Elderly Brits’ details sold to cold-calling firms

Elderly Brits’ details sold to cold-calling firms

Christopher Graham, the information commissioner, has reported that investigations are underway into claims made a daily newspaper that millions of pensioners’ credentials are being bought by cold-calling companies and fraudsters.

The Daily Mail’s claims have  prompted the ICO to contact the police, the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator to investigate further. The ICO can fine firms a maximum of £50,000 for accessing or obtaining personal data illegally.

Information on pension size, investment values and salaries is being obtained for as low as 5p without consent, according to the report.

Journalists at the newspaper posing as cold-calling representatives were offered 15,000 data records without checks into the identity of the buyers or the reasons for their enquiry.

The information is believed to have been extracted from mortgage applications. However, it is uncertain if it was taken legally – albeit, with people offering information without their knowledge – or through illegal means, whereby the data is passed on and used for reasons other than the intentions of the individual.

Data is obtained illegally far too freely in this day and age, certainly with online security issues becoming more and more prevalent. It only highlights why businesses need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting data held on their customers and clients by hiring the right personnel. Whether companies are hiring permanent staff or offering information security jobs on a temporary basis, they need to be doing everything they can to protect their customers – that is, should they wish to retain them.

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