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Wonga Customers’ Bank Details Accessed in Data Security Breach

By National Practice Group Leader, Group Litigation

Up to 245,000 customers may have been affected after hackers accessed personal data stored by payday lender, Wonga.

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The company has notified customers in Britain and Poland to say it is investigating an ‘illegal and unauthorised access’ of information. This includes the names, addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers, sort codes and may even extend to the last four digits of bank cards owned by people who have taken out Wonga loans.

Bosses became aware of the problem on 7 April and began contacting customers via email and text, warning them to look out for any ‘unusual activity’.

Companies that collect and store personal data are obliged to make sure that data is kept safe from unauthorised or unlawful access. They must ensure an appropriate level of security when considering the nature of the data and the subsequent harm that hacking and data leaks could cause. 

If you are a current or past Wonga customer, then we advise you to scan your bank accounts for any activity which you do not recognise, alert your banks to look out for suspicious activity and be cautious about cold calls and emails asking for personal information.

This is an ever-changing playing field in light of the speed of technological development and the increasing ingenuity of hackers. However, given that Wonga is processing bank details for the purpose of making loans, it is vital that security is a priority and it appears this has not been maintained.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) will now look to establish whether or not the information was suitably encrypted when the data breach occurred and if not, Wonga could be fined up to £500,000.

If you are a current or past Wonga customer, then we advise you to scan your bank accounts for any activity which you do not recognise, alert your banks to look out for suspicious activity and be cautious about cold calls and emails asking for personal information.

Concerned customers, who have turned to the company because they might have been already in financial difficulty, may now be looking at taking legal action against Wonga for failing to keep their personal information secure and any financial losses suffered as a result.

 

Jacqueline Young is the head of group litigation for Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

If you think you have a litigation case in common with other people or organisations, call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9015 or contact us online.

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