UK: Tax records ‘sold to junk mail firms’

Andrew Alderson reports:

Experts fear that HM Revenue & Customs has been hit by another security breach, less than three years after it lost the details of 25 million taxpayers.

Demands for an investigation come after a woman from Bedfordshire received direct mail using an incorrect surname that only appeared on an HMRC database.

One owner of a database firm, who did not want to be named, told The Sunday Telegraph: “It looks like someone has sold on the database belonging to the Government agency .”


Susan Jones, who lives in Bedford with her husband, Derek, began to receive letters from HMRC addressed to “Susan Margaret Margaret”.

Within weeks, Direct Line insurance, Churchill Home Insurance, Sun Life Direct funeral care and Sky television had all written to her using the same incorrect details.

So too had Macmillan cancer support, the Salvation Army, and the Dogs Trust.

There is no suggestion that any of these organisations acted improperly: they bought the details through apparently reputable companies.

Inquiries by The Sunday Telegraph have established that HMRC installed a new computer system a month before Mrs Jones, 59, began to receive the junk mail.

Read more in the Telegraph.

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