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Are you owed £5,000 for the Virgin Media data breach?

Written by: Emma Lunn
Your Lawyers has launched a group action claim for victims of the Virgin Media data breach worth up to a total of £4.5bn.

The law firm says Virgin Media now has four weeks to agree resolution terms or face an imminent group litigation order application.

It was revealed in March that Virgin Media had suffered a data breach that compromised the personal information of 900,000 customers.

Their personal details were accessible on an online database for 10 months between April 2019 and February 2020 and were accessed by an unknown third party at least once, meaning affected customers could be at risk from cyberattacks and fraud.

Your Lawyers is representing victims with on a no win, no fee basis and says Virgin customers whose details were accessed could be owed up to £5,000 each.

If Virgin Media does not admit liability then Your Lawyers intends to file an application for a group litigation order (GLO) in order to formalise the action and seek justice for those affected.

Recent GLOs have included the British Airways data breach, Hillsborough Victims and VW Diesel Emissions.

Aman Johal, director of Your Lawyers, said: “Our group action claim against Virgin Media is now live and I encourage anyone affected to sign up for representation now.

“Unbelievably, Virgin Media failed to take the necessary steps to keep people’s data safe for a sustained period of time, and, shockingly, it took a third-party security researcher to identify the issue.

“We know from experience that, when personal data is exposed online, it leaves victims vulnerable to cyberattacks and attempts at fraud, such as phishing scams. Customers will no doubt have bought into the Virgin Media brand that has been nurtured by Richard Branson for years and will rightly expect their personal data be properly protected. For this to have happened is an inexcusable breach of consumer rights.

“Your Lawyers will hold Virgin Media to account for this avoidable breach of private information, and we will do everything possible to ensure justice for the victims prevails. The door is open for victims to join the action, and now is the time to act.”

Your Lawyers is urging anyone affected by the data breach to join the class action. The firm already represents nearly 2,000 claimants in the case, and claimant numbers are expected to continue to grow.

The law firm estimates that each victim of the breach could be eligible for up to £5,000 compensation for financial and emotional distress suffered. This could leave Virgin Media with a total compensation bill of up to £4.5bn.

Virgin Media admitted that it had become aware that one of its marketing databases was incorrectly configured which allowed unauthorised access.

However, it stressed that the database did not include any passwords or financial details, such as credit card or bank account numbers. But personal details such as names, home and email addresses, as well as phone numbers were exposed.

The majority of victims were customers with TV or telephone landline accounts, while a smaller percentage of Virgin Mobile customers were also affected.

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