Indian call centre staff are selling UK broadband user’s financial data, including credit cards and security codes, for as little as 25 pence per user for bulk purchases.
An investigation by The Sun found a former call centre worker who sold the bank account details, personal data such as job description and credit card numbers with the three-digit CVV security code of 1,000 users for £250.
The UK‘s Fraud Prevention Service CIFAS called the news an “absolute bombshell.”
“I am astounded. The information being traded is everything a criminal needs to clear out an account or steal an identity,” said communications manager Richard Hurley.
“That this is happening on an industrial scale is enough to make anyone shudder. This is a wake-up call. Security processes and staff vetting need to be reviewed.”
Deepak Chuphal, who claimed to have 25 contacts in nine call centres who would double their salaries by accepting bribes of £400 a month to steal the data. He could supply 5,000 British credit card holders, 25,000 bank accounts and the personal profiles of 50,000 people a week he said.
“Even ‘soft’ personal details like email addresses are massively valuable for criminals – you don’t need someone’s online banking password to set them up for multiple scams designed to steal money,” said Paul Vlissidis, technical director at security testers NGS Secure.
“People have put their trust in banks and ISPs who will no doubt have hammered home the importance of their customers keeping passwords unique and private. But who is drilling them on their own security practices?”
The investigation broke as The Sun’s owner News International faced questions from the House of Commons home affairs select committee over the news that its outsourced email contractor, Indian firm HCL Technologies, had deleted hundreds of thousands of emails on nine occasions.
The deletions were totally normal the company insisted and included 200,000 “delivery failure messages” and various defunct accounts. New International had also pruned its email databases in September last year it was revealed.