News

Couple convicted of stealing data

Antony Savvas

A married couple has been convicted of 25 cases of illegally obtaining and selling personal information following a successful prosecution by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Stephen and Sharon Anderson of St Ives in Cambridgeshire pleaded guilty to obtaining and selling information unlawfully.

Mick Gorrill, head of the ICO’s regulatory action division, said, “Obtaining and selling personal information is a serious offence, which can be highly damaging to the individuals concerned. The ICO is calling for custodial sentences to deter those who might be tempted to engage in this kind of activity.”

Mrs Anderson pleaded guilty to 14 allegations asking for a further 51 offences to be taken into consideration. Mr Anderson pleaded guilty to 11 offences and asked for a further 46 offences to be taken into consideration.

Mrs Anderson was fined a total of £4,200 and Mr Anderson was fined £3,300. Each was ordered to pay a contribution to prosecution costs of £3,695.

The couple had used “blagging” techniques to obtain personal information about individuals from a number of organisations, including Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, British Telecom and banks.

On a number of occasions the blaggers purported to be employees of these organisations and deceived true members of staff into disclosing personal information about individuals.

The evidence gathered by the ICO showed that the couple had obtained account details, income tax information and ex-directory telephone numbers relating to a number of different victims.

 

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