Fake law firm fined for unlawfully obtaining personal information
A former UK Claims Organisation manager has pleaded guilty to more than 10 offences of unlawfully obtaining personal data. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,600 as well as a victim surcharge of £15.
The Liverpool-based claims management company made so-called ‘blagging’ calls to insurance companies to obtain information about policyholders and road traffic accidents with staff used various guises, including purporting to be calling from law firms, to obtain the information and sell cases on to real solicitors as personal injury claims.
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Joseph Walker appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to 12 offences of unlawfully obtaining personal data under section 55 of the Data Protection Act. The report noted that a further 44 similar matters were taken into consideration. Walker’s co-defendants Lesley Severs and Kayleigh Billington, also former employees of UK Claims Organisation, were fined last November for their involvement.
Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: ‘Blagging calls are one of the many disreputable and dishonest tactics we see being used by rogue firms. People’s personal data has real monetary value and this practice shows the lengths some people and organisations will go to.’