Have you ever taken out a payday loan from Wonga? If so, your information may have been compromised. The firm suffered a serious data breach by hackers, and the personal details of many of their customers who lived in the North East of the country are at risk. All these customers have been emailed to inform them of the breach, so any customer who has had an email from Wonga about the data breach should check this straightaway to see what steps they need to take.
The estimated number of customer details stolen is almost 300,000 current and past customers from both the UK and Poland, and the data stolen is said to have: “may have included one or more of the following: name, email address, home address, phone number, the last four digits of your card number (but not the whole number) and/or your bank account number and sort code.” Wonga are working closely with the authorities to try to fix these problems, and as far as they know their customer’s account names and passwords are safe – however, customers are being advised to check for anything unusual on their accounts.
Wonga is currently being investigated by the authorities. They have alerted the police, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to the breach. However, these organisations say that they will be investigating Wonga to see if the company could have done more to prevent this. Every company that deals with financial lending has to be governed by strict rules and regulations, and they need to show that they are doing everything in their power to prevent hacks and to prevent the data that they store being compromised in any way. They will also be doing a full audit of their own security systems to prevent this happening again.
Wonga are one of the many companies that are offering payday loans to customers. They were a company that hit the headlines recently during the major crackdown by the FCA that was targeting payday loan companies, reporting a pre-tax loss of £80.2m in 2015, up from £8.1m the previous year.
Payday loan companies such as Wonga offer short term payday loans, without the need of approval from a bank. They give their customers the opportunity to take out short term, high interest loans and consider everybody, even if they have a bad credit rating. There have been huge crackdowns by the FCA to regulate payday loan lending companies, as many of them were attempting to charge their customers more than they had been quoted.
There are many reputable payday loan companies operating, and recent studies by Which? have shown that in many cases, taking out a short term loan from a reputable payday loan company actually works out a lot cheaper than using an unauthorized overdraft facility from a standard bank account. If you choose the right company and choose a company that you can trust to take a payday loan out from, then you may well find that it’s the best financial option available to you. When you’re looking for a payday loan company, check that their website has contact details and has all the proper licenses in place – the general code of lending documents should be readily available to all consumers on their website – and you should be able to get in touch with people via the phone if you need to speak to them. All good sites will tell you exactly how much interest you will pay if you take out a loan for a specific out of time, so you’ll know exactly how much your loan will cost you upfront.