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Consumer NGO offers free legal advice to data breach victims

The hotline will also provide service in English for people affected by the data breach and extortion campaign.

Image: Petteri Bülow / Yle

People who have been affected by a large-scale data breach and subsequent extortion attempts targetting a private psychotherapy firm will be provided with free legal advice by a consumers’ NGO.

On Monday the Consumers’ Union of Finland announced that as a result of the unprecedented crime, it was launching its own free advice hotline for individuals who had been subjected to extortion attempts following the breach.

According to Juha Beurling-Pomoell, secretary general of the organisation, advisory services will also be available in English.

"I can confirm that the services will also be offered in English," he told Yle News on Monday.

The NGO said that affected persons will be able to get advice on their rights as data breach victims and they will also be able to ask about other issues such as damages and protection against identity theft.

The legal advice hotline will serve callers on weekdays from 9 -- 12am and from 1 -- 4pm at 09 454 22150.

Beurling-Pomoell said that people seeking advice in English should call the same number for assistance.

The organisation pointed out that it does not provide crisis counselling, and that individuals can turn to Victim Support Finland (siirryt toiseen palveluun) and the Finnish Red Cross (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (from 9am to 9pm, service in Finnish) for help.

It also recommended that people contact the National Cyber Security Centre (siirryt toiseen palveluun) for advice if they are a victim of identity theft or a data leak.

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