Boots has suspended the use of Advantage Card points in lieu of payment after hackers accessed almost 150,000 customer accounts.

Customers will not be able to use their Advantage Card points in-store or online for a “short period of time” while Boots deal with the issue.

The retailer’s IT security team noticed “unusual activity” on a number of Boots Advantage Card customer accounts, where it is thought fraudsters were attempting to access and spend loyalty points.

The issue is said to have affected less than 1% of Boots’ 14.4 million Advantage Card holders and the retailer is currently writing to all customers whose accounts may have been compromised.

“We are writing to customers if we believe that their account has been affected, and if their Boots Advantage Card points have been used fraudulently we will, of course, replace them,” said a Boots UK spokesperson.

“We currently believe that this will only affect a tiny percentage of cardholders and we would like to reassure customers that credit card information cannot be accessed. To help protect online accounts we strongly recommend using different passwords for each site used.

“These attempts can be successful if people use the same email and password details on multiple accounts.  We would like to reassure our customers that these details were not obtained from Boots.  We are aware that other organisations may be impacted too.”

The news comes days after Tesco experienced a similar issue, which has resulted in the grocer reissuing cards for 600,000 of its Clubcard users.