Cineplex warns SCENE members of fraudsters stealing points and locking accounts

Cineplex theatre sign: One of Canadas largest entertainment companies and operates numerous businesses including movie theatres, food services, and gaming. (Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Movie-lovers in Canada should make sure they check their SCENE account after the company has discovered fraudulent activity in some accounts.

“In recent weeks, [Cineplex] has identified some isolated attempts of fraudulent redemption activity in certain markets across Canada,” Sarah Van Lange, executive director of communications for Cineplex said in a statement to Yahoo Canada.

The SCENE program allows customers to accumulate points for film screenings and concessions at Cineplex theatres across Canada, in partnership with Scotiabank. As points are earned, 1,250 will get customers a free General Admission ticket, $10 off meals at participating restaurants or $10 food and drinks at movie theatres.

“We want to reassure members that their point balances are secure and that any unusual activity on some accounts is not related to any form of data loss,” Van Lange said.

When SCENE member Michele Holguin found out some accounts had been targets of fraudulent activity, she checked her account to make sure her points, approximately 8,000 of them, were all accounted for.

“I tried my password and it was locked it said that after too many attempts I had to reset password, I tried that and was told I needed to contact them,” Holguin told Yahoo Canada. “They said there was suspicious activity on my card. So it had to be locked.”

Holguin’s account was successfully unlocked by Cineplex after she provided her personal information, including name, date of birth, address and email. When she asked what the likelihood is of this happening again, the company told her they are “working on better security.”

But she still has concerns because her SCENE account is linked to her debit card, even though the company did not say that any personal information from her bank account had also been compromised.

“She again said they are always working toward better security...I feel like I just have to keep an extra eye on my debit card,” she said.

“I don’t have enough faith in the answer given because it was generic after asking twice.”

Some SCENE members also took to social media to report missing points to the company, in addition to some accounts being locked.

“SCENE takes the security and privacy of its members extremely seriously,” Van Lange said.

“While all loyalty programs experience some level of fraud, SCENE has put enhanced security measures in place to protect members from unauthorized redemption activity as well as to verify the identity of SCENE members when points are being redeemed.”

One member wrote on Twitter that the issue of his account being locked was resolved by the company “right away” and “hassle free.”

This is certainly not the first time that a reward program has been targeted by fraudsters. Earlier this year, several PC Optimum customers reportedly had their points stolen, including one couple who had 300,000 points, worth $300, taken from their account.

Cineplex has not confirmed how many accounts have been impacted and how many points have been stolen in total. The company is recommending that any unusual activity, including concerns about points balances, should be communicated to the SCENE Call Centre at 1-866-586-2805.