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Private data for limited company directors leaking

Private data for limited company directors leaking

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My client has received letters from credit card companies to his home address addressed to his company name (although the registered office is at my address deliberately to keep his home address private).  He has followed this up with the credit card companies and each one of the credit card companies that he contacted had specified that the information had been on obtained via "VAT information" but didn't know exactly how.  We are still trying to get more specific information but you can imagine it is difficult.  Has anyone else had experience of this or can perhaps explain how the data became publicly available?  Thank you 

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By rmillaree
08th Jun 2021 17:32

"Has anyone else had experience of this or can perhaps explain how the data became publicly available? Thank you "

the info is definitely in the public domain if its linked to vat registration place of business- see link here - how it gets into the public domain i know not?

https://vat-search.co.uk/

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By Wanderer
08th Jun 2021 17:55

rmillaree wrote:

...how it gets into the public domain i know not?

HMRC give it away:-
https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-vat-number
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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Ian Lawrence
08th Jun 2021 18:58

Thanks - but you need a VAT number to get the address from this site so that one doesn't concern me too much

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Hugo Fair
08th Jun 2021 19:04

This only confirms that the VAT number is valid ... and provides the following details: Registered business name, and Registered business address.

So regarding OP ... no 'home address' (presumably of Director).
And similar lack of personal data via link provided by rmillaree.

It's not that difficult (at the risk of sounding like a stalker) to put data together from multiple sources (such as Companies House for names of Directors, then Electoral Register for home address, and so on) ... and someone somewhere has no doubt written software to automate this collating in order to build a list that they can sell?

This happens a lot (and always has done), so why is OP's client so concerned?

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By Ian Lawrence
08th Jun 2021 18:57

Thank you for your response. This is quite an eye opener for me. I have told my clients their home address is not publicly available. Type in the company though and up pops the trading address which is the home of the director. I always resisted putting the trading address as my office address but now I am considering doing so. Does anyone else put the VAT principle place of business as the accountant registered office?

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Replying to Ian Lawrence:
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By Hugo Fair
08th Jun 2021 19:12

Aaah! You originally stated they were using your client's home address, but didn't mention that this is what he/she also uses as the trading address.
Given that a trading address will usually appear all over the place, client has to make a conscious decision to make it 'private' or not. There are pros and cons - and as you've already shown it's always possible to miss an alternative route to discovery.

Basically if you're going to trade from home, it will take time and money to 'hide' this - so needs a good reason to bother.

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Replying to Ian Lawrence:
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By Mr_awol
09th Jun 2021 10:37

Ian Lawrence wrote:

I always resisted putting the trading address as my office address but now I am considering doing so. Does anyone else put the VAT principle place of business as the accountant registered office?

You mean lie about the trading address?

The address to put is the one from which the business is run. Unless you rent them a room in your office, that isnt where it happens (i appreciate in an increasingly digital world there may be an argument for some businesses 'not having a physical address' but ultimately in those cases it probably is wherever the controlling party works from).

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Melchett
By thestudyman
08th Jun 2021 17:43

Could it be the directors service address showing their home address? This is public information on Companies House

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Replying to thestudyman:
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By Ian Lawrence
08th Jun 2021 18:57

Thanks but no- I double checked

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By SXGuy
08th Jun 2021 19:21

If someone owes a debt, believe me debt agencies will use all means to trace someone.

No point speculating how, it happens.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By Hugo Fair
08th Jun 2021 19:32

You're not kidding ... I did a brief stint at Amex in Brighton (in the late '70s), and met a couple of their elite international 'collection agents'.
Not sure if their tales of breaking legs 'to encourage people' were anything other than fanciful, but they kept a very low profile (except for their expenses which went through a special account that I stumbled across when migrating systems)!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By SXGuy
09th Jun 2021 13:52

Back in the 80s my mother used to drag me along to her client visits, one of them being a tracing agency.

You wouldn't get away with half the stuff now that they did back then,

Was literally a room full of desks and telephones, and there would be people ringing various places pretending to be various people and getting info to chase where someone was.

I remember one of them pretending to be from the local authority. So much for data protection, really did knock the wind out of these businesses.

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By johnt27
09th Jun 2021 08:54

Any credit agency has access to a director's residential address, even if this isn't showing on Companies House as a service address. So a credit card company could do a credit search, if they have the right info - directors name, DOB etc and would receive their residential address.

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Replying to johnt27:
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By Ian Lawrence
09th Jun 2021 09:38

Thanks for your reply. Is that definitely the case? How do you know that this is the case? I am surprised by this.

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Replying to Ian Lawrence:
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By johnt27
09th Jun 2021 09:54

Extract below from CoHo guidance:

A residential address is a director’s usual home address. You must tell us your home address, but it will not be available on the public register for everyone to see. It’s kept on a private register.

We’ll only provide home address information to credit reference agencies and specified public authorities, such as the police. In certain circumstances, you may be able to restrict the disclosure of your home address to credit reference agencies.

If you use a sensitive address like your home address as your service address or the company’s registered office, it’ll be available to the public. You cannot remove a registered office address from the public register.

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Replying to johnt27:
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By Ian Lawrence
09th Jun 2021 10:03

Very good, thank you very much.

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Replying to johnt27:
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By scubajoe
11th Jun 2021 10:04

johnt27 wrote:

Extract below from CoHo guidance:

A residential address is a director’s usual home address. You must tell us your home address, but it will not be available on the public register for everyone to see. It’s kept on a private register.

We’ll only provide home address information to credit reference agencies and specified public authorities, such as the police. In certain circumstances, you may be able to restrict the disclosure of your home address to credit reference agencies.

If you use a sensitive address like your home address as your service address or the company’s registered office, it’ll be available to the public. You cannot remove a registered office address from the public register.


Surely this would only apply if the Company made a credit application that would permit the Credit Card company to do a search, other than that it's just a fishing expedition which I would have though was strictly taboo?
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