Scams and fraud from data breaches and data leaks are common. In fact, scams and fraud are common anyway, with more than 10,000 cases reported last year, which was a five percent rise on the previous year.
It can be so easy for people to fall victim to scams and fraud that stem from data breaches, so the big question is how people can protect themselves, and what the organisations who hold our money – and data – can do to protect us as well. The burden of responsibility is a two-way street, and there is plenty that banks and organisations can do to better protect us.
One of the easiest ways for a criminal to get enough data to commit a scam or an act of fraud is from stolen or leaked data. Scam calls, emails and texts that result in victims being snared into revealing more personal data to allow for a scam or a fraud to take place are common, and campaigners are calling on organisations at the heart of these problems – like banks – to do more to protect people.
It only takes a name and a telephone number for someone to fall victim to a fraud. A name and a telephone number are commonly breached in even the most minor of data incidents, which is why we always remind people that any breach – no matter how big or small – can be serious. We often see an organisation responsible for a breach try to reassure people with terms like “no financial data was stolen”, but personal data alone is enough for damage to be done.
Just last month there was the story of a lady who was scammed out of £57,000.00 by fraudsters posing as TalkTalk. The TalkTalk data breach that we are representing victims for is a classic case of the danger that data breaches pose. A number of people who have approached us for help have been contacted by fraudsters who claim to be from TalkTalk themselves, and they’re convincing because they happen to have personal details like names, telephone numbers, account numbers and details of complaints or problems on accounts. We can only assume that that kind of data was gleaned from the TalkTalk data breach, which proves the point as to how severe these breaches can be.
Some fraudsters are targeting the elderly and even passing themselves off as bank “fraud squads” as they arrogantly pose as the very people you need to protect you. With all these data breaches and data leaks happening, it only takes someone who has an Equifax account, a TalkTalk account, has used Travelex before and has borrowed money from Wonga to have potentially been involved in four separate hacks.
The accumulated data that could then be passed around the dark web could give fraudsters more than enough data to target a victim of those breaches and commit direct acts of fraud, identity theft or telephone scams.
With data breaches so common, scams and fraud from data breaches and data leaks are a real cause for concern.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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