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Data protection complaints increase by almost 50% in three months

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the number of reported data protection complaints has almost doubled since April this year. The increase in data breach complaints has happened since the introduction of the GDPR on May 25th.

The stats show that:

  • 4,214 data protection complaints were made in July
  • 3,098 data protection complaints were made in June
  • 2,310 data protection complaints made in May
  • 2,165 complaints were made in April.

In total, there were 957 reported data security incidents in Q4 2018. Common causes for these data violations include:

  • Data sent to the wrong recipient
  • Loss of theft of paperwork
  • Failure to redact data
  • Failure to use bcc when sending an email.

Worryingly, reported cybersecurity incidents also increased by 31% over the same period. Overall, general business, education and local government were the sectors with the most reported data breaches (the figures exclude the health sector).

Commenting on the changes since the introduction of the GDPR, a spokeswoman for the ICO said: “It’s early days and we will collate, analyse and publish official statistics in due course. But generally, as anticipated, we have seen a rise in personal data breach reports from organisations.

“Complaints relating to data protection issues are also up and, as more people become aware of their individual rights, we are expecting the number of complaints to the ICO to increase too.”

A rise in data breach awareness

The stats indicate that more and more people are becoming aware of their data protection rights. This makes sense as there have been many high-profile data protection scandals over the last few months.

For example, at Hayes Connor Solicitors we are involved in the following cases:

 

  • Emma’s Diary. Emma’s Diary sold its users’ information to Experian’s marketing division. This data was then used to create a database which the Labour Party manipulated to profile new mums in the run-up to the 2017 General Election. Find out more about the Emma’s Diary data breach
  • Dixons Carphone. The Dixons Carphone or Carphone Warehouse data breach took place in 2017. It resulted in 10 million customer records being accessed from Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. The details stolen by cyber criminals include names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and email addresses. All of which can be used by cybercriminals to commit further crimes. Find out more about the Carphone Warehouse data breach
  • Ticketmaster has admitted that thousands of UK customers have been put at risk due to third-party software on their website. This has since been removed but not before the software accessed a number of customers’ personal and financial details. Find out more about the Ticketmaster data breach
  • Last year, Equifax warned that up to 400,000 UK consumers might have had their personal details stolen. The data included names, address, dates of birth, and credit card numbers. Find out more about the Equifax data breach.

 

If you have been affected by any of these data protection cases, or if you want to make a data breach compensation claim against another organisation, let us know.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we’ve been helping people to get the justice they deserve for over 50 years, so we know what it takes to make a successful data breach compensation claim.

Crucially, the law recognises the potential damage that is caused by psychological suffering. So, you can make a compensation claim if you have struggled emotionally following a data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss.

START A DATA BREACH CLAIM

 

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Emma’s Diary breaks trust of young mums

Earlier this month, parenting website Emma’s Diary was fined £140,000 for selling data collected from its app to the Labour Party.

Using a database created by Experian, Labour used this personal information to target new mothers with direct marketing. The data gathered included parent names, addresses and the dates of birth of the mother and children.

In an extraordinary breach of trust, many parents are now reeling that their personal information was treated this way. So, here at Hayes Connor Solicitors we are helping them to claim Emma’s Diary compensation for any distress suffered.

Commenting on this case, our managing director, Kingsley Hayes said:

“Quite often we deal with data breach cases where a cybercriminal has hacked a company to access sensitive user information. But in this case, Emma’s Diary willingly and knowingly handed it over for profit. What is even more shocking is that this sensitive information included data about children. It’s no wonder that young mums and dads are now distraught at this breach of trust.”

He added:

“Leaving aside the fact that this data was used to manipulate our democratic process, this case shows a worrying disregard for data privacy. Mums across the UK used Emma’s Diary to get much-needed medical advice and free baby-themed goods. The last thing they expected was that their trust would be abused in this way.”

Claiming Emma’s Diary compensation

You can make a compensation claim against Emma’s Diary if you have struggled emotionally following the data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss.

When making a compensation award, the court will look at the specific circumstances of your case. This includes things like the sensitivity of the data compromised and the nature of the disclosure.

Some people would have us believe that claiming for distress is an overreaction. That your psychological suffering and anguish doesn’t matter. You might hear friends and family saying that, while it is acceptable to claim compensation for any financial losses, you should put up with any anxiety caused by having your information sold in this manner.

Being the victim of a data breach can have a substantial impact on you mentally and physically. For some people, the effects can include a lack of sleep, feeling ill, unsettled or confused. So why shouldn’t you seek compensation for a failure to look after your information correctly? Especially when it included data about young children.

How much compensation could you get?

Data breaches often have severe consequences for those affected, and in this case, you could be entitled to up to £1,500 (or more depending on your circumstances). And, because we offer no-win, no-fee funding arrangements, you have nothing to lose.

Join our group action and claim Emma’s Diary compensation now

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have received a large number of queries from people concerned that their information was manipulated and used in way they did not agree to. In response, we are now launching a group action against Emma’s Diary.

To join a group action compensation claim, you will need you to register with us. We’ll let you know what is happening in this case and if and when you can make a data breach compensation claim.

REGISTER NOW

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Join a group action Carphone Warehouse data breach claim

Dixons Carphone is facing legal action from potentially millions of people after it was revealed that hackers have accessed the information of close to 10 million customers. The hackers also got access to the records of 5.9 million payments cards (nearly all of which were protected by chip and pin).

While the company claims that no customers have been the victim of fraud as a result of the hack, you can still claim for any distress you have suffered as a result of the Dixons Carphone data breach.

The National Crime Agency has been investigating the Dixons Carphone data breach. It is working with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Information Commissioner’s Office (the UK’s data protection regulator).

As expert data breach solicitors, here at Hayes Connor, we are carefully watching developments unfold in this case, and are preparing to launch a group action Carphone Warehouse data breach claim once the relevant investigations are complete.

What happened in the Carphone Warehouse data breach?

The Dixons Carphone data breach took place in 2017 and resulted in customer records being accessed from Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. Both payment card details and non-financial records were compromised.

The Dixons Carphone’s investigation has not uncovered any evidence of additional fraud, but it has revealed that significantly more data was taken than first thought.

Crucially, the details stolen by cyber criminals include names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and email addresses. All of which can be used by cybercriminals to commit further crimes.

Dixons Carphone has been criticised for downplaying the severity of the hack. Because today, criminals don’t need payment card or bank account details to cause havoc. Indeed, the sheer scale of damage and distress that can be created by criminals gaining access to personally identifiable information (PII) cannot be underestimated. So, while there is no evidence of financial losses suffered by customers of Currys PC World and Dixons, this doesn’t mean that the impact on victims is any less significant.

To make matters worse, this is not the first time that the company has failed to protect its customers. Earlier this year, the Carphone Warehouse, which merged with Dixons, was fined £400,000 following another cyber-attack. The huge fine is one of the biggest ever handed out by the Information Commissioner’s Office. So, with a history of failures, the relevant authorities will now be looking very carefully at this latest data breach.

What are we doing about a Carphone Warehouse data breach claim?

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have received a large number of queries from people concerned that their information is now at the mercy of cybercriminals. In response, we are now considering launching a group action against Dixons Carphone.

As such, we have appointed Barrister Ian Whitehurst to help in this case. Having developed a practice in the field of data breach claims for individuals and companies who have had their personal and sensitive data breached by third parties, we are confident that our team will get the results our clients deserve.

Why launch a group action Carphone Warehouse data breach claim?

A group action is undoubtedly the best way forward for data breach claims of this nature. It allows people with the same type of claim to bring it together on a collective basis to strengthen their overall position and increase their chances of settlement or success in litigation.

What’s more, with a group action claimants often share the legal fees. Even better, while the cost of pursuing small claims can be a barrier to justice, by grouping cases together, solicitors are often able to run group actions on a no win-no fee basis.

Find out more about group actions.

What should you do if you have been affected by the Dixons Carphone data breach?

If you are worried that Dixons Carphone has exposed your data, there are a few simple steps you can follow.

  1. Determine what was stolen. To protect yourself as much as possible you need to know what kind of information was accessed in the data breach. Dixons Carphone should be able to advise you on this
  2. Change your passwords. If an online account (such as an email address) has been compromised, change the password right away. You should also change all other accounts that use the same password, and – if your email could be compromised – any accounts that could be accessed via your email. To keep you safe in the future, create a secure, unique password for each account (you might want to consider using a password manager to do this for you)
  3. Deploy additional security measures. If an app or website offers two-factor authentication to protect an account, use it
  4. Contact your bank. If any financial information has been stolen, contact your bank immediately and explain that your account is at risk of fraud. As well as issuing a new card, the bank should be able to advise you if it detects suspicious activity on your account
  5. Be vigilant. Beware of scammers using your stolen data against you. For example, don’t click on any links in emails asserting to be from your bank and always use the numbers they provide on their website if they ask to talk to you
  6. Sign up for a credit and/or identity-monitoring service. This will help you to monitor your financial accounts and sensitive personal information. Many organisations will offer such services free following a data breach but it’s important to check the small print. Be careful that in accepting any offer you are not giving away your rights to pursue a separate data breach compensation claim at a later date
  7. Keep a record. Make a list of all the accounts that could have been accessed and note down why you are concerned about them
  8. Inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about your concerns. At present the ICO is undertaking an investigation into the Dixons Carphone Data Breach. While it does not award compensation, if the ICO believes that the organisation in question broke the law, you can use this information in court to help prove your claim
  9. Contact Hayes Connor Solicitors ASAP. We’ll ensure that you are fully informed on this matter and will notify you about the investigation and your legal rights when making a claim.

To find out more, read our handy step-by-step guide to making a data breach claim

How can you join the Carphone Warehouse data breach claim group action?

If you have had an email from Dixon’s Carphone you could be entitled to several thousand pounds in compensation so it’s important to act now. And, because we offer no-win, no-fee funding arrangements, you have nothing to lose.

Find out more about no-win, no-fee.

To join a group action compensation claim, you will need you to register with us. We’ll let you know what is happening in this case and if and when you can make a data breach compensation claim.

REGISTER NOW

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Massive Timehop data breach affects 21 million users!

Popular app Timehop, which highlights old social media posts, has been the victim of a colossal data hack. The breach has exposed the private details of more than 21 million users. Most of the data included usernames and email addresses. However, one in five affected users (that’s 4.7 million people) may have also had their phone number compromised.

A spokesperson for Timehop has admitted that its users’ data was able to be stolen because it didn’t use two-factor authentication (2FA) on its cloud computing login.

The attack was discovered on July 4th and stopped in just over two hours. However while Timehop uncovered the breach while it was happening, and was able to halt it, the firm admits that “data was taken”.

A statement on Timehop’s website says that: “Some data was breached. These include names, email addresses, and some phone numbers. This affects some 21 million of our users. No private/direct messages, financial data, or social media or photo content, or Timehop data including streaks were affected.”

An investigation into the incident is also looking at “the possibility of any earlier ones that may have occurred”.

Timehop has also suggested that: “If you used a phone number for login, then Timehop would have had your phone number. It is recommended that you take additional security precautions with your cellular provider to ensure that your number cannot be ported.”

The firm has also admitted that “access tokens” provided to Timehop by social media providers were also stolen. These tokens “could allow a malicious actor to view without permission some of your social media posts”. Furthermore, while there is no evidence that this has happened, it was possible that unauthorised users could have accessed those posts.

Timehop is said to be aggressively and proactively notifying its users, partners, and customers about the breach, and all European users should have been contacted.

What should you do now?

While it is not yet clear if cybercriminals will use the stolen data, Timehop clearly failed to put necessary security measures in place to keep its users safe. And, with enough information, cybercriminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts. So it’s vital to hold them to account.

To start a compensation claim following the Timehop data breach, register with Hayes Connor Solicitors. We will keep you updated as this case progresses and let you know if and when you can claim.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t lost out financially as a result of the hack. A personal data breach is a 21st-century version of being burgled and being the victim of a crime can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. So, if the data breach has caused you stress or anxiety, then the law agrees that you are entitled to compensation.

It is also essential to keep a ‘diary’ or note of events since the hack. This should include things like:

  • Whether your card been used without permission
  • If there are any transactions that your bank has picked up that you haven’t made
  • If you are getting more spam or junk email with your name on it
  • Are you getting more spam calls or messages
  • If you are anxious or worried at the thought of people being able to access your data.

 

REGISTER NOW

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Ten million customers could claim compensation for distress in Dixons Carphone data breach

Following the Dixons data breach discovered in June this year, Dixons Carphone has begun contacting customers to warn them that their information has been accessed by hackers. And, while the company initially estimated that 5.9 million people could be at risk, that figure is now closer to 10 million. But with Dixons Carphone claiming that no customers have been the victim of fraud as a result of the hack, can you claim compensation for distress?

What has happened?

The breach, which took place in 2017, saw data leaked from servers containing customer records from Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. Both payment card details and non-financial records were compromised.

While Dixons Carphone’s investigation has not uncovered any evidence of additional fraud, it has revealed that significantly more data was taken than first thought.

In an email to customers affected by the data breach, Dixons Carphone admitted that the scale of the non-payment leak reached around 10 million customers. Details stolen during the attack include names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and email addresses – all of which can be used by cybercriminals to commit further crimes.

Alex Baldock, chief executive of Dixons Carphone, has apologised for the breach and admitted that the company had ‘fallen short’ of its duty to protect customers. And, a spokesperson for Dixons Carphone said that: “While there is now evidence that some of this data may have left our systems, these records do not contain payment card or bank account details and we have no confirmed instances of customers falling victim to fraud as a result.”

However, by downplaying the severity of the hack, it is clear that Dixons Carphone does not understand the importance of keeping its customers’ personal data safe, and the sheer scale of damage and distress that can be caused by criminals gaining access to personally identifiable information (PII).

In fact, while there is no evidence of financial losses suffered by customers of Currys PC World and Dixons, this doesn’t mean that the impact on victims is any less significant.

Distress matters in data breach cases

Being the victim of a crime can have a considerable effect on you. Both mentally and physically. Everyone reacts differently, but for some people, the consequences can include a lack of sleep, feeling ill, unsettled or confused. Stress can also affect your friends, your family and your job. So, just because your financial details were not exposed or used, doesn’t mean the breach should be treated any less seriously.

According to Victim Support: “The effects of crime can also last for a long time, and it doesn’t depend on how ‘serious’ the crime was. Some people cope really well with the most horrific crimes while others can be very distressed by a more minor incident”.

Compensation for distress in data breach cases

If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act, you have a right to claim compensation.

Crucially, the law recognises the potential damage that is caused by psychological suffering. So, you can make a compensation claim if you have struggled emotionally following a data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss.

A personal data breach is a 21st-century version of being burgled. So why shouldn’t you seek compensation for this failure to look after your information correctly?

What next in the Dixons Carphone data breach case?

The National Crime Agency has been investigating the Dixons Carphone data breach. It is working with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Information Commissioner’s Office (the UK’s data protection regulator).

Dixons Carphone has said that is “continuing to keep the relevant authorities updated.”

This is not the first time that the company has failed to protect its customers. Earlier this year, the Carphone Warehouse, which merged with Dixons, was fined a £400,000 following another cyber-attack.

The huge fine is one of the biggest ever handed out by the Information Commissioner’s Office. In that breach, the personal data of over three million customers and 1,000 employees was put at risk.

With a history of failures, the regulator will now be looking very carefully at this latest revelation.

Can you claim compensation for distress in the Dixons Carphone data breach?

Absolutely. Data breaches can have severe consequences for those affected, so, customers of Dixons Carphone should now be looking to claim compensation.

In this case, because of when the breach took place, any financial penalties paid by Dixons Carphone for failing to protect customer data adequately will be calculated under old data protection legislation. This means that the company will escape the threat of much more substantial fines now possible under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

But with a history of data negligence at the company, and a clear downplaying of the importance of this latest breach, something must be done to hold them to account.

If you have had an email from Dixon’s Carphone you could be entitled to several thousand pounds in compensation so it’s important to act now.

IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A CLAIM THEN COMPLETE OUR CONTACT FORM.

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Ticketmaster data breach: putting GDPR to the test

Following the Ticketmaster data breach – where cybercriminals got away with customers’ personal and financial information- the latest data protection regulations are now being put to the test.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard about GDPR. In fact, you’re probably fed up hearing about it. But GDPR is likely to have a significant impact on the way companies handle your valuable data; with enormous fines for those that don’t look after it properly.

And, according to data protection lawyers, the Ticketmaster data breach could be a real test to see if the legislation will hold companies to account.

What happened in the Ticketmaster data breach?

Ticketmaster was affected by a substantial data protection breach after cybercriminals hacked the company’s website. Different customers had different data stolen including:

  • Financial information stolen and used. There are reports that customers of Ticketmaster have been the victims of theft, with their cards used on money transfer service Xendpay, Uber gift cards and Netflix (among others). Anyone who has had their financial details stolen and used fraudulently could now be looking at compensation in the region of £5,000
  • Financial information stolen. Many of those affected by the Ticketmaster data breach will have had their financial details stolen but not used (at least not yet). Crucially, you can make a compensation claim if you have struggled emotionally following a data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss. If you had your financial details stolen during the Ticketmaster data hack, you could be looking at compensation in the region of £3,000
  • Email address stolen. If your email account has been hacked the consequences could be devastating. Again, it doesn’t matter if there is no evidence of your data being used. If the distress of having your data in the hands of cybercriminals has caused you suffering, you can make a claim. Anyone who has had their email address stolen could be looking at compensation in the region of £1,500
  • Other personal information stolen. Along with the financial info and email addresses stolen, the Ticketmaster hackers also gained access to personally identifiable information (PII). PII includes any data that can be used to identify a specific individual, and, if it gets into the wrong hands, it can be used to undertake identity fraud. Anyone who has had their personal data stolen could be looking at compensation in the region of £500 – £1,000.

 

Find out more about the different types of data breaches in this case.

Ticketmaster data breach and GDPR

The Ticketmaster data breach affects up to 40,000 people who bought tickets between September 2017 and 23 June 2018. With the GDPR coming into force on May 25th 2018, this means that the breach spans two different data protection acts:

  • The Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998
  • The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 (the UK’s version of the GDPR).

These acts have drastically different level of fines. The first up to a maximum of £500,000 and the second up to £17 million (or 4% of an organisation’s annual turnover, whichever is higher).

It is not yet clear which legislation is relevant, but the breach could be judged under both. Alternatively, the entire data protection failure could be treated as a breach under GDPR as it kept happening after the new laws came into force. If GDPR is used, the Ticketmaster data breach case will be considered a test case that is likely to set the tone for action to be taken by the ICO in future breaches.

What does this mean for you?

In truth, while data protection lawyers are eagerly waiting to see what legislation applies, for people who had had their data breached it doesn’t make much difference. Mainly because, while the ICO can impose a fine on a company, this isn’t given to victims of the data breach.

The only way for you to hold Ticketmaster to account is to make a data breach compensation claim.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have already been contacted by lots of Ticketmaster customers who are worried that their data was not looked after as carefully as it should have been.

In response, we are supporting no-win, no-fee compensation claims for everyone who has had their data accessed in the Ticketmaster data breach. Depending on the numbers involved we may even start a group action against Ticketmaster.

Find out more about making a claim against Ticketmaster.

To start your compensation claim, you will need you to register with us. We’ll let you know what is happening in this case and if and when you can make a data breach compensation claim.

 

REGISTER NOW

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Ticketmaster to close resale site Get Me In. Can you still make a data breach claim?

The Ticketmaster data breach saw cybercriminals get away with the personal and financial information of thousands of people in the UK. As well as the main Ticketmaster site, the data hack also affected, TicketWeb and the resale website Get Me In.

Following the breach, Ticketmaster is now closing its secondary ticketing websites Seatwave and Get Me In, in a bid to combat touts. However, if you used Get Me In and were affected by the data breach, you can still make a compensation claim against the company.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has already made it clear that it does not approve of companies closing to evade data breach inquiries. Earlier this year, and following the announcement that controversial data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was to shut down, the ICO said that: “investigations cannot be impeded by the closure of these companies.”

In this case, there is no evidence that this is why Get Me In is closing. In fact, according to Ticketmaster: “We know that fans are tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit on secondary websites, so we have taken action”.

However, it is vital that Get Me In customers affected by the Ticketmaster data breach know their rights and are not put off making a claim.

What happened in the Ticketmaster data breach case?

Ticketmaster was affected by a substantial data protection breach after cybercriminals hacked the company’s websites. Different customers had different data stolen including financial information (some of which was fraudulently used), email addresses and other personally identifiable information (PII).

Find out more about the different types of data breaches in this case.

Make a Ticketmaster data breach claim

The only way for you to hold Ticketmaster to account is to make a data breach compensation claim.

Crucially, the law recognises the potential damage that is caused by psychological suffering. So, you can make a compensation claim if you have struggled emotionally following a data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have already been contacted by lots of Ticketmaster customers who are worried that their data was not looked after as carefully as it should have been.

In response, we have now submitted a letter before action (LBA) to Ticketmaster. This LBA lets Ticketmaster know that we plan to start proceedings against them, and that we are very serious about getting our clients the compensation they deserve.

If you want to join our action against Ticketmaster, it is not too late!

To start your compensation claim, you will need you to register with us. To date, our action against Ticketmaster has more than 500 clients, and it is clear that the data breach is extensive. As such, we expect Ticketmaster to take our claim very seriously.

Data breaches often have severe consequences for those affected so you could be entitled to up to £5,000.

REGISTER NOW 

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Victim Support following cyber fraud

Victim Support is the leading independent victim’s charity in England and Wales for people affected by crime and traumatic incidents. Last year it offered support to nearly a million victims of crime across the UK.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we are working with Victim Support to help those affected by cybercrime and data breaches. Ultimately, we want to ensure that victims have access to the support they need when they need it, as well as raising awareness of the threat to keep people safe online.

Find out more about our partnership with Victim Support.

Last year, Victim Support published a policy statement on fraud. While this document relates to all kinds of scams, it has some crucial information for victims of cyber fraud.

Here is a quick summary of some of the critical points, as well as more information about how we can help you claim compensation.

An introduction to fraud

There are different types of fraud including identity fraud, bank and credit account fraud, and dating fraud. A person who is guilty of fraud could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.

Victims of fraud experience a wide range of emotional and psychological responses. Some of the most common reactions include anger, distress, stress, feelings of shame, sadness, fear, embarrassment, and upset. There is also evidence to show that victims of fraud can suffer from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. In some instances, falling victim to fraud can even lead to people feeling suicidal or even attempting suicide.

So being the victim of fraud can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. Of course, everyone reacts differently, but for some people, the effects can also affect their friends, their family and their job.

However, all too often victims of online fraud are expected to “get over it”. And this approach clearly isn’t helpful.

What can you do if you are the victim of cyber fraud?

When it comes to cybercrime, the majority of those affected by fraud have suffered financial loss. And, depending on a range of factors the results can range from annoyance to bankruptcy, homelessness, and postponing or giving up retirement.

If you want to report that you have been the victim of online fraud or identity theft, contact Action Fraud. You can do this online or via telephone.

Action Fraud is the national fraud reporting service, and is the starting point for any police investigation into your loss. For any other form of cybercrime such as online stalking, harassment, or fears about sexual grooming, you should contact the police directly. If someone is convicted of a cybercrime against you, the court may order them to pay you compensation.

However, very often it is not possible to recoup your losses as the criminal is never caught. But if you have become the victim of cyber fraud because of the negligence of others (e.g. a business not taking proper care of your personal or financial information), you may be able to claim compensation.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we’ve been helping people to achieve the redress they deserve for over 50 years, so we know what it takes to make a successful cybercrime claim.

Victims of fraud should also seek help from Victim Support.

Protecting people from cyber fraud

Despite the risk, people are more likely to take steps to improve their home security than reduce their risk of falling victim to cyber-crime. But, with data breaches and hacks becoming increasingly common, more must be done to help individuals protect themselves.

Victim Support is doing what it can to help reduce fraud and in its policy paper discusses the need to:

  • Increase public awareness and understanding of fraud protection measures
  • Reduce susceptibility to fraud amongst vulnerable people
  • Enhance the police response to victims of fraud
  • Improve the service provided by banks to customers in cases of APP scams and relaxing SAR (serious activity report) rules on disclosure
  • Improve the reporting rate of fraud offences.

Victim Support’s position

To provide vulnerable banking customers with greater protection from fraud, Victim Support believes that:

“An optional mechanism should be introduced, whereby large transactions from their accounts are delayed and a nominated person is notified. This would offer them time to review and cancel suspected fraud payments. In addition, to determine whether additional measures, such as tailored warning messages and caps on the amount payable to new payees, should be offered by financial institutions nationally to customers, Victim Support would welcome further research into, and evaluation of, their effectiveness.”

Victim Support also supports “the development and introduction of a Public Available Specification that sets out best practice in the provision of financial services, including to vulnerable customers, which institutions are encouraged to adopt.”

The police and cyber crime

If you want the court to consider awarding you compensation, you need to tell the police. You also need to give them details about any damage or distress you have suffered. The police will pass this information to the Crown Prosecution Service, and it will make the request for compensation in court. However, in criminal proceedings, it can be difficult to persuade the prosecutor to seek a compensation order (following a conviction).

Unfortunately, according to Victim Support’s policy statement, the police are not consistently providing victims of fraud with an appropriate response to cyber-fraud. Officers can be unsympathetic in their initial reaction to fraud victims, and have a poor understanding of the impact of the crime. More must be done to demonstrate that the police take digital offences seriously.

Where the authorities are not interested, or where you do not want to make a criminal case, we can assist with a private prosecution. With this approach, your case goes before a judge in a civil trial. Often these cases are settled out of court. Proceedings can be started quickly, without the uncertainty associated with whether the prosecutor will investigate the case.

Cyber fraud claim solicitors

If you have been the victim of online fraud, our professional, friendly team will be pleased to answer any questions you might have, and advise you on whether you have a valid compensation claim.

If you have a straightforward claim, our quick claims form will help you to start this quickly and easily. This means you receive your compensation in the shortest possible time. However, if we believe you have a large, complex case, we’ll go through your options and may be able to act for you on a NO WIN, NO FEE basis.

In addition to fraud and financial crimes, we can help you to claim compensation for a range of cybercrime violations including:

  • Data protection breaches and other data leaks
  • Hacking
  • Identity Theft
  • Phishing
  • Copyright Infringements
  • Cyber extortion
  • Online harassment.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we understand that making a compensation claim can be stressful; especially where you have already been the victim of a crime. That’s why we make sure you always know what’s happening with your case and remove the jargon from the process.

Our process is fully compliant with data protection guidance, and we never put your details at risk.

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data hack
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Have you been to Butlin’s? Your data might have been hacked.

Butlin’s has revealed that up to 34,000 guests might have had their personal information stolen by hackers. The holiday camp has apologised for the breach and has set up a “dedicated team” to contact those guests who might be affected and advise them on what to do next.

What data was stolen in the Butlin’s data breach?

The data accessed by hackers includes names, home addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers and holiday arrival dates. And, while it doesn’t look like any financial information has been compromised, the data that has been stolen could be used by criminals to commit fraud.

The phishing attack happened within the last 72 hours. Phishing describes the illegal practice of sending emails claiming to be from reputable companies and individuals to encourage people to reveal personal information such as passwords and credit card details. Human error (through phishing attacks and other failures) is the greatest single point of weakness in the security of most organisations

Under the latest data protection regulations, any company made aware of a data breach has to self-report the incident as soon as possible. So, while Butlin’s isn’t yet sure if all 34,000 holidaymakers have been affected by the breach, it was obligated to report the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

According to a spokeswoman for the ICO: “Butlin’s has made us aware of an incident and we will be making enquiries.”

There are currently three Butlin’s holiday camps. These are based at Skegness Bognor Regis and Minehead. If you have had a holiday at any of these camps and your data was stolen, you might be able to claim compensation.

Making a cybercrime compensation claim

With more and more organisations using computers to store and process personal information, concerns about online crime and the misuse of data are on the rise. However, you do have rights if your data is stolen or breached.

The ICO has the power to impose hefty fines on organisations who fail to meet their data protection requirements. And, while the ICO does not award compensation, you have the right to ask the ICO to assess an organisation if you think it is guilty of a breach. You can then use this information to support a data protection compensation claim.

Also, if you hear that a company is being investigated by the ICO for a breach of its legal obligations – as in this case – you should seek legal advice to see if you are entitled to make a compensation claim.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors we can investigate your claim. And we will work with the ICO to gather as much evidence as possible to help you succeed.

You can make a compensation claim even if you haven’t lost out financially

If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act, you have a right to claim compensation.

You can make a compensation claim if you have struggled emotionally following a data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss.

With enough information, cybercriminals can steal your identity, apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts. And just the thought of this happening can cause emotional distress. So why shouldn’t you seek compensation for this failure to look after your information correctly?

At Hayes Connor Solicitors our initial assessment is always free of charge. If we believe you have a substantial, complex case, we’ll go through your options with you and may be able to act for you on a NO WIN, NO FEE basis. For smaller claims, our quick assessment form will help you to start your claim, quickly and easily.

We make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time. However, with strict time limits in place for making data breach claims, if you have been contacted by Butlin’s about this incident it’s important to act now.

ticketmaster
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Starting data breach compensation proceedings against Ticketmaster

Following the Ticketmaster data breach, our action has more than 500 clients, and we are now in the final stages of preparing these claims.

To keep you up-to-date with our progress, here is a quick summary of the steps we are taking, and what you must do if you want to make a data breach case against Ticketmaster.

Finalising a letter before action in the Ticketmaster data breach case

Later this week, Hayes Connor Solicitors is meeting with specialist barristers Ian Whitehurst and Louis Browne QC of Exchange Chambers to finalise the letter before action (LBA).

Ian has significant experience in the niche areas of cybercrime and data protection, while Louis has vast experience of both advising and acting in very high-value claims.

The LBA will be drafted on behalf of all clients signed to the Ticketmaster action by the 10th of August 2018 and will include:

  • The name and address of each individual making a claim
  • A summary of what’s happened in their particular circumstances
  • What we want Ticketmaster to do about it
  • How much each client is claiming for (and how we have calculated that amount)
  • A deadline for reply
  • Notice that we will start court proceedings on behalf of our clients if we don’t get a reply.

If you haven’t yet told us that you want to make a case against Ticketmaster, it’s essential that you do this ASAP.

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Issuing a letter before action following the Ticketmaster data breach

We intend to submit the LBA on 15th August 2018. The LBA not only lets Ticketmaster know that we will be starting proceedings against them, but also that we are very serious about getting you the compensation you deserve.

Ticketmaster will then have 21 days to respond to this letter.

If you have already told us that you want to make a data breach claim against Ticketmaster, and have completed and returned our initial pack and impact form, this response will dictate the next steps we take to recover your losses.

If you have already registered with us, but haven’t yet completed these documents, it’s vital that you do so ASAP.

Should you have mislaid your documents or require a further copy, please let us know and we will send another set out to you straight away.

If you want to join our action against Ticketmaster it is not too late!

If you want to make a data breach claim against Ticketmaster, it is vital that you register with us ASAP so that we can assess the impact the breach has had on you. Once you have done this, we will be in touch to let you know the next steps, including what will be claiming for and how much compensation you could receive.

We are dealing with Ticketmaster data breach claims on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that, if your claim is not successful, you won’t have to pay a penny. There are no hidden charges or other administration fees.

Find out more about how we can do this.

To date, our action against Ticketmaster has more than 500 clients, and it is clear that the data breach is extensive. As such, we expect them to take our claim very seriously.

 

While each case is different, if successful, you could be entitled to around £5,000 in compensation, so it’s essential to act now.

 

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