Wonga Loans Data Breach
On Saturday 8th of April 2017, 270,000 Wonga Loan customers, from the UK and Poland, were informed about one of the largest breaches in UK history.
The email read 'We believe there may have been illegal and unauthorised access to some of your personal data on your Wonga.com account... this may have included one or more of the following: name, email address, home address, phone number, the last four digits of your card number (but not the whole number) and/or your bank account number and sort code.
The company had already been under fire for a string of controversies and has been heavily criticised for lending money to people who wouldn’t be able to repay the loan, charging astronomical rates of interest that start from 1,286% a year. However, the response to this situation seemed to be quick and efficient. They alerted all affected customers shortly and set up a help page on their website.
Customers were advised to closely monitor their bank accounts for unusual activity, problems in their accounts or unsolicited calls asking for personal information. A FAQ page set up as a response to the data breach stated they 'don't believe your Wonga account password was compromised' and answered questions such as “How did this happen in the first place and what measures are you taking to ensure that this does not re-occur?”.
A fine by the ICO, the U.K.’s data protection regulator, a further loss of reputation and having to cover for the costs of the incident contributed heavily to the company incurring losses of around £53 million in 2017.