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`Indian call centres selling personal data of Brits`

Last Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012 - 00:09

London: Corrupt Indian call centre workers
are selling swathes of confidential personal information, from
credit card details and medical records to loan data, of over
500,000 Britons, media reports claimed here on Sunday.

Confidential personal data on hundreds of thousands of
Britons is being touted by corrupt Indian call centre workers,
the Sunday Times report said citing its sting operation.

Posing as London businessmen, undercover reporters met two
Indians, claiming to be information technology workers at call
centres trying to sell confidential personal information.

The two data traders boasted of having 45 different sets
of personal information on nearly 500,000 Britons, the Daily
Mail reported separately.

Once in the hands of criminals and unscrupulous companies,
the data can be used to defraud customers or to provide
crucial leads for cold calls. The potential rewards dwarf the
cost, as little as 2 pence per piece of information, that the
data traders charge, the Times report said.

The reporters were tipped off about the activities of the
two data traders trying to sell confidential personal
information and had arranged for a meeting in Gurgaon, near
New Delhi.

One of the sellers of the information told the undercover
reporters that, "It`s collected by the agents. It`s not the
bank`s data.

"Barclays bank would never give me any data. It`s data
that has been collected by the agents directly from the person
that is holding these cards by survey and the sales they
make," the report quoted the trader as saying.

The information available from the sellers also included
the records of mobile phone company customers and hundreds of
people who subscribe to Sky TV, it said.

Other information being traded around by unscrupulous
workers was on mortgages, loans, insurance, mobile phone
contracts, according to the Times sting.

After accepting a payment of 100 pounds, one of them said
he had been selling such data for more than four years and
agreed to provide a sample of information.

Two days later he emailed a total of 841 records,
including information on 15 credit cards and data about six
people earning 15,000 pounds a month or more, the report said.

British companies are reluctant to report such breaches
for fear of the potential adverse publicity.

Richard Bacon, a Tory MP for South Norfolk and a member of
the public accounts committee, called on British Prime
Minister David Cameron to order a review of consumer
protection rules, it said.


First Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 18:44

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