back to article ID sales sites start loss leader marketing programme

The Information Commissioners' in-tray got a little bigger today as it confirmed it would be investigating a series of ID trading sites unearthed by journalists. The Times screamed today that "the financial details of tens of thousands of Britons" were being sold on the internet. The paper detailed how it had been able to …


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  1. Dave

    They Can't Be Bothered

    A couple of years ago I logged in to my credit card account to check the balance and pay it off for the month. Then I noticed it claimed over a thousand pounds of unposted transactions. After questioning my wife closely (she denied all knowledge), I called the card company who confirmed that someone had bought a bunch of airline tickets in Milan using my card. So the card was duly stopped, but the woman on the phone said they couldn't do anything about the transactions until they hit the system properly because it might not be a real one[*]. Here was me thinking it could be an ideal opportunity for a bit of cross-border cooperation to contact the supplying travel agent (who probably ended up footing the bill when the transaction bounced) and the local police, getting the details of who was flying and when, and possibly having a welcoming committee. But no, none of this was possible. In a later communication I did extract the information that someone had attempted to use the card the day after I'd had it cancelled, so I think I must have caught out the criminals by spotting it so quickly.

    [*] when a company rings up for authorisation it reserves an amount of your available credit which either cancels when the transaction hits the system or times out a couple of weeks later if it doesn't - often this is when a card is used as a deposit for something settled in cash.

  2. Sillyfellow

    and what will be done?

    oh, great.

    so they admit it's a real big problem, and then go on to say that basically there's nothing that can be done about it... and i can guarantee nothing will be done about it.

    considering how countries police forces collaborate in so many cases and ways, i think something CAN and must be done about it, but yet still no effort will even be made. why? because our various forces are too busy 'attending to more serious crime' (sitting in pubs looking for drunks, tasering folks for fun, searching dustbins for missing cd's, and chasing about imaginary terrorists) to do anything about it.

    that is what i was told when i got fraudulated recently.

    so what exactly am i paying tax for?

    since pretty soon we'll probably even have to pay seperately for garbage to be collected, then whatever the money is being spent on, it's not what WE expect it to be spent on.

    our UK govenment and forces have their priorities totally wrong.

    they have forgotten that they are supposed to be working for us, and they think that we work for them.

  3. Dunstan Vavasour

    Accounts should be frozen

    Surely the solution is that any account where the details are known to have been compromised like this should immediately be frozen? I know it would be a serious pain for the account holders, but it would reduce the resale value of such details to zero. I'd sooner go through the process of resurrecting my account than have criminals clean it out.

    Penalties depend on people being caught, and credible evidence being presented to a jury with the nous to understand it. The solution is to make the information worthless.

  4. IanKRolfe

    Clearly HMRC's strategy...

    is to tackle data theft by flooding the market with 25M data records, devaluing the information to the point that trading personal details is no longer worth it!

  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    re: and what will be done?

    Even worse, I was able to buy a Mark 3 Fraudulator for a song recently. I handed it over to the police, who spat on me and demanded money for doing so.

  6. HeavyLight
    Jobs Halo

    Where would we be...

    ... without a humourous positive spin to close a story?

  7. Anonymous Coward


    If trading in stolen bank details is a crime then surely the buyer is as guilty as the seller - I can inform the police of one such criminal organisation's identity..

    "The paper detailed how it had been able to download banking information for 32 people, including account numbers, PINS, and security codes.."

    The previous posters are corerct, though; nothing will be done until this sort of crime hits those who actually matter to the government (big banks, rich tax-exiles with brown envelopes full of bribes 'legitimate political donations', weapons manufacturers, 'merican presidents, cabinet members' wives' tennis partners and so-on). Until then bugger-all will be done because frankly they couldn't give a soggy toss about the man in the street. hell, they don't even make an effort at lying to us convincingly any more.

  8. George
    Thumb Up

    Why don't banks make signature and PIN systems reliable as proposed to deter fraud.

    These details show that the government and banks are letting fraud crimes grow by relying on unreliable systems rather than combat them simply by making signature and PIN systems reliable and foolproof as proposed on website

    Fake documents has made our signature system unreliable while skimmers and pin-hole cameras etc. have made PIN system unreliable. We have option to make signatures reliable by personalising them with ID stickers and option to use Card Key Code to make PIN system reliable.

    Proposed ID KEY system will deter fraud by making signature and PIN systems reliable and so this will eliminate the need for us to protect our personal and PIN details since fraudsters will not get tempted to misuse them.

    Proposed ID KEY can be treated as a reliable international ID card because it will personalise signature and PIN number to only the right individuals.

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