British payday loan company Wonga, provider of short term loans with high interest rates, is said to have fallen into the hands of hackers. The Wonga data breach is affecting the payday loan company’s 250,000 clients in the UK and about 25,000 in Poland.
In 2016, such companies as Yahoo, Tumblr, Linkedlin, Daily Motion, and Adult Friend Finder to name a few have experienced data breaches. Names, addresses, emails, telephone numbers including bank details and ethnicity data were compromised. Hackers are still on the rise this 2017 and Wonga is one of those that has been recently affected.
Wonga says the data breach covers names, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, sort codes, and bank account numbers of clients. The last four digits of a client’s bank card may also have been stolen. Some banks use these digits to login to their online banking services. Wonga however believes that the hackers still have to gain access to client accounts but still warned them to be alert.
Wonga suggested clients notify their banks of the data breach. The company further suggested that clients change their passwords as a security measure.
Wonga has included in their website a notification alerting their clients of the data breach. The company has begun getting in touch with affected clients through email informing them of the situation. A help page has also been put up to address client concerns.
In a statement, Wonga says, they are investigating with urgency the unauthorized and illegal means by which personal data of their clients in the UK and Poland have been accessed. The statement further says that they are closely coordinating with authorities and getting in touch with clients who have been affected. The company has also apologized for any inconvenience this data breach has caused. They added that there is an upsurge of complex cyberattacks these days.
Wonga has informed the ICO, the data protection regular in the UK, of the data breach. On their end, the ICO said that every organization has the responsibility to safeguard personal data of their clients. They said they would investigate this data breach and take enforcement actions when needed.
The Guardian says Wonga was first aware of an impending problem last week but it was only on Friday that they realized they have become a victim of data breach. On Saturday, they began getting in touch with clients.
This is not the first time Wonga is hugging the headlines. In 2014, the company had no choice but to scratch off unpaid loans worth $340 million. This was after the Competition and Markets Authority of the UK conducted an investigation of their lending operations. The investigation revealed Wonga has been sending fake lawyer demand letter its clients. The company was fined for such practice.
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