Consumer groups are warning users not to use a new social networking website called MyBankDetails.com.
One user said:
"I joined the website last month and gave all my details including my bank details. I had no idea that by providing my account number, sort code, PIN number, a scanned version of my signature, my mother's maiden name, my date of birth, thumb print and retinal scan, my identity could be stolen."
A week later, his bank account had been cleaned out. To make matters worse, someone else had assumed his identity, taken his job, moved into his house and started to see his girlfriend.
"My life has been ruined, thanks to MyBankDetails.com", he complained.
This isn't an isolated incident. Security experts are warning that social networking websites can be very dangerous places and that users should avoid the temptation to post intimate details about themselves. One expert said:
"If you're unwise enough to have done this, we suggest that you change your bank account as soon as possible, move house, change job, change your date of birth, get new fingerprints and retinal scans, and even change your parents. These are drastic measures, I know."
We tried interviewing someone from MyBankDetails.com, but the website only accepts emails from registered users and we weren't prepared to provide intimate details about our reporter. We therefore contacted the Fraud Squad.
Sergeant Plod told us that he had tried to visit the website's London office. He said:
"Entry was by a buzzer system and they weren't prepared to open the door until I gave them my bank details, so I gave up."