A vault containing back-ups with at least 260,000 customers of travel insurer Allianz Global Assistance has been stolen, a company spokesperson told NU.nl after the insurer reported the theft on its website. This concerns data from people who have been customers since 2014.
These are storage tapes on which the policies of a roadside assistance or travel insurance were stored. The tapes can be read with special equipment, but that equipment was not also present in the safe, says spokesperson Erwin van Dijkman.
The policies state the names, addresses and places of residence of the relevant customers. In some cases, bank account numbers or license plates can also be found. This makes the relevant documents susceptible to fraud.
Allianz has informed the 260,000 affected policyholders about the theft, but the number of people affected may be higher. This is because the policies sometimes also include the personal details of fellow travelers.
It is unclear whether the thieves were familiar with the contents of the safe, says Van Dijkman. It is not known to the spokesperson whether other items were in the safe.
Allianz has now reported the theft to both the police and the Dutch Data Protection Authority. Furthermore, the spokesperson emphasizes that customers must be "extra vigilant" for possible fraud.