CONCERNS have been raised after ITV’s Tonight Programme found people’s credit card details being given away for free on a mobile phone app.
The programme contacted one individual who expressed his horror that his full credit card details were available - leaving him potentially exposed.
Grandad of five Melvin Barrett had no inkling that his ID was being handed out as a loss leader by hackers on the “Telegram” phone app, in order to attract scammers.
Reporter Adam Shaw shows the gobsmacked householder his birth date, his secret password and all the other details required to rip him off.
Fortunately the credit card firm had smelled a rat when a scammer tried to buy an airline ticket - and froze the account.
Melvin tells Adam: “If that could happen to me, it could happen to anybody.”
Criminologist Dr Mike McGuire fears it marks a new phase in cyber crime as criminals gravitate off the dark web to sell their wares.
Experts in the programme are critical of officialdom.
Bank Fraud Consultant Richard Emery believes that the banks will eventually have to pay a billion pounds to customers - or risk another PPI scandal.
He cites the case of Agi Gamski who helps run a family firm MJC Construction in South London.
Her company email got hacked and a payment of £73,000 meant to be sent to a supplier, ended up in the hands of a fraudster.
She’d sent it to a roofing supplier but it was funnelled into the faked account of a Bangladeshi student whose visa had expired.
So the name of Agi’s payee was totally different from the name of the bank account it went into.
Banks are planning to introduce “Confirmation of Payee” next year which should resolve this particular issue. But they will not backdate compensation.
One man who did receive compensation is Gulberg Sidhu, who found that a scammer had stolen his identity to empty his account of all his savings.
He has audio of the scammer brazenly clearing his bank account.
When the bank wouldn’t refund him, Gulberg appealed to the Financial Ombudsman who judged he deserved a full refund.
Scamming is now the most prolific crime in Britain. Millions of us are potential sitting ducks for the fraudsters.
Life changing sums of money are being stolen as the tricks of the trade get ever more sophisticated.
And Gareth Shaw of Which? believes the authorities are losing the battle.
A Home Office Spokesperson said: