Posts

Data breaches are a “time bomb”
, ,

Data breaches are a “time bomb”

Earlier this week, a leading security expert warned that data breaches are a now a “time bomb”. This is because too many companies are putting confidential customer information at risk.

The comments were made to the BBC by Bryan Sartin. Bryan is head of global security service at telecommunications company Verizon. They were made following the publication of a report which analysed thousands of successful cyber-attacks.

The annual Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) collated information from more than 41,686 security incidents, of which 2,013 were confirmed data breaches that hit large and small organisations all over the world.

Sartin, said he was “surprised” more breaches had not become public and suggested that there are “probably some big situations queuing up right now”.

Key findings

Significant findings of the 2019 report include:

  • 52% of breaches were caused by hacking
  • 33% of breaches were caused by social engineering attacks. This is where people are manipulated into breaking normal security procedures in order for criminals to gain access to systems
  • Cyber thieves are increasingly and proactively targeting C-level executives
  • 71% of breaches were financially motivated
  • 25% of all violations were associated with espionage
  • 29% of breaches involved stolen credentials.
  • 56% of breaches took months, or even longer to discover.

What can we learn from this report?

UK companies that lose data face fines of up to 4% of their global revenues under current data protection law. Organisations are at greater risk of penalties if they delay reporting data breaches. And/or if they are found to have failed to protect personal data or clean up after a breach. So, it’s important that they take the threat of cyber-attacks very seriously.

Speaking about the latest findings, Hayes Connor managing director and data protection heavyweight Kingsley Hayes added his insight on this matter.

He said:

“Unfortunately, reports of a data breach time bomb are not exaggerated. In fact, we’ve been warning organisations about the level of risk they are exposed to since before GDPR.

“Having received thousands of enquiries from customers who have suffered as a direct result of a data breach caused by a cyber attack in the last twelve months alone, it has become clear to us that this is just the tip of the iceberg. And, disturbingly, the response provided by many of these organisations falls short of what we would expect. Businesses must do more to meet their data privacy responsibilities and provide adequate redress where they fail to do so, or risk increased compensation claims.

“But it’s also vital to highlight, that the vast majority of data breaches are not caused by cybercriminals, but by simple human errors and a failure to ensure robust security processes. And every day, these smaller data breaches are causing misery and upset to people across the UK.

“So, when it comes to data breaches, it’s just as important that businesses look at the threat from within, as well as putting measures in place to protect themselves from the bad guys.”

cybercrime claims
,

UK banking customers at risk as scammers steal half-a-billion pounds

Financial data breaches are on the rise. In fact, retail banking saw 2400% more data breach reports last year than the year before, with a whopping £500m stolen from British banking customers in the first six months alone.

Push payment scams

Millions is being lost due to authorised push payment (APP) scams. A push payment scam happens when a cybercriminal tricks someone into sending them money online.

Typical push payment scams include:

  • Sending falsified invoices that look exactly like ones victims are expecting (e.g. from a child’s school or a legitimate tradesperson)
  • Convincing people to transfer money to someone official, such as a solicitor (e.g. when buying a house)
  • Impersonation scams where cybercriminals pretended to be from a trusted body (e.g. a bank or the police) to trick account holders into transferring money
  • Conning people to transfer cash into fraudulent bank accounts
  • Sending emails pretending to be from a friend asking for money.

Ultimately, the aim is to trick you into thinking you are making a payment to someone you can trust (e.g. bank staff or lawyers).

Bank/credit card takeover fraud

Takeover fraud happens when a criminal uses another person’s account information (e.g. a credit card number) to buy products and services.

Takeover fraud is also used by scammers to extract funds from a person’s bank account. Because the financial institution believes the fraudster to be genuine, they authorise the handover of cash.

How to protect yourself from financial fraud

UK Finance offers the following advice:

  • Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
  • Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic
  • Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
  • Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
  • Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret.

There are also some security measures you should take after a financial data breach to stop yourself from falling victim to further crime. These include:

  • Contacting your bank/credit card provider immediately
  • Freezing your card right away (via your banking app if available)
  • Changing your passwords and other security details
  • Implementing a credit freeze until the matter is resolved
  • Keeping an eye on your bank and credit card statements to see if there is anything you don’t recognise (and reporting these to your financial provider immediately)
  • Letting the credit reference agencies know of any activity that was not down to you
  • Registering with the Cifas protective registration service. This will slow down credit applications made in your name with additional verification checks made to ascertain that the applicant is actually you.

 Can victims of bank fraud get their money back?

According to a spokesperson from consumer group Which? the banks’ efforts to tackle fraud has been “woefully insufficient”. He said: “They have not done enough to protect their customers, who continue to lose life-changing sums of money to ever-more sophisticated crooks”.

While unauthorised fraud victims are usually refunded by their banks, until now, most victims of push-payment scams do not get their money back.

However, the industry has recently introduced new safeguards to help victims of push payment scams to secure compensation as well as a new industry code designed to minimise the number of scams by encouraging consumers to remain vigilant.

This means that victims of push payment fraud can be confident that any claim for reimbursement will be given fairer and quicker consideration.

In fact, your bank can only refuse to reimburse stolen funds where you have shown a very significant degree of carelessness.

Crucially, banks should not automatically blame the victims of increasingly sophisticated scams and must take a fairer approach to compensation. Where a bank still refuses compensation, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Get legal help making a cybercrime claim

If you want to claim compensation following a push payment (or any other form of cyber-scam or bank fraud), Hayes Connor can help.

Our professional, friendly team will be pleased to answer any questions you might have, and advise you on whether you have a valid claim.

If you have a straightforward case, 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.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors we make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time. However, with strict time limits in place for making a cybercrime claim, it’s essential to act now.

START YOUR CYBERCRIME CLAIM TODAY

 

What can you do if your bank refuses to reimburse you following a Push Payment Scam?
,

What can you do if your bank refuses to reimburse you following a Push Payment Scam?

A push payment scam happens when a cybercriminal tricks someone into sending them money online. And it’s more common than you might think. In fact, in 2017, UK bank customers lost more than £236m due to push-payment scams.

In most cases, the push payment scam is successful because the victim believes the fraudster to be genuine. For example, scammers often call people up claiming to be the police or the bank. They might state that someone is at risk of a security threat, and that they are calling to help stop it. In other cases, an email with an address that looks genuine could request payment (e.g. from a solicitor or tradesperson).

The money lost due to push payment scams can be devastating. For example, a mother and daughter In Kent were tricked out of their life savings after unknowingly transferring £113,665 to a criminal, rather than their solicitor.

Another woman was conned into losing her mother’s care-home fees after a criminal claiming to be from her bank’s fraud team flagged up unusual transactions on her bank account. The fraudsters ran through some security questions and extracted the information they needed to access her account and rename her current account “frozen”. When the woman went to check online, it did appear that her account had been locked. She was then asked to move her balance to a new “protected” account. However, when she called her bank to check the transfer had gone through, they knew nothing about it.

Historically, banks and other organisations have avoided paying push payment scam compensation to victims. And, because payments have been authorised by the customer, there has been little chance of redress.

So, can you get compensation for a push payment scam?

If you have been the victim of a push payment scam and need help getting your money back, there is some good news.

The industry has recently introduced stronger protections to help victims of push payment scams to secure compensation. It has also set out a new industry code designed to minimise the number of scams by encouraging consumers to remain vigilant.

What this means is that you can be confident that any claim for reimbursement will be given fairer and quicker consideration. And that your bank (or another financial provider) can only refuse to reimburse stolen funds where you have shown a very significant degree of carelessness. Crucially, banks should not automatically blame the victims of increasingly sophisticated scams and must take a fairer approach to compensation.

Where a bank still refuses compensation, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If you want to claim compensation following a push payment scam, Hayes Connor can help. Our professional, friendly team will be pleased to answer any questions you might have, and advise you on whether you have a valid claim.

If you have a straightforward push payment scam case, 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.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors we make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time. However, with strict time limits in place for making push payment fraud compensation claims, it’s essential to act now.

START YOUR CLAIM TODAY

data compensation
,

Can you make a data breach claim against Emma’s Diary?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd (LCMB), £140,000 for illegally collecting and selling the personal information of over one million people.

LCMB, also known as Emma’s Diary, gives medical advice and free baby-themed goods to parents who download an app. The data broking company behind the app was implicated following the launch of an investigation into the Facebook data breach scandal.

As such, those affected should now be looking to claim compensation.

What happened in this case?

LCMB sold its users’ information to Experian’s marketing division (Experian Marketing Services). 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.

The Labour Party used this information to send targeted communications about its intention to protect Sure Start Children’s centres to mums living in marginal seats.

The data used included the names of parents using the app, household addresses, the presence of children under the age of five, and the date of birth of those children.

What was the result of the investigation?

LCMB claimed that the use of this information was fully outlined in its privacy policy. However, an investigation by the ICO found that the privacy policy did not state that the personal information given would be used for political marketing or by political parties. As such, this was a breach of the Data Protection Act.

In fact, while LCMB’s privacy policy was eventually updated to add the words “political parties” to the list of organisations it shares data with, this was only done in light of the start of the ICO’s investigation.

Commenting on this case, The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham said: “The relationship between data brokers, political parties and campaigns is complex. Even though this company was not directly involved in political campaigning, the democratic process must be transparent.”

She added: “All organisations involved in political campaigning must use personal information in ways that are transparent, lawful and understood by the UK public.”

As the violation could cause distress to those affected, and was motivated by financial gain, LCMB has been fined £140,000 for the data breach.

What can you do?

While the ICO has the power to impose hefty fines on organisations who fail to meet their data protection obligations, it does not award compensation to victims. But, once an organisation has been found guilty by the ICO – as in this case – you can use that information to support a data protection compensation claim.

The latest breach by Emma’s Diary (LCMB) is part of a more extensive investigation into how our data is being used in political campaigning. In fact, the ICO put the UK’s 11 main political parties on notice to have their data-sharing practices audited later this year.

Worryingly, Elizabeth Denham has said that: “We are at a crossroads. Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes.

“New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters.

“But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law.”

She also said that the impact of behavioural advertising in elections was significant and has called for a code of practice to fix the system.

If you are one of those affected by the Emma’s Diary data breach and are concerned that your personal information was used in a way you didn’t consent to, contact Hayes Connor Solicitors immediately. We can help you to claim the maximum amount of compensation in the minimum amount of time, on a no-win, no-fee basis.

With strict-time limits in place for making most compensation claims, it’s essential to act now.

REGISTER NOW

,

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

 

,

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

carphone warehouse compensation
,

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.

,

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.

CONTACT US

data hack
,

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
,

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.

REGISTER YOUR DETAILS

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.

 

REGISTER YOUR DETAILS