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The impact of data breaches are often being felt months after the initial violation

data breach claims

A data breach can result in both financial and/or identity theft. And the result of either of these can be devastating. Not least because, with enough information, cybercriminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.

In response, at Hayes Connor Solicitors, we help our clients to make compensation claims after their data has been put at risk by the organisations they trust to look after it.

Dealing with hundreds of different types of data breach cases, one thing that has become apparent to our solicitors is that the full impact is often not felt until months after the initial violation.

What are we seeing?

Over the last six months, we have received more than 2,500 enquiries from customers who have suffered as a direct result of a data breach. These cases saw breaches of personal, financial and sensitive data. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the impact and losses people sustain following a data breach are not always immediately obvious.

Indeed, at Hayes Connor, we have seen cases where the financial losses only start to occur three to six months later. This is often because data stolen is used in batches over time.

For example, some nine months after Ticketmaster data breach, we have discovered that:

  • 63% of all the clients we took on have suffered multiple fraudulent transactions on their payment cards
  • 31% of all clients involved in this case suffered from distress and/or psychological trauma as a result of having their card details stolen and used in fraudulent activity.

Not just financial

We all worry about what could happen if scammers get access to our bank accounts. But the impact of data breaches goes much further than financial losses.

According to Victim Support, the effects of crime can last for a long time. We’ve seen cases where experiencing a data breach has resulted in adverse life events such as having to move house or area, losing a job, relationship stress and separation, and dislocation from friends and family. All of which can lead to a diagnosable psychological injury. And, like financial losses, this is often happening months after the initial breach was revealed.

With major breaches now occurring weekly, we expect this situation to escalate. As such, more must be done to protect customers following a data breach – and this cannot be a short-term fix.

Leading by example

At Hayes Connor, we want to reduce the number of data violations taking place across the UK. To do this, we are helping to raise awareness of this issue and educating people and businesses to prevent similar mistakes from happening.

Ways to check if someone has stolen your identity include:

  • Checking your credit record to see if there are any searches that you don’t recognise
  • Keeping an eye on your bank and credit card statements to see if there is anything you don’t recognise
  • Making sure you read your credit card statements and other letters that come from your bank.

For more advice on how to keep your data safe, follow our #notjusthackers campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

Alternatively, if you have been the victim of a data breach or cyber fraud, find out how we can help you to recover any losses or give us a call on 0151 363 5895 to discuss your case in more depth.