Another giant data breach

Posted by Ben Ryland in Identity Theft on 22 November 2016 - Ben is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

Only last year a communications giant had a serious data breach, which left customer’s details in the hands of fraudsters. But following in Talk Talk’s footsteps, the mobile giant Three have revealed that over 400 phone handsets had been stolen thanks to a security breach where fraudsters were able to login to Three’s systems.

Alarmingly, while 400 may seem like small fry, the fraudsters would have been able to access the personal details of the mobile provider’s 9m customers, including access to their names, dates of birth, current addresses and phone numbers. Three have confirmed that no financial details were at risk.

As the details of the breach begin to be released, it is believed that the database was accessed thanks to an insider providing log in details, which meant the fraudsters were able to access the details of customers due upgrades on their phones. These new upgraded phone sets were then dispatched and intercepted by the fraudsters and also stolen direct from the receiving stores.

Three’s spokesman commented on the breach stating, “Over the last four weeks Three has seen an increasing level of attempted handset fraud. This has been visible through higher levels of burglaries of retail stores and attempts to unlawfully intercept upgrade devices.

“We've been working closely with the Police and relevant authorities. To date, we have confirmed approximately 400 high value handsets have been stolen through burglaries and eight devices have been illegally obtained through the upgrade activity.”

While its good news for those impacted that the Police have made several arrests in relation to the breach, the fact that Three’s millions of customer details could have been at risk, its customers are understandably wary of what this means for them.

It is understood that a few thousand customers details may have been accessed, but both the Police and Three are unsure on exactly how many customers could be impacted.

As ever in these circumstances, checking your credit file on a regular basis can help you to spot if your details are being used by a fraudster to set up credit agreements without your knowledge. If an account appears on your credit file, or even a credit search that you do not recognise and know you have not opened or applied for, it is important to notify the lender as soon as possible.

Your credit file is normally the first indication if your details have been compromised and another individual is attempting to open credit accounts using your stolen details.

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