Your personal details could be for sale online for as little as 33p, ITV News discovers

The dark web Credit: ITV News

Hundreds of thousands of British people have had personal details stolen and put up for sale online - so many, in fact, they can be bought for as little as 33p, an ITV News investigation has revealed.

A former hacker took ITV News consumer editor Chris Choi on a tour of the so-called 'Dark Web', which criminals use to trade illegally under the radar.

Video report:

Read: What exactly is the 'dark net'? And how worried should we be?

When he was a teenager, Cal Leeming had the dubious honour of becoming the youngest-ever hacker to be arrested in Britain.

He now uses his digital skills to fight fraud - but back then, he managed to steal more than 10,000 identities and 12,000 credit card details.

Alarmed by revelations that details of 156,959 TalkTalk customers were accessed in a recent cyber attack, he agreed to help ITV News gain access to the 'Dark Web' - a hidden online black market which uses several layers of encryption to protect those who use it.

We found:

  • 1,000 stolen email accounts on sale from 33p - these can be used to send out fraudulent emails and raid contact lists

  • Credit card details on sale for between 33p and £13, depending on whether PIN and balance is known

  • Bank account details on sale for £20 each - rising to £70 if sold with PIN numbers and passwords

An estimated 610,000 UK identities were stolen last year - and, while the crime begins online, its ramifications soon hit the real world.

Andi Hodgetts was among those whose details we found for sale on the 'Dark Web'.

He has now changed all his passwords and secured his accounts.There are now calls for Britain to improve its online security, amid fears that the authorities are ill-equipped to deal with the scale of this kind of crime.

Commander Chris Greany, the National Police Economic Crime Co-ordinator, told ITV News that more resources were needed.

Often, he said, the weak link in the security of online information is the human being to which they belong - using easily-guessable passwords, or falling victim to a scam - meaning education may be a key tool in the fight against cyber crime.