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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 80459
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am suspecting a financial fraud attempt as well as a GDPR

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Hi, I am suspecting a financial fraud attempt as well as a GDPR breach regarding a finance agreement I had a few years ago
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: Sure, it will be United Kingdom
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I have just received a letter today coming from a third-party creation recovery company in which I am notified that I must pay the remaining balance for the last 2 months of the agreement so I have not reported it yet
JA: Anything else you want the Expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have downloaded my bank account statement that states that all 6 debits were charged successfully, therefore I should not owe any money

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

What can I do for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jo, I am looking to get some advice as I am intending to discuss with the FCA and Ombudsman about this matter. I had a personal finance agreement in 2016 that has been fully settled based on 6 monthly instalments, however today I have received a letter coming from a third-party creation recovery company informing me that there is an outstanding balance associated to that particular account. My instalments have been successfully paid off according to my bank account statements and according to the loan agreement I have signed, the finance company committed to protect my data by complying to the Data Protection Act and contact me in case of any issue or overdue payment. I have not received any sort of notification from my finance providers but my account has been transferred without my consent as arrears to a third-party creations recovery company

Thank you.

I'm not sure what has happened either.

Either this is a fraud or it is just incompetence.

If it is the former than you should report it to the police. it is a rather odd fraud though.

If it is the latter then just refuse to pay. If the extent of this is that they have referred this to debt collectors in error then you are liable; end of! They will have to accept that.

It might be a genuine error

You could complain to the FCO although human error would not normally offend uness there have been clear breaches. I suppose the transfer of your data erroneously could be.

But you are not liable though.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for your response.
I tend to believe that the finance provider deliberately shared a consistent amount of information that was supposed to be protected under the Data Protection Act, hence the letter has a case reference number that clearly states my original account number and the balance they claim to exist can be divided into two exact amounts of my previous finance instalments.
I have solicited explanations to the company as I can provide a full bank statement for investigation if necessary and based on their response I will act accordingly. However, would I be entitled for compensation if proven to be a deliberate breach of data?

There may be compensation depending on who has messed up. If there is a breach of data protection, then it’s a matter for the Information Commissioner but the Information Commissioner will not provide compensation, it has to be a private civil claim.
The compensation can be substantial in these private claims but there is no guarantee and they are not Small Claims Court claims so if the claimant loses, it can cost them a lot of money. Litigation is always risky. The claim is for injury to feelings and if no one else knows about it, the claim is not going to be particularly substantial. The big claims are when the information has been leaked to 3rd parties and become public
Even if it’s fraud, the fraudster has got the information from somewhere although that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a data protection breach. A lot of these frauds are internal fraud where the data is given out by someone who works for the company or used to work for the company although the employer is vicariously liable for the action of their employees so there may still be a compensation claim to be had. There is no legal aid so it would be a case of either DIY or finding a solicitor that would deal with it no win no fee.

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