Personal data and fraud scams

by evolvedlegal on May 4, 2012

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It’s always worth remembering that personal data is a huge part of IP, just as much as copyright, passing off or trademark rights. In fact many would say that privacy rights and data protection are even more important.

In the internet age, whether we realise it or remember it, a huge amount of data on us, if we have interacted on the internet or bought anything, is out there. It can certainly be used in any number of ways by whoever has that data, either legitimately, pseudo legitimately or illegally.

Who amongst us has not received some kind of unsolicited text or email, with a common example of this being the texts saying that we should pursue a personal injury claim. As well as being annoying, receiving these texts are quite unnerving as the recipient often wonders how on earth his or her number and details have reached these people.

It gets worse. Internet fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They are often in possession if some very detailed information before approaching an unwitting individual and trying to defraud them. As a recent example, which shows the sheer chutzpah of these fraudsters, Action Fraud reports that fraudsters are phoning targeted individuals stating that they are from the Ministry of Justice !

Typical of this type of fraud, according to fraud experts, it seems that the fraudsters know their proposed victim quite well. The people being approached generally have some debt problems. They are advised that they have a rights to make a claim for some form of miss-selling identified by the MOJ, and of course, all they have to do is send an initial payment to start the process.

This is disgraceful of course but it shows that personal data in the wrong hands is incredibly powerful. the combination of a persuasive and experienced fraudster, armed with personal information about someone to allow them to slant their sales pitch carefully, and using an official organisation as a front is a powerful combination against the unwitting or vulnerable.

All of this demonstrates that privacy and data protection are incredibly important. Whilst there is a constant flow of rhetoric about tightening up on data protection and privacy, is it not the case that the problem is so widespread, in terms of proper regulation and enforcement, that the issue is almost impossible to police in reality?

evolvedlegal

evolvedlegal

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