09/09/2007: "UK Private Investigator Blog - "Blagging""
A detective agency (I'm not going to name them) has just been sent to court for data protection act offenses. They apparently blagged people's personal details. Blagging is when you phone up someone pretending to be someone else in order to obtain information by deception.
This detective agency called up the department of work and pensions giving a false name, and saying they were from a company the government department regularly deals with. They were able to obtain new addresses and National insurance numbers on a lot of debtors they had been hired to trace. They then sold the debtor's information to several local councils who had hired them.
Personally, I never blag information or try to obtain it by decpetion. It's illegal in the UK. I think that it should be within our legal rights as private investigators or solicitors to write to government departments and request information they hold on someone if that person is a debtor or is needed for a legal case. I think that's perfectly reasonable, however the current Data protection act and the government employee's lack of training on freedom of information laws means that to try and get any information you're legally entitled to out of these departments is all but impossible.
Detective agencies that blag details really annoy me. It's cheating. They'll have a higher success rate than people like me who operate legally and will often get more clients as they always "deliver". That is until both them and the client are in court facing £1000s of fines or jail.