Staff at Vodafone (LON:VOD) call centres have broken the rules about security checks and left customers vulnerable to fraud, a whistleblower has told the BBC. The telco has said that it takes security ‘extremely seriously’.
Vodafone’s share price has slipped marginally lower in London this morning, having given up 0.21 percent to 176.62p as of 09:41 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed marginally higher and currently standing 0.17 percent up at 7,569.47 points. The group’s shares have given up just under a fifth of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.4-percent gain in the Footsie.
Whistleblower warns of security breaches
A whistleblower told the BBC that criminals posing as genuine Vodafone customers had gained access to some accounts even though they failed to correctly answer security questions. The source explained that this happened because of pressure on call centre staff to meet customer satisfaction targets.
The newswire cited the case of David Hart from Lincolnshire who discovered that the telco had given someone else control of his mobile phone number. They had contacted Vodafone via the group’s online web-chat service and pretended to be him.
A whistleblower who works in a Vodafone call centre told Radio 4’s You & Yours that they have seen evidence of other, similar breaches. The BBC noted that in relation David Hart’s case, Vodafone had said that it had since ‘enhanced its security controls’.
Analysts on blue-chip telco
Sanford C. Bernstein, which sees Vodafone as a ‘neutral,’ set a price target on the shares of 210p today. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip company currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 239.45p.