British retail and commercial bank NatWest has contacted some 600,000 of its customers and warned them that their customer data might have been compromised following the breach suffered over at Three. Last Friday (November 18), Three CEO Dave Dyson said the company's database, containing data on six million customers, had been breached, and personal information on 133,827 customers stolen by hackers.
Among the information stolen are names and addresses, but bank details, passwords, PIN codes and payment information remained safe, according to Three. However, NatWest still decided to contact its customers. “We can see you’re a customer of Three,” the warning reads.
“We know Three have contacted those affected by the data breach issue last week, but we want to remind you that as your bank we’ll never ask you for details like your PIN or full password. Remember to always be vigilant for suspicious emails, texts or phone calls and don’t let anyone access your online banking. Find out more on our website by searching ‘Security Centre’ or if you have any concerns, please contact us.”
Three thinks hackers weren’t going for customer data in order to directly sell them, but instead, they were after handsets. Dyson said: “On November 17, we were able to confirm that eight customers had been unlawfully upgraded to a new device by fraudsters who intended to intercept and sell on those devices. We believe the primary purpose of this was not to steal customer information but was criminal activity to acquire new handsets fraudulently.”
“We’ve been reminding our customers who have a direct debit with Three that we will never ask for their PIN or full password, and to be vigilant for suspicious emails, texts or phone calls,” a NatWest spokesperson commented.
“While we have been contacting specific customers in this instance, we regularly send the same advice to all our customers to help them spot fraudulent contact attempts and help keep their money safe.”
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