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15,000 Standard Life customers at risk of fraud

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by Kay Mitchell

A disc containing personal details such as names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers and pension data from Standard Life has been lost by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The disc was to be sent from the Revenue office in Newcastle to Standard Life’s head office in Edinburgh. However, the disc never arrived at its intended destination. Both companies have warned those at risk to be on their guard.

These kinds of discs containing personal data are routinely sent by the Revenue. However, at the end of September, the disc containing details of almost 15,000 Standard Life customers was lost by a courier taking it from the Revenue’s national insurance contributions office in Newcastle to Standard Life’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

Furthermore, a second CD containing personal details of customers has also gone missing from an unnamed second organisation. Letters from HMRC and Standard Life have been sent to those affected – 5 weeks after the event.

A spokesperson for Standard Life said there is no proof that the discs have fallen into third party hands. Furthermore, we have been closely monitoring all the accounts and no suspicious activity has been noted.

The Revenue would not say ‘on security grounds’ as to whether the information was encrypted. The Standard Life spokesperson said it was in a coded format that would not be easy to read. However, the joint letter stated ‘there is a possibility that your personal data could be accessed by someone other than HMRC or Standard Life’.

Standard Life admitted that it is still receiving discs from the Revenue and it is ‘awaiting further information from the Revenue on how they propose to do this going forward’.

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News posted: November 5, 2007

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