Bank account details belonging to thousands of Britons are being sold in West Africa for less than £20 each, the BBC’s Real Story programme has found.

It discovered that fraudsters in Nigeria were able to find internet banking data stored on recycled PCs sent from the UK to Africa. The information can be found on a PC’s hard disk, which is easy to access if the drive is not wiped before sending.

Real Story found that second-hand computers from all over the developed world could be found in virtually every PC market in the Nigerian capital Lagos.

It said that while there was a genuine market for second-hand PCs in West Africa, identity fraud was a real problem.

We should be able to build a dicho from this. Like — “Every good deed is an opportunity for some kind of corruption”.



  1. Reality says:

    Bell curve logic:

    50% of the population is below average. 50% of THOSE people are REALLY stupid.

    Pass the word: free download, hard drive wiper, DBAN:
    http://dban.sourceforge.net

  2. Central Coast says:

    And if you can’t figure that out… REMOVE HD, Get LARGE hammer from garage and… 😉
    Your computer is now safe to recycle. 🙂

  3. gquaglia says:

    I never get rid of computer with the hard drive intact. Why take the chance.

  4. gtkwatkins says:

    I’m a huge fan of the Ball Pean Hammer method of hard drive data cleansing.

  5. Improbus says:

    I use a DOD (milspec) data wiping program. If it’s good enough for the military it’s good enough for me. Well, at least that is what I use at work. Personally, I don’t get rid of hard drives until they are non-functional. When they become non-functional I run a drill through them a few times.

  6. ECA says:

    I destroy my HD…
    there are WAYS to get data(not always good) off ANY drive.

  7. OmarTheAlien says:

    My first computer came with a 4 MB hard drive, and I think it’s still around the house some place. I never throw them away, even the ones I know that are fried, even the ones that came to me fried, hell, I don’t know, maybe it’s a fetish. Problem is, there is no system in place to tell the good ones from the bad ones. Makes my life a living hell. I’ll take one apart every once in a while, just for the hell of it. ‘Tis a weird thing, this life o’ mine.


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