Scammer Targets 24 MILLION Customers in Huge Experian Data Breach

Scammer targets 24 MILLION customers in huge Experian data breach


We often hear of huge amounts of personal data getting exposed in hacks as cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated. But this latest one wasn’t just huge, it was specific - revealing the private financial information of a massive customer base.


A recent breach of the South African branch of the credit ratings agency Experian saw information related to 24 million South African consumers and nearly 800,000 businesses get revealed.


According to reports, the information was released following a fraudulent data enquiry from a scammer pretending to be a legitimate client.


Experian’s investigations showed the suspect had intended to use the data to create marketing leads to offer insurance and credit-related services. The agency hasn’t yet confirmed the total number of customers involved. But, the South African Banking Risk Information Center (SABRIC), claimed that 24 million consumers and 793,749 business entities were affected - although, happily, consumer credit or consumer financial information wasn’t obtained and no fraudulent activity was recorded.


While Experian has announced the suspect has been identified, their hardware impounded, and the misappropriated data secured and deleted, online consumers should continue to be vigilant following this kind of incident.


Often scammers will use this information to pretend to be a legitimate company in what is known as a phishing attack. They will attempt to obtain private information such as login details or credit card numbers through malicious emails, calls, or text messages.


In the wake of a data breach, here’s what to look out for to make sure you stay safe from scammers:


Unusual branding. If the look and feel of an email is different to a company’s usual correspondence, then be careful.


Personal information requests. The majority of financial services providers never ask for any sensitive details via email.


You don’t know the company. If the message is unsolicited and sent by an unfamiliar business, it could well be a phishing attack.


Bad grammar. Legitimate companies don’t usually send out any communications with spelling mistakes. If there are any, then this could be the sign of scammers at work.


The company has just experienced a data breach. A company such as Experian which has been impacted by a data breach has probably had its customer’s email addresses exposed to hackers.


Which is why you should always read the news or at least try and stay on top of the most recent big data breaches.


For all the latest cybercrime news and guidance on how to stay safe online, including avoiding phishing attacks, then visit our Clario blog.

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