of hackings, Starbucks said it has safeguards in place to monitor for fraudulent activity.

The company said in a statement posted on its website that "news reports that the Starbucks mobile app has been hacked are false."

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