Can You Believe This Incompetence? Details of 25 Million People Lost

This is pretty unbelievable – the personal details of 25 million people have been lost by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Although there is no suggestion the details have fallen into criminal hands (yet), the fact that this data was sent by UNRECORDED delivery and is now AWOL is simply unacceptable.

So now there is presumably a search going on to identify the missing data – and now that it’s known it’s out there somewhere, you can bet that there are going to undesireables fishing around trying to get their hands on it. Just how much could the data of nearly half the UK population be worth?

The HMRC have issued a letter of apology, here are some of the interesting bits:

“The police are now conducting a search, and there is no evidence that it is in the possession of anyone else. This will not affect your Child Benefit payments.”

“This data includes your and your children’s names and dates of birth, your address, your National Insurance number and, where relevant, the details of the bank or building society account into which your Child Benefit is or was paid.”

“If you are paid through a bank or building society, they are aware of this matter. They are acting on this information, and assure us that they have appropriate safeguards in place to protect you.”

“As is usual in these circumstances, if you are the innocent victim of banking fraud you will not have to pay, but you may want to take some precautionary steps to protect yourself. If you receive bills, invoices or receipts or see entries in your statements for goods or services which you have not ordered you should contact your bank or building society immediately. In addition, do not give out personal or account details if anyone contacts you unexpectedly. Instead take a note of their name and number, and if you are at all suspicious contact your bank or building society. If your password uses any of your personal data, for example your child’s name or date of birth, you may also wish to consider changing any passwords you use.”

“The advice of banks is there is no need for customers to ask for a new account or to contact their bank or building society. Your Child Benefit payments will continue to be paid as before and you do not need to contact HMRC.”

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