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Short film shows personal information you give away each time you 'like' a Facebook page

Customers baffled as they are given a free coffee – complete with their personal data written on the cup

May Bulman
Tuesday 05 July 2016 12:24 BST
All the personal information you give away each time you 'like' a Facebook page

A short film highlighting the risk of fraud on social media shows how much personal information can be obtained about a person each time they like a Facebook page.

People in the street were asked to ‘like’ a coffee shop’s Facebook page in exchange for a free coffee and croissant.

As the customer waited for their drink, a team of background researchers searched across public websites to find out as much personal information about the person as possible within three minutes.

The footage shows the researchers obtaining personal data such as the customers’ phone numbers, dates of birth, addresses and occupations.

The information was then radioed to the barista who wrote it on the coffee cup and handed it to the customer.

Hidden cameras captured their shocked reactions as their personal information was reeled off to them as they were handed their free coffee.

The short film, Data to Go, was launched by Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, in light of their new figures showing a 52% rise in young identity fraud victims in the UK.

Just under 24,000 (23,959) people aged 30 and under were victims of identity fraud in 2015, up from 15,766 in 2014, and 11,000 in this age bracket in 2010, meaning the figure has more than doubled in the past six years.

More than 85% of the frauds were carried out online. While some personal details were found by hacking computers, Cifas found that fraudsters were increasingly using social media to gather information about someone’s identity.

Simon Dukes, Chief Execuitive of Cifas, said: “The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online platforms are much more than just social media sites - they are now a hunting ground for identity thieves.

“We are urging people to check their privacy settings today and think twice about what they share. Social media is fantastic and the way we live our lives online gives us huge opportunities.

"Taking a few simple steps will help us to enjoy the benefits while reducing the risks. To a fraudster, the information we put online is a goldmine.”

A report out earlier this year estimated the annual cost of fraud in the UK was £193bn - equal to nearly £3,000 per head of population.

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