Tesco Bank data breach. Are you affected?

Tesco Bank is at the centre of a recent data breach investigation after thousands of customers’ sensitive information was carelessly leaked. The bank has found itself in the spotlight after Travelex – which runs Tesco Bank’s foreign currency exchange service – admitted that a breach had occurred putting 17,000 users at risk.

This data leaked includes full names, dates of birth, phone numbers, delivery/billing addresses, email addresses, IP addresses and partial payment card numbers. Travelex stresses that card information was disguised using industry standards, so ‘no financial information was put at risk’.

It is thought that the cause of this breach is down to human error rather than a cyber-attack, although an investigation is ongoing.

Do you need to worry?

The Travelex breach involves travel money customers who used Tesco Bank’s foreign exchange currency service online between 14 December 2016 and January 2017.

If you have been affected, you can expect to receive a letter from Travelex soon. The company has also set up a special hotline 0800 9758376 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or via email

What should you do now?

While Travelex is adamant that financial information is safe, and that there is no indication that any of the data has yet been used by a third party, your name, date of birth and contact details can be used by cyber-criminals with the aim of committing identity theft and fraud. So the breach is a significant one; particularly if the information finds its way onto the darknet.

As such it is vital that those at risk:

  • Report their concerns to the ICO to ensure a full investigation takes place
  • Review guidance issued by the ICO
  • Review all bank accounts and credit card statements for unusual transactions
  • Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for any personal information or refer you to a website asking for the same
  • If you have been the victim of online fraud or identity theft, you should also 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.

While Travelex is offering 12 months complimentary fraud protection to those affected, we advise anyone signing up to be careful that in doing so, they are not inadvertently signing away their rights to pursue a compensation claim against the company. If you are any doubt, please contact us and we can advise on the terms and conditions of this offer.

Can you claim compensation?

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. In this case, we would expect payment of between £1,500 – 2,500 due to the details disclosed. However, this could increase further if you suffer any financial losses because of the breach.

If it is found that the leak was down to human error, there is a case for negligence. What’s more, we are especially concerned that there may have been a delay in disclosing the breach. If this is true, this could lead to aggravated damages being awarded (additional damages caused by the delay).

At Hayes Connor Solicitors we can seek compensation on your behalf. Likewise, if you suspect your data has been mishandled or lost, we can check whether this is the case, and if so, start the claims process.

Because of the number of people involved, we may also be able to mount a group action claim. With this approach, you and the other Claimants collectively bring your cases to court against a Defendant. Where circumstances are very similar, group actions can be a powerful tool and can have a bigger impact than a single claim. As specialists in data law, we are watching this case very carefully and may put together a group action and seek compensation when the investigations are complete.

What now?

If you have been affected by this breach, contact us to start the legal proceedings. Likewise, if you want to be kept up to date on this case, get in touch. We’ll let you know if and when you can claim.