THE personal details of 4,500 TalkTalk customers were leaked online during the firm’s massive data hack despite it telling customers they were safe.
A whopping 157,000 TalkTalk customers saw data including their name, addresses, emails, phone numbers, date of births and bank details accessed during a hack in 2015.
Steph McGovern from BBC Watchdog discovers one TalkTalk customer’s data online
At the time, TalkTalk says it contacted all those it believed were affected.
But a new report from BBC Watchdog Live has found that an additional 4,545 customers who had been hacked were wrongly told they details hadn’t been stolen.
The consumer show found that these customers’ details were freely and easily available online and did not have to be found by searching the so-called dark web.
It’s come to light after customers contacted the programme concerned about attempted scams and identity theft.
How to protect yourself against fraudHERE’S how to protect yourself from fraud:
Always shred or destroy documents that contain personal information before throwing them away.
Never respond to cold calls or emails asking for account details, PINs, passwords or personal information.
Do not give too much away on networking websites. For example, pets’ names or children’s names that could be used as passwords.
Register to vote at your current address. If you do not, thieves could use your previous address details to open new credit accounts, and run up debts in your name.
Monitor your post regularly so you know when to expect important documents – and when to act if they do not arrive.
Have your post redirected if you move house.
Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible, and ideally all of them.
Read all bank and card statements regularly to check for suspicious transactions.
Watchdog Live says it spoke to multiple people whose details were breached by TalkTalk, who told the programme that they had been subject to frequent scam calls, and in some cases attempted fraud and identity theft, impacting their credit rating.
None of them were aware that their details had been compromised.
One affected customer told the programme: “I think they’ve failed their customers on a gigantic scale.”
Another said: “I’m suffering now for something that I know nothing, absolutely nothing about.
“I knew something was not right and I kept insisting and they avoided every single time I asked the question, have my details been compromised?”
TalkTalk has confirmed that an “administrative error” saw it incorrectly tell these customers their data was safe.
It says it’s tried to contact all of the customers impacted to apologise.
The telecoms provider was fined £400,000 by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for the data breach.
A TalkTalk spokesperson said: “The customer data referred to by BBC Watchdog relates to the historical October 2015 data breach. It is not a new incident.
“The 2015 incident impacted 4 per cent of TalkTalk customers and at the time we wrote to all those impacted.
“In addition, we wrote to our entire base to inform them about the breach, advise them about the risk of scam calls and offer free credit monitoring to protect against fraud.
“A recent investigation has shown that 4,545 customers may have received the wrong notification regarding this incident.
“This was a genuine error and we have since written to all those impacted to apologise.”
The episode featuring this data breach will be shown tonight (May 22) at 8pm on BBC One.
POUNDED Fraudsters are nicking £674 PER MINUTE in ‘out-of-control’ bank transfer cons SCAM WARNING Crooks blackmailing Instagram and Snapchat users threaten to share pictures BANK SHAME We name and shame the 85% of banks STILL not paying out on fraud UN-FARE Brits warned of Paris Gare du Nord taxi scam where drivers charge £55 for pick up BALLS UP Football fans warned about fake travel deals for Champions and Europa League final FRAUD FAIL Bank transfer name-check delay could cost fraud victims £400,000 a day
But sadly TalkTalk isn’t the only major company to be targeted in a data hack.
Facebook revealed in October 2018 that 30MILLION profiles were hacked in a security breach – here’s how to check if you were one of them.
Uber was also subjected to a data hack back in 2016 – something it tried to cover up.
A MAJOR investigation was also launched in September 2018 after the bank details of hundreds of thousands of British Airways’ customers were stolen.
TalkTalk customer threatened by hackers
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