FAMILIES in Kirklees who receive child benefit will be receiving letters from HM Revenues and Customs apologising for the loss of their personal records.
The letters are being sent out to more than 7m homes nationwide after discs containing 25m personal records were lost in the post.
A spokesman from HMRC said there was no need for customers to ask for a new account or to contact their bank or building society.
But he advised extra vigilance and said people may consider changing passwords which included a child’s name or date of birth.
He said the department was working closely with all banks and building societies. There should be no cost to the customer for changing account details or supplying new cheque books, paying-in books or plastic cards.
Any customers who were asked to do so by their banks would be dealt with on an individual basis by HMRC.
Meanwhile, a survey out yesterday suggests that most child benefit recipients have reacted as advised and have remained calm but are being extra-vigilant.
The survey, conducted by YouGov, shows that:
Some 62% of adults who receive child benefit checked their bank statements;
Some 30% of adults took no action following the news;
Some 10% changed their passwords and 6% changed their Pin numbers.
A spokeswoman for Apacs, the UK’s payment organisation, said: “The YouGov survey shows that customers have not panicked and most seem to have followed the advice issued. This matches the feedback we’ve had from our banks about their customer queries.
“There is no need for bank customers to do any more than to be extra-vigilant, as there is still no evidence that the data has fallen into criminal hands.
“We continue to urge customers to do the simple security checks that they should be doing anyway. This includes checking statements or balances regularly, opening all post and disposing of it all with care.”
The banking industry continues to reassure its customers that sort code and bank account, national insurance number, date of birth, name and address details are not enough in themselves for an ID fraudster to access your bank account because additional security information and passwords are always required.
Only customers who use their child’s name or date of birth as a password are encouraged to think about changing it.
HMRC has set up a helpline on 0845 302 1444 for customers who want more detail. The banks have also produced a factsheet. Download it from www.apacs.org.uk