ID Fraud Fears as Disabled Records Pinched

December 11, 2006

By Paula Murray

THOUSANDS of disabled people have been warned to be vigilant after their personal details were stolen from a support group.

The data had been put on a computer back-up tape by Government-backed Independent Living Funds.

But the tape was stolen from a van and now clients have been told their details could be in the hands of identity thieves.

The information includes full names, dates of birth, addresses, national insurance numbers and bank details of thousands of vulnerable customers.

More than 19,000 severely disabled people in the UK receive financial support from the ILF, who have an annual budget of more than 240million.

It enables them to live in the community rather than stay in residential care.

ILF refuse to say when the incident took place - and angry clients fear there's been a delay in telling them about it.

Christopher Fisher, who is bedbound and suffers a neurological condition, received a courtesy letter at the end of last week. It was dated November.

The 53-year-old, who lives in Rhu, Argyll and Bute, said: "It is very distressing, especially as there has been so much in the news about identity thieves lately.

"I think they should have phoned us immediately. This kind of information can be sold and that worries me."

A spokesman for the ILF said a helpline has been set up and added: "As a police investigation is now ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment."

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