A CALL centre worker illegally obtained credit card details from callers to a property tax helpline, it has been alleged.
Gardai are investigating after the employee is believed to have requested the details from callers who rang to query their property tax returns.
The 11 cards involved have a combined limit of over €100,000 and it is believed he was compiling the data with the intention of selling it to criminals.
Gardai were alerted and the man – who is aged in his 20s – was suspended from his position while an investigation was launched.
Revenue Commissioner boss Josephine Feehily today attempted to assure the public that they can have full "trust" in the helpine.
“There is no indication any credit card data was transferred or that any of the accounts involved were compromised,” a garda source said.
The firm involved has more than 1,000 employees based in Dublin and Cork.
Between 30 and 40 staff are involved in handling property tax queries.
Abtran last night confirmed the employee had been suspended and that “the individual did attempt to effect transactions but failed to do so”.
The employee was not in a payments section and the firm insisted it was “an isolated matter relating to a single individual only”.
The investigation is a major embarrassment for the Government after the Revenue Commissioners outsourced the processing work to the private firm, despite strong opposition from civil service unions including the CPSU.
Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes confirmed this morning that his office is liaising with Revenue Commissioners in relation to the matter.
Revenue boss Josephine Feehily today said that she has requested that Abtran carries out a full review of its procedures in relation to staff.
“Over the weekend we've been working very, very closely, in hourly contact with the company, to make sure that we knew exactly what was going on, to make sure they were taking all the steps necessary to mitigate this risk, and I suppose the most important message is this was found quickly thanks to a call from a customer and nobody has suffered a loss.”
Anybody who has paid and filed online via the LPT helpline and who still has concerns can check their LPT payment details on www.revenue.ie or may call a dedicated Revenue number 1890 22 63 36.