HM Revenues and Customs Laptop Stolen in the UK
October 10, 2007
A laptop belonging to the HMRC – HM Revenues and Customs – was stolen in London on September 20, 2007.
The laptop was in the trunk of a car belonging to an HMRC employee who had been using the PC for a routine audit of tax information from several investment firms. This employee immediately reported it and is now under an internal investigation because keeping the laptop in a car is a breach of HMRC’s rules.
A spokesperson for HMRC said the information was heavily encrypted and that "it is well nigh impossible for a thief to make use of the information." He also apologized for the incident and took full responsibility.
Five firms had customer data on the stolen laptop including Standard Life and LionTrust. The BBC reported that the laptop may have held data for about 400 customers with high value individual savings accounts (ISA’s).
HMRC carries identity fraud insurance to protect their investment clients from identity theft. However, the information stolen includes very personal information such as passport numbers and addresses. Even if there is no actual monetary loss to a client, it leaves them feeling violated and anxious about any of their information that has now been placed in the hands of thieves.
Stolen laptops and security breaches happen all over the world. Identity theft isn’t confined to any one particular country. Learn what you can to do protect yourself from these types of security breaches. Keep your identity safe.