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Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

Metalguru
Grafter
Posts: 791
Registered: 04-08-2007

Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss


The recent HM Revenue and Customs incident, could well lead to cases of fraud or identity theft.
However I am a little disappointed by the lack of decent and easily locatable crime prevention advice given out to the general public concerning this specific matter.
I think it is a bit of a liberty expecting people to call an 0845 number for crime prevention advice around this matter. Therefore, having a little bit of expertise in this area myself, I have taken the opportunity of putting together a few of my own proposals for people to consider.
Most of it can be found in one place or another on the www, but I don't think it has yet all been pulled together in one spot. The last bullet point in the list below, is something that some will not be fully aware of, and yet in my view poses a considerable risk to unsuspecting members of the general public, should the lost data get into the wrong hands.
If I have missed any advice or good practice, please feel free to add it to this thread.
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The recent loss of data from the HM Revenue and Customs has again highlighted the potential for a situation to occur that may lead to fraud or identity theft.
Although the risk of individuals falling victim to either fraud or identity theft as a result of this incident has been assessed as LOW, my advice wouldbe to remain vigilant, and to keep a watch for the following possible indicators of criminal activity:-
• Post expected from your bank or building society does not arrive, or you are receiving no post at all.
• You identify entries on your personal credit file from organisations you do not normally deal with.
• Items have appeared on your bank or credit-card statements that you do not recognise.
• You applied for a state benefit but are told that you are already claiming.
• You receive bills, invoices or receipts addressed to you for goods or services you haven't asked for.
• You have been refused a financial service, such as a credit card or a loan, despite having a good credit history.
• A mobile-phone contract has been set up in your name without your knowledge.
• You have received letters from solicitors or debt collectors for debts that aren't yours.
• Financial institutions that you do not normally deal with contact you to chase an outstanding debt.
• Be wary of any phone calls e-mails or even normal mail, purporting to be from a bank or financial institution requesting personal details from you. No genuine bank or financial institution would request personal details in this way. Be aware that individuals (on the telephone in particular) may claim to be acting in an official capacity and may already have some of your personal data and use it to try and prove to you that they are Bona-Fide. They may ask you further questions such as ‘what is your mother’s maiden name?’ and ‘what is your most memorable date?’ looking to glean further confidential information from you. If you challenge this procedure, they may even try and justify the asking of such questions by claiming they need you to answer correctly, in order for them to fully verify your identity. Do not respond to such questions.

In the unlikely event of individuals experiencing any of the above activity, I would respectfully advise them to report the matter in the first instance to their bank or financial institution.

Consider changing any password(s) / PIN(s) that you may have. Change them ASAP if they include any name of any of your children, or the DOB's of yourself or your children.
Consider taking up membership with a reputable finance / credit monitoring agency.

Do not divulge your password(s) or PIN to anyone else.
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I hope some of you find some of this of use.
cp:red Please don not post titles in all CAPS see the link:rules mod:end
16 REPLIES
Metalguru
Grafter
Posts: 791
Registered: 04-08-2007

Re: CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE RE THE HMRC DATA LOSS


OH ........... Nearly forgot.
SHRED SHRED SHRED .
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE RE THE HMRC DATA LOSS

Can you imagine some poor erk now finding these CDs at the bottom of their in-tray - microwave anyone  Wink
Quite agree about shredding - cross cut is best. You could actually compost them afterwards.
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE RE THE HMRC DATA LOSS

Quote from: Metalguru
• You identify entries on your personal credit file from organisations you do not normally deal with.

If we were to spot such entries, what would be the best course of action.
Regards .....
Metalguru
Grafter
Posts: 791
Registered: 04-08-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss


You contact the organiastion in question, informing them that someone may have been impersonating you.
You also let your own bank / building society aware of the matter (so that they don't start paying out standing orders / direct debits). 
You could even inform the police, but I don't believe they have the resources to address "one-off" individual fraud (attempted fraud) matters.  In fact, I believe they gave out guidlines some time ago,  asking individuals to report such matters in the first instance, to their respective financial institutions. 
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25,789
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

Quote from: Metalguru
In fact, I believe they gave out guidlines some time ago,  asking individuals to report such matters in the first instance, to their respective financial institutions.

Quite correct.
The police are not averse to subcontracting out some of their more trivial workload.  Roll eyes
Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation
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Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

Quote from: Metalguru
• Be wary of any phone calls e-mails or even normal mail, purporting to be from a bank or financial institution requesting personal details from you. No genuine bank or financial institution would request personal details in this way. Be aware that individuals (on the telephone in particular) may claim to be acting in an official capacity and may already have some of your personal data and use it to try and prove to you that they are Bona-Fide. They may ask you further questions such as ‘what is your mother’s maiden name?’ and ‘what is your most memorable date?’ looking to glean further confidential information from you. If you challenge this procedure, they may even try and justify the asking of such questions by claiming they need you to answer correctly, in order for them to fully verify your identity. Do not respond to such questions.

Occassionally I get *actual* banks I deal with calling up (usually offering credit cards, or payment protection or somesuch.
I *always* make a point of refusing to divulge *any* details to them, instead I request their name and department (and extension number)
Then, call the number for customer services that is listed on your statement, and request to be connected to the person/department that called me.
Paranoid?
Perhaps.
More costly to me?
Perhaps.
Cheaper than giving out personal information to the wrong person?
Definately!

~~
I've always wondered why, when we create bank accounts etc, we don't give the institution in question a password/phrase for them to read out to us *before* we give them any details.
To my mind, if my bank is serious about keeping my data secure, they should be able to call me up, ask to speak to me, and then ask me to pick a number between 1 and 5.
If I choose number 4, they should then read out the fourth passphrase I gave them.
Passphrases should be something silly, but memorable as being related to me. For example:
Your friend Chris had a dog called Shep when you went to school.
or
You used to deliver Sunday papers to Tong Village
or something similar.
The phrases should not be related to something that a bank might ask me to verify my identity to them, but should only be used for them to identify themselves to me.
Would a system like this work if the banks adopted it?
What would be the downfalls?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

I like the idea but the main pitfall is long term security if someone is monitoring your line. This is one reason that banks only use parts of passwords not whole passwords, so even if the security questions are compromised it is unlikely that your password as been.
Having worked in telephone banking and had to make outbound calls related to customer accounts (not sales) I know what you mean regarding about convincing the customer you are genuine.  I never bothered, as soon as the customer hesitated through the security procedure I gave them my name, department and extension, then asked them to call on the normal number. I would the place notes on the customers account so the inbound team new what was happening. The safest option is always to ring back on the number you know and not the telephone number supplied by the person calling you.
Pendragon
Rising Star
Posts: 425
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

I can remember when I was having problems with British Gas an agent called me and the first thing I asked her was “please give me my gas account number to verify you are from British Gas”. It caused her quite a bit of laughter as I was the first person to request HER identity (she got it correct).
Just to expand on the original post, I have this last 9 months been in dispute with HMRC over a fraudulent Tax Credit claim made by someone using my name but paid to a bank account I don’t have. So far they have not complied with any request by myself for details of the original claim, have not fulfilled their obligations to keep me informed of the progress of the dispute and even threatened to send in bailiffs to collect the outstanding amounts.
Just goes to prove they don’t need to loose a couple of DVD’s to get people to make fraudulent claims there is plenty being made all the time.
Regards, P.
pcoventry
Grafter
Posts: 434
Registered: 26-11-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

The letter we had i noticed was sent to someone else at this address, so i shredded it after informaing hmrc they no longer own this house
fretting over  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,930
Thanks: 171
Fixes: 3
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

Quote from: Metalguru
I think it is a bit of a liberty expecting people to call an 0845 number for crime prevention advice around this matter.

Yep good isn't it. The government ask you to ring an 0845 number, which they make revenue on, to give advice on a problem they created.
Hmm, now should I give more money to the government (not that get enough of it from me already) to hear how I can reduce my risk to their negligence? At least they should be paying me, not of course that will happen in this society as I actually work and pay taxes. Anyway ...
Quote from: James_H
I *always* make a point of refusing to divulge *any* details to them, instead I request their name and department (and extension number)

I agree James, did you see my recent post regarding my Egg card? No point me going into it again (when it's on that post), but I think their system is rather stupid.
Thanks for the post metalguru, though I think you could have learnt from the governments example and charged for it. Maybe a couple of pounds each and you could post CD's to people .. just make sure they're registered Grin
Dev
Grafter
Posts: 198
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

I hope no junior official at PN has copied my bank details on some lost CD's. Grin
pcoventry
Grafter
Posts: 434
Registered: 26-11-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

Quote from: PJ
IIRC These are all encrypted at PlusNet towers

Correct.
i have seen the CD offer, that looks awesome such a good game too!  Smiley
pcoventry
Grafter
Posts: 434
Registered: 26-11-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

No i haven't got yours..
No i was not in the first 100 - atleast i don't think i was.. and very well thankyou for asking Smiley
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Crime prevention advice re the hmrc data loss

Forgot to say good luck with new job, Pete Wink
A few years ago I received 3 sets of self-employed assessment calculations that should have gone to a tax consultant in Leighton Buzzard.
At the time I just phoned MK Inland Revenue office and offered to pop them into the correct address - strangely enough they declined the offer and asked for them back.
As MK handled our 3 self assessment forms (self, wife & business partnership) I didn't feel inclined to rock the boat  Wink