On Tuesday 4th April 2017, "pay day loan firm" Wonga was alerted that someone had breached their security systems.
Wonga sent messages to customers via text and email on Saturday 9th April along the following:
"We believe there may have been illegal and unauthorised access to some of your personal data on your Wonga.com account."
A Serious Breach
Bank information amongst data illegally accessed!
Upon investigation, the information believed to have been compromised may include:
- First and last names;
- Phone numbers;
- Bank account numbers;
- Sort codes;
- The last four digits of bank card numbers (credit and debit).
This is especially worrying given that the information above may be enough for a scammer or fraudster to steal money or commit identity theft. There is clearly enough there for criminals to use, meaning this is a serious data breach.
The Agonising Wait Begins...
Years can pass before stolen data is misused...
It can literally take years for data stolen from hacks or breaches to then be used by criminals for illegal activity. With all of this information, there is simply no telling what hackers or criminals who buy stolen data could do with it.
Our team here at The Data Leak Lawyers are representing victims of other big data breaches like TalkTalk and Three Mobile. We act for victims who have been subject to fraud as a result of their information being involved in leaks and breaches, so we know how distressing these scenarios can be.
We've heard all too often of cases where data victims have had thousands of pounds stolen from them after impersonators pretend to be a victim's service provider or bank. Armed with their target's personal information - and bank details - victims may find it hard to know they are the victim of scam.
Victims Should Take Action
Victims now forced to be vigilant!
Wonga suggest they believe customer accounts are "secure" and that they "do not need to take any action".
We strongly disagree with this assertion.
Customers are forced to now be vigilant to avoid becoming a victim of fraud in our view, and Wonga appear to be doing very little to truly reassure victims of their breach. This is not acceptable - Wonga had a legal responsibility to make sure their customer data was kept safe and secure from third party hackers, but it appears they failed to do so.
As with other organisations who fail to protect their data, they should be brought to account.
The Impact Can Be Huge
Data controllers like Wonga often forget the impact that negligence has on data breach victims. The information being shared with the data controller means that it is out of the data owner's hands, and people have to trust that their data is being protected.
To hear that their data has been compromised can be very distressing, and to know that at any moment they could become the victim of fraud or identity theft is extremely worrying.
Police And Regulators Aware
Investigations set to be underway soon!
The police and Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) are aware of the situation and are due to be conducting thorough investigations.
Those who have had their data stolen may be entitled to financial compensation as well. Although we can't turn back the clock on what has already happened, financial compensation can be helpful to compensate victims for distress and loss, and to ensure fair punishment against the organisation responsible for the breach.
At the end of the day, financial punishments are the ones that many organisations react to the most when you're hitting them where it truly hurts.
We Are Taking Cases On Now
We have already been approached by a number of victims, and we're taking cases on for victims on a No Win, No Fee basis for Data Breach Compensation against Wonga.
If you are a victim of the Wonga Data Breach, please remember that you are the one who has been wronged, and know that we can help you. Please contact our team on 0800 634 75 75 today.
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