After countless complaints from viewers about fraud, a BBC Watchdog Live investigation revealed that UK telecom TalkTalk didn’t notify 4,545 customers that their data had been compromised in the 2015 data breach, writes the publication.
With a basic Google search, reporters found sensitive information, including names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, TalkTalk customer numbers, mobile numbers and bank details. The news source believes the data had been exposed online since 2015 when the information of almost 156,000 TalkTalk customers was compromised.
Before the investigation, some users reached out to TalkTalk for answers. Regular scam calls and fraud attempts led them to believe their data had been stolen, yet the telecom company repeatedly denied the allegations and assured customers their sensitive data had not been affected.
When confronted with the situation, TalkTalk called it a “genuine error.”
“The 2015 incident impacted 4% of TalkTalk customers and at the time, we wrote to all those impacted,” TalkTalk responded. “In addition, we wrote to our entire base to inform them about the breach, advise them about the risk of scam calls and offer free credit monitoring to protect against fraud.
“A recent investigation has shown that 4,545 customers may have received the wrong notification regarding this incident. This was a genuine error and we have since written to all those impacted to apologize. 99.9% of customers received the correct notification in 2015.
“On their own, none of the details accessed in the 2015 incident could lead to any direct financial loss.”