Care homes duped in data protection scam

Care homes are being targeted by bogus companies into paying
more than £100 to register under the Data Protection Act 1998,
writes Katie Leason and Derren Hayes.

Letters sent to care homes and other businesses are so official
looking and threatening in their tone that many are conned into
paying between £95-135 for an annual registration under the

The fake data protection agencies use names that are similar to
the Data Protection Agency and send out ‘official’ invoices. The
information commissioner’s office estimates more than 200
businesses a month fall victim to the scam.

Peter Hobbs, data protection lead for Solihull Council, said it
was a major problem – 50 care homes had received bogus letters in
the past six months – but expected this was just the tip of the
iceberg as many would have paid and not realised they had been

Sheila Scott, chief executive of the National Care Homes
Association, said that her organisation had been warning its
members about the scam for over a year.
The information commissioner’s office advised care homes to
check the notification section of its website if they are unsure
about the authenticity of a letter.

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