MSE News: Investigation launched into claims that pensions data is being sold to crim

An investigation has been launched into claims that millions of people's pension pot details are being sold to criminals...
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Investigation launched into claims that pensions data is being sold to criminals

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  • sofiarsofiar Forumite
    114 Posts
    is it me or is that with every new offering to financial potential freedom, there is always some cloak and dagger business lurking??
    -X-Missima-X-
  • CastleCastle Forumite
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    Hardly news!

    What would be news is if the ICO actually took some action against the cold/nuisance callers


  • This is worrying in that companies that deal with credit and financial details have full access to the unedited electoral roll. It has been rumoured that this information is also sold on illegally too but the councils and government are still allowing access to the roll.


    Problem is now the councils are automatically putting some people on the electoral roll whether or not they sign out those forms sent out every year. And before someone jumps and waffles on about the edited roll and ticking the box etc. THAT IS NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.




  • edited 30 March 2015 at 11:42AM
    agarnettagarnett
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    edited 30 March 2015 at 11:42AM
    The newspaper stories have no doubt thrown us off the scent of the real source of data.

    The most obvious real source of pensions data leak of this type is the National Insurance Records Office / National Insurance Contribution & Employers Office who thanks to the "Flat Rate Pension" are in the middle of a rush job to file all contracting out records and complete all calculations of GMP before 2018.

    The latest HMRC NIC&EO "Countdown Newsletter" I can find uses the obtuse language of what Sergeant Thomas Highway would no doubt read as a cluster f^^|<, sir.

    Clearly that office will have been staffed by bulk knee-jerk recruitment demands, security and systems will be full of holes and stealing data in bulk is likely to have been child's play.

    And it won't be the first time that millions of HMRC records have gone west with no follow up investigation worth the name, and some of the side stories about other 'data traders' targeting young families which have been told alongwith this past weekend's sinister data leak news, clearly relate to the sort of data leaked in 2007 (supposedly by theft of computer disks - but how the hell did the data ever end up on portable disks?)

    Civil service computer security is a joke. ICO is toothless and useless. The crooks win again. Lovely jubbly.
  • Daniel54Daniel54 Forumite
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    agarnett wrote: »
    The newspaper stories have no doubt thrown us off the scent of the real source of data.
    .

    It might be worth reading the original story before going off on a tangent.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3017205/Your-pension-secrets-sold-conmen-five-pence-eve-pensions-revolution-expos-horrify-family-land.html

    Nothing to suggest the focus is on GMP buy out policies -quite the opposite,as I read it
  • Loughton_MonkeyLoughton_Monkey Forumite
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    I find the FCA appear to be totally incompetent in this matter.

    Surely all existing pension fund money is with a 'regulated' institution.

    In order for a 'rogue' to get his grubby hands on the money, then it must surely be transferred from the regulated institution to an unregulated institution.

    How can this possibly be allowed? It has happened in trumps already [without the new rules] with all these 'unlocking' so-called transfers.

    Even if they buttoned up this so that pension funds could only be transferred to other regulated providers, it still will not completely thwart the con artists. All it takes, I imagine, is a 'nice mr conway' on the line to induce Mrs Unawares to apply in her own name to draw down her full pension fund into her own bank, and then write a cheque to the con artist who promised to put it into a far better pension.....

    I fear that a few years down the road, pension companies are going to have something on their books that will make the PPI scandal amounts look like peanuts.
  • edited 30 March 2015 at 3:18PM
    agarnettagarnett
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    edited 30 March 2015 at 3:18PM
    Daniel54 wrote: »
    It might be worth reading the original story before going off on a tangent.
    Really? You buy the stories in the Daily Mail and take them neat :rotfl:?
    Nothing to suggest the focus is on GMP buy out policies -quite the opposite,as I read it
    Well I never said the focus was on GMP buy out policies. But quite obviously much of the serious money in pension funds is owned by those, or held in trust for the benefit of those, whose entire pension arrangements are being analysed by HMRC currently. They are having to complete that job in bulk and in ridiculous haste in order to calculate the GMPs and also fetch out the contracted out liabilities with which to both firm up GMP liabilities and notify individual providers, and to firm up on New State Pension forecasts and notify individual citizens.


    So I am putting the focus on these activities if you like! You read it here first!

    What I was suggesting was that the unholy rush to complete the winding up of contracted out arrangements and file all that data forever has obviously meant that enormous quantities of poorly secured, poorly processed, personal data from multiple pension provider sources has dangerously come together with existing NI data in one place where poorly vetted staff have easy access to it on poorly secured systems which aren't fit for purpose and will be leaking worse than an SR71 in a hangar.

    The main truth in the story is simply that our personal data is out there. You don't imagine that the likes of Sayer even on secret camera is going to disclose exactly where the data came from, do you? How that data got out there is far more likely to be from a single government source than it is from multiple 'semi-legit' sources - Sesame mortgages for example ? Never before heard of them ;)

    As with laundered money, the trick with laundered data is to make it look like it came from "semi ok" or "ok" sources (and talk it up as such and lay false trails) when it actually originally was obtained highly illegally as opposed to via the slightly frustrating breach of data protection commitment ways.

    Keep your eye on the ball, not on the storytellers.
  • coyrlscoyrls Forumite
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    I fear that a few years down the road, pension companies are going to have something on their books that will make the PPI scandal amounts look like peanuts.

    Yes, that's possible but I can't see there being any compensation as there was for PPI because the pension companies will be able to take the same line that banks currently take when a fraudster persuades a customer to withdraw funds, i.e. that they were following a customer's instructions and are therefore not liable. Another consequence of the spin that you can use your pension "like a bank account". There is no "mis-selling".
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    In order for a 'rogue' to get his grubby hands on the money, then it must surely be transferred from the regulated institution to an unregulated institution.

    Possibly. It could come from a firm selling the data (unlikely) or a staff member that has access to records acting fraudulently. Or an ex staff member selling records (I have seen evidence of that in the past) or it could be people pretending to be regulated offering free pension reviews and obtaining the data and selling it on.
    I fear that a few years down the road, pension companies are going to have something on their books that will make the PPI scandal amounts look like peanuts.

    This is unlikely as PPI was sold by regulated firms/banks. These dodgy pension companies are typically unregulated companies selling unregulated investments using contracts that do not fall under FCA regulation. So, no consumer protection.

    People will certainly be scammed but it wont be the within the industry. It will be crims operating outside of the industry.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • agarnettagarnett
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    dunstonh wrote: »
    People will certainly be scammed but it wont be the within the industry. It will be crims operating outside of the industry.
    Don't make us laugh, please. It's too early in the week for such a weak, unbelievably naive and definitely misleading assertion :mad:

    I am sitting here putting off a call to one of the biggest insurance company pension providers in the land to ask them at Executive level why they are behaving crookedly. They have been deliberately hiding money belonging to investors in the hope the investors will bail out early, satisfied for example with new pension freedoms designed to loosen cash from the old oak tree before it is ripe, or simply through frustration with the crop declarations of the past few years. Declared performance has deliberately hidden underlying yields which have been secretly harvested and stored behind several consecutive curtains weaved for no other reason than deliberate pension provider obfuscation.

    Providers don't care, so long as we don't stay with the original product and intention. Their aim is constantly to shake it up, shake the cash loose from our funds, and shake us out short-changed.

    Mortgage Endowment Policy scandals which saw hundreds of thousands of endowment policies surrendered too cheaply were never scams primarily perpitrated by rogue sellers of MEPs. Nor will the feared pension freedom scandals ever prove to be scams primarily perpitrated by rogue sellers of alternative pension products. The biggest scams will be from the insurance industry providers themselves who are hiding the true values of funds and biding their time while the masses are urged to give them up in the false light of the grass being greener over the fence in a myriad of new DIY alternative pension pot receptacles in which we are invited to force our own rhubarb. Doesn't everyone thesedays? And custard with it? Doesn't the cookie crumble that way, too? Be there or be square ?

    Crooks are running major parts of the pension provider industry. So many IFAs seem to be blind to it, and that is something I find desperately sad. It is an indication of IFA ingrained reluctance to criticise the same providers they rely upon for a constantly changing portfolio of products which they can then advise upon as alternatives for the masses, but without which they could hardly find two pennies to rub, yet alone earn their next shilling.

    As with other long-term investment products that the insurance industry made its name in providing, but in recent decades has decided to ditch, in favour of some diametrically opposite preferred MO based on layers of anonymity and a convenient lack of identity, making them as slippery as soap in pinning down, pension products were always designed to ripen on the vine in the hands of trustworthy constant green-fingered fund farmers. They were proudly sold as such. Give us the seeds. We'll compound with rich compost. Don't touch the fruits until they are ripe. Let the fund managers look after them. They will grow nicely. And so they once did ... in abundance and so temptingly for those entrusted.


    Pension products were never meant to be constantly man-handled, plucked off and paid up, dropped down as well as picked up, squeezed, juice extracted, pumped up, contracted out, contracted back in, processed, reprocessed, reattributed, wound-up, reorganised, recharged, financially assisted (emergency respirated), or put into hibernation until terminally reviewed or early surrendered.

    There's nothing green-fingered about the industry now. With its now-notorious secret fee-charging regimes it gained the slightly inconvenient reputation as a tad light-fingered. Sadly the unadmitted truth is much heavier than that.

    The crims are in plain sight. Keep your eye on the ball everybody.
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