Data breach exposes Wonga customers in the UK and Poland
The payday lender Wonga announced in April 2017 that a data breach at the company affected an estimated 270,000 customers, 245,000 of them in the UK and the rest in Poland. The company sent those it thought were affected messages warning that it believed there may have been illegal and unauthorised access to some of the data in their accounts. Wonga was already controversial because of the high rates of interest in charged, and findings by the UK's financial regulator that it had made loans to customers who could not afford repayments, and sought to collect bad debts by sending letters from a fake law firm. Tougher rules on lending led the company to replace its directors and make mounting losses in 2014 and 2015; it eventually collapsed into administration in 2018 after numerous claims for compensation.
Writer: Hilary Osborne; Patrick Collinson and Rupert Jones
Publication date: 2017-04-09, 2018-08-30