Short term loan company Wonga has suffered a substantial customer data breach resulting in the theft of information belonging to around 250,000 customers in the UK and Poland.
In this latest data breach, customer’s names, email addresses, phone numbers, postal addresses and bank account details have been compromised as well as potentially their Wonga login information (passwords and usernames.)
The good news is the bank account details that were stolen are not enough for criminals to hijack any bank accounts. At least according to Wonga, that is.
But, as with other similar data breaches, Wonga customers need to be aware of a number of scams that could be targeting them in the imminent future.
Here is a checklist of points that Wonga customers need to be aware of –
Change your password on Wonga, as well as for any other sites you use the same email and password for.
We are constantly reminding our readers to avoid using the same password for multiple online accounts, for this exact reason. If your login details are compromised elsewhere, you don’t want to be using the same login credentials for other accounts, because criminals can (and do) try this to gain access to more of your online life. Limit the damage, and use different passwords.
And if you didn’t , it’s time to change your password for other accounts where you used the same information.
Watch out for email and phone scams that are targeted to you
The especially worrying aspect of these sorts of data breaches is that they provide criminals with your personal data. And while that data is not always enough for criminals to steal your identity by itself, it is often more than enough for crooks to initiate targeted scams against you.
This means crooks can contact you armed with your personal information that can make their social engineering scams more convincing. After all, we are likely to pay more attention to an email that knows our name and address, and the same applies to a phone call from someone who knows our name.
So be aware of unexpected calls or emails (either are possible since crooks have obtained both the names and phone numbers of Wonga customers) from someone you don’t know, especially if they purport to be from Wonga, and don’t give away any more information to people you don’t trust.
Keep an eye on your associated bank accounts
While Wonga claim that the crooks didn’t get away with enough information to get control of your bank accounts, it is not outside the realms of possibility that the crooks could potentially persuade your bank that they are you using the information they stole from you, so keep an eye on any bank accounts that were associated with your Wonga account and report any suspicious activity to your bank as soon as possible. Wonga have already stated that they have been banks aware of the data breach.
If you’re concerned, Wonga recommend contacting them through their dedicated phone line for people affected by this breach. For more information, check out Wonga’s FAQs which you can see here.