More than half of second hand phones have been found to contain extensive personal data.
Life assistance company CPP purchased second hand mobile phones and SIM cards from eBay in a live experiment to see what personal data was available on the handsets and whether it could threaten the former owners’ identities.
The experiment revealed 247 pieces of personal data that had been left on the phones and SIM cards, including credit and debit card PINs, bank account details, passwords, phone numbers, company information and log-in details to websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Leaving personal data on phones is risky
While half of second hand mobile phone owners said they had found personal details of previous owners on phones they had purchased, 81% of sellers claimed to have wiped their mobiles before selling them.
CPP is calling on all mobile phone owners to remove all of their personal and financial information from their mobile phones before selling or recycling them. The safest way to remove this information is to completely destroy the SIM and double-check no information has been left on the phone.
Anyone who leaves personal information on their phones could put themselves at risk of identity fraud.
Read more about the risks of leaving personal data on mobile phones on CPP’s website.
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To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.