CD with 17,000 German bank accounts found

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 12 Aug, 2008 Updated Tue 12 Aug 2008 08:40 CEST
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CDs containing information for around 17,000 German bank accounts have reportedly surfaced in what appears to be a massive privacy and fraud scandal.

The discs have names, birthdates, addresses, telephone numbers and account information, according to the Tuesday edition of the Bild newspaper.

The paper, citing a consumer protection agency in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, said the information had been sold by a North Rhine-Westphalian firm to several other companies – some of which used it to book sums of money from several accounts.

One firm disguised as a lottery agency called thousands of people via call centres to book €50 a month even though those called said in advance they didn’t wish to participate. Thomas Hagen, a spokesman for the consumer protection agency, warned there would likely be further instances of fraud and recommended people check their bank statements.

Thilo Weichert, head of an independent privacy protection centre in Schleswig-Holstein, told Bild the CDs were proof a “massive scandal” that had “a totally new dimension” of privacy invasion in Germany.

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