Telstr has sent out 220,000 ‘botched’ letters to clients with other customers information showing what Plans, Phone numbers, even Silent Numbers  and Names of other clients.

This could SERIOUSLY affect the privacy of 220,000 people in a real way and The Australian Privacy Commissioner is not happy.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority Chairman, Mr. Chris Chapman said yesterday “The main priority initially is to limit the damageto consumers caught up in

Chris Chapman photo

Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA

this mail out and where possible to ensure remedies are quickly implimented.”

“I have spoken with Telstra and they have assured us they will fully co-operate with the ACMA and other regulatory agencies to minimise the fall out for customers,” Mr Chapman said.

Mr. Timmothy Pilgrim  (The Australian Privacy Commisioner) has advised that his office will commence an investigation into the matter.

Mr. Pilgrim went on to say, “While I welcome Telstra’s prompt advice that this incident occurred and that it has taken steps to contact affected customers, I am concerned about the amount of personal information that has been disclosed which includes potentially sensitive information such as silent numbers.”

“Customers expect their personal data to be protected by organisations and incidents such as this are very serious. For this reason my Office will be opening an investigation into the matter today,” Mr. Pilgrim continued.

Telstra has acted quickly to set up a hotline for its affected customers 1800 307 987.

Graham Doessel CEO of National Credit File Repair Firm My CRA said, “While Telstra,

Graham Doessel Photo

Graham Doessel, MyCRA CEO

The Privacy Commissioner and The ACMA are all working together to get this mess cleaned up, the simple truth is the damage has already been done.  The amount of information contained in these letters could be the last piece in the Identity Theft Puzzle.”

“There are organised gangs that actually go through peoples rubbish just looking for discarded rates notices, phone bills, credit card and bank statements, old rego papers and anything else they can use to convince the authorities that they are you,” Graham Doessel continued.

Mr. Doessel also commented, “Once the organised gangs have come back enough times (can take many months), got the paperwork they need, they will systematically go about building a copy of your identity.  Then they can access bank accounts, get credit cards, apply for loans, phone accounts, and in some cases, buy property in your name. Some have even mortgaged or sold the family home of their Identity Theft Victims.”

A 2007 Australian Breau of Statistics survey shows over 500,000 people in Australia have been victim of Identity Fraud, with the majority coming from Credit or Bank Card Fraud.

If you think there is even a small chance that you may be the victim of Identity Fraud, (also known as Identity Theft) the simplest thing you can do is to contact  and request a Free copy of your credit file.

You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report ever year and it will arive within 10 working days.  If you need a copy of your credit rating any sooner, you can pay a small fee to have it emailed to you within a couple of hours.

If you do discover there are concering entries on your credit rating, you have hte right to contest those and potentially have them ammended or removed.

Contact your creditor and ask that the items are updated or removed though we do find that unfortunately many clients are bluffed by their creditors and are unsuccessful after many months of trying.

If you are time poor or just want he best chance of repairing your credit rating, investigate the option of engaging a professional credit repair firm.

All professional credit repair firms will have a detailed website, publish all of their prices, have success stories from real clients and display their success rates.

Do your home work and then get your financial integrity back.