The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has searched a house in Palmers Green, North London after the Nationwide Accident Repairs Services (NARS) reported illegal activity into its customer database.
NARS told investigators that its computer system had been hacked in order to obtain customer car repair estimates containing personal data.
The ICO believes that the stolen information may have been sold onto crooks that
call people who have had car crashes. “Our experience shows that unscrupulous people access personal data about car accidents to sell it on to marketing firms, who use the details to make nuisance calls”, said Enforcement Manager Mike Shaw. “We searched this house to gather more evidence as we have reason to believe that a person living at this address has illegally accessed personal information”.
NARS has confirmed the illegal activity is not emitted from a person working at the company.
Responding to the investigation, Jason Moseley, Director of RMI Bodyshops, said: “We are delighted that further actions are being taken against this criminal activity. Our trade association stands firmly in support of NARS and others for their work with the ICO”.
Theft of personal data is increasingly common as criminals find the risks are significantly reduced compared with other types of crime.