Perhaps inspired by Thresher's pre-Christmas 40 per cent off voucher, an e-mail chain letter circulated across the internet claiming that Sainsbury's was offering free gift vouchers to its shoppers.
The e-voucher PIN codes were only meant to be used once by regular online shoppers with Nectar cards, but hundreds of people repeatedly used the same codes.
One customer, Joe Blackie, told the Mirror he placed seven orders and saved himself ú226. His shopping list consisted of 20 crates of beer and lager, five bottles of gin, four bottles of whisky, one bottle of vodka, nine bottles of bourbon and a bottle of cider.
Sainsbury's quickly blocked online orders and froze those not yet delivered, but admits "a few slipped through".
"Some people believed they would get massive discounts, but they soon found out they weren't able to use them," a spokeswoman said.