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When scammers steal your Kohl's Cash rewards

Posted at 6:08 AM, Jul 26, 2017

One of the best department store rewards deals around is Kohl's Cash.

It's so great, unfortunately, that scammers love it too. So when it comes to Kohl's rewards, the key phrase might be "use it or lose it."

Amy Pratt loves Kohl's, but with two young kids she can't always get to the store in time to use her Kohl's Cash rewards.

"They used to let you use it even if it was expired, and then lately they've not."  she said. "I've tried to use it before, and they said they no longer accept expired."

With Kohl's Cash -- if you're not familiar with it  -- you get a $10 cash rebate when you spend $50, during promo times several times a year (especially during holiday season sales).

But its not really cash.  It's more of a coupon, and you have just a few weeks to use it (typically 2 weeks, according to the store).

Shoppers report  two frustrations: one, missing the deadline for using their Kohl's Cash.  And two, their rewards disappearing.

Evelyn Sten had a $12 Kohl's rebate, loaded onto a Visa debit card the store provided her. 

But, she says, "when I tried to spend it, it wouldn't go through. When I tried to access the information on the back of the card, I found out the card had been totally spent."    

At first, she thought the store had deducted part of the $12 rebate each month, as some prepaid debit cards do.  But Kohl's says it does not.

It appears someone got into the account, and used her reward before she did.

News stories from across the country report vanishing Kohl's rewards, and a New Jersey couple was arrested and plead guilty in 2015 of stealing $600,000 in Kohl's Cash from other shoppers' accounts. Yes, $600,000.

The website Krebs on Security says hackers have found creative back doors to order products for people and pocket their Kohl's Cash, then spend it immediately.

Don't wait, use them in a week or two.

Kohl's Cash has a very short shelf life.

If any rewards are missing, call customer service.    

We're happy to report Kohl's quickly replaced Evelyn Sten's rebate. Now she no longer waits to use her rewards. That's good advice, so you don't waste your money.