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Nigerian fraudsters harvest UK bank details from discarded hard drives

Research from the BBC has found that Nigerian fraudsters can acquire the personal bank details of UK citizens for as little as GBP20.

According to an investigation carried out by the broadcaster’s Real Story program, GBP20 is sufficient for an unscrupulous individual in the west African country of Nigeria to buy the information stored on the hard drives from discarded UK personal computers.

These hard drives contain the sensitive financial information placed on them by their previous UK owners, information that the previous owner failed to properly wipe from their PC memory.

The fraud has developed as a side activity to the legitimate business of transporting and selling recycled discarded PCs from Britain. The fraudsters discovered that some UK owners were only deleting files, believing that this was sufficient to remove sensitive information, when in fact a complete wipe of the hard drive is required.

In fact, the Real Story program found that vulnerable PCs from across the developed world were turning up on Nigerian computer markets.