Thousands Have Money Stolen In Tesco Bank Hack

Around 20 000 of Tesco Bank’s online customers accounts have had money stolen in a hacking attack over the weekend.  The exact amount stolen has not been disclosed. However, customers on online forums and on social media are reporting that several thousands of pounds have gone missing after checking their current accounts.

Tesco Bank has said that it has sent a text message to all those with accounts which have seen “suspicious activity”. Even if you haven’t received a text message, given the scale of the hack it may be worth checking your account for any unusual transactions.   According to reports in the media a lot of people have received the text message and amounts missing from accounts appears to vary, some have lost a few hundred pounds while others have lost a few thousand pounds.

If you see something suspicious about a transaction on your account or are unsure please call Tesco Bank on 0345 835 3353.

It appears that Tesco Bank credit card accounts or savings accounts have not been hacked, the issue appears to be only affecting current accounts.

Facts :-

Tesco Bank  has 7.8 million customer accounts.

At least 20,000 Tesco Bank customers have had money stolen over the weekend following the attack.

Around 40,000 reported ‘suspicious activity’ as the fraudsters accessed confidential account information.

The Financial Conduct Authority says banks must refund unauthorised payments immediately, unless they have evidence that the customer was at fault or the payment was more than 13 months ago. The banks are also required to refund any charges or interest added to your bank account as a result of the fraudulent payments.  So if you have been affected by this then you will get your money back, according to Tesco that should happen in the next day or so.

The Treasury Committee chairman and Tory MP Andrew Tyrie has said that he will be writing to Tesco’s chief executive to find out what went wrong and what steps are being taken to reduce the likelihood of a similar hack happening again. He said: “This is just the latest in a long list of failures and breaches of banking IT systems, exposing many thousands of customers to uncertainty and disruption.”

Back in 2014 there was an issue when 2,239 user accounts with email addresses, passwords and Clubcard voucher balances was posted online (details here).  That security breach did not appear to have come from Tesco’s end. They said the data must have been compiled by taking user details obtained from breaches at other websites. presumably users who had reused email addresses and passwords across multiple accounts.

It is not yet known exactly how the accounts were hacked this weekend.

On a statement on their website Tesco bank said :-

Tesco Bank can confirm that, over the weekend, some of its customers’ current accounts have been subject to online criminal activity, in some cases resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently.

We apologise for the worry and inconvenience that this has caused for customers, and can only stress that we are taking every step to protect our customers’ accounts. That is why, as a precautionary measure, we have taken the decision today to temporarily stop online transactions from current accounts. This will only affect current account customers. While online transactions will not be available, current account customers will still be able to use their cards for cash withdrawals, chip and pin payments, and all existing bill payments and direct debits will continue as normal. We are working hard to resume normal service on current accounts as soon as possible.

We continue to work with the authorities and regulators to address the fraud and will keep our customers informed through regular updates on our website, Twitter and direct communication.

We can reassure customers that any financial loss as a result of this activity will be resolved fully by Tesco Bank, and we are working to refund accounts that have been subject to fraud as soon as possible.

Benny Higgins, Chief Executive


Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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