Identity thieves in Germany are trying to sell the bank account details of 21 million people, for an asking price of EUR12 million, according to a local magazine.
Economic weekly WirtschaftsWoche says two of its investigative reporters posed as potential buyers and met with two individuals in a hotel in Hamburg.
They were offered the bank account numbers and codes, as well as names, addresses and phone numbers, of 21 million victims for EUR0.55 per record.
The thieves handed over a CD containing the details of 1.2 million accounts to the reporters to prove their story. The magazine has handed the disc over to authorities.
WirtschaftsWoche suggests the thieves may have obtained the data from call centres. In the worst case scenario, three out of four German households are at risk of theft, says the magazine.
The revelations come just months after T-Mobile admitted losing a storage device holding the records, including names, addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth, of 17 million German customers.
However, WirtschaftsWoche says this case could be far more dangerous because the T-Mobile data did not contain bank account details.