Mortgage Introducer predicted phone hacking scam

Sarah Davidson

July 18, 2011

Robyn Hall, then deputy editor and now publisher of Mortgage Introducer, wrote an article titled “Mobile phone security breach could cost the industry millions” featured in the August 2000 edition of MI.

In the case of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the cost was in the billions as shares in the world’s second-largest media conglomerate dropped to a two-year low.

In his August 2000 article Hall wrote: “Brokers and lenders could be losing out on millions of pounds worth of business after an investigation by Mortgage Introducer found it was possible to access users’ voicemail without their knowledge.

“In a worst-case scenario, business deals worth millions of pounds could be left scuppered and users left open to blackmail,” the article predicted.

Michael Bolton, then marketing manager at Future Mortgages and now European sales and marketing director at Clayton Eurorisk, was one of many contacted and warned by the magazine at the time and said: “I’d like to thank Mortgage Introducer for bringing this to our attention. This is scandalous and could be costing the industry lots of money. In the hands of unscrupulous players the damage that could be done is immense, and the effects devastating.”

At no point during Mortgage Introducer’s investigation did we access anyone’s voicemail without their permission.

The ongoing News International phone hacking scandal has flooded mainstream news in the past weeks leading to the closure of the UK’s best-selling Sunday tabloid the News of the World after it was revealed murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked.

The fallout of the scandal led to the arrest of several members of staff at News International.

News of the World journalists James Weatherup and Nevill Thrulbeck were both arrested in April 2011.

Andy Coulson, former editor at News of the World and former director of communications for the Prime Minister and Clive Goodman, former royal editor and reporter at News of the World were both arrested earlier this month

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, was arrested yesterday.

The scandal has also led to the resignation of Les Hinton, chief executive of Dow Jones & Company, and Sir Pail Stephenson, Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Brooks, Rupert and James Murdoch are scheduled to appear before the parliamentary media committee in London for questioning on 19th July 2011.

The phone hacking scandal was made wider public knowledge in 2010 when both The Guardian and the New York Times conducted investigations into the extent of the News of the World’s phone hacking.

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