Criminal gangs posing as security staff are targeting mobile phone dealers, according to experts.
Scammers are trying to trick staff into handing over confidential data by pretending to be from shredding companies according to one of the UK’s largest operators.
Competitors are even reported to be raiding the bins of dealer with lax security at their premises to uncover useful details about contract expiry dates.
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, which destroys confidential data for mobile phone dealers, said: “Scammers are targeting dealers to get their hands on valuable paperwork. There has been a spate of people pretending to be working for Shred Easy and our competitors by trying to trick staff into handing over bags of confidential data that has been safely kept within a store.
“Mobile phone dealers are vigilant in terms of securely storing their data but when it comes to the disposal of that information they must be alert to con artists trying to trick them into handing it over. Major operators will suffer dearly and some independent dealers could even be put out of business if the data fell into the wrong hands. The loss of confidential phone numbers, contact details as well as details about contracts and customers would be devastating,” he continued.
Watson said his company has already been in contact with the police and made them aware of the details. He added: “I can’t go into details about who was targeted for legal reasons, but it was a major mobile phone retailer and we’ve ensured their staff are alert and follow the official policy for dealing with confidential waste.
“Dealers must be also be alert to the fact that their competitors are fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on data and in some cases we’ve heard reports of competitors sifting the bins outside dealerships to get confidential customer details so they can be poached at a later date,” he warned.