A new film encouraging people to protect personal information online shows what happened when people were asked to ‘like’ a coffee shop’s Facebook page in exchange for a free coffee and croissant.

As the customers waited for their free drink, a team of background researchers searched across public websites to find as much personal information and data as possible within a maximum time period of three minutes.

That data was then radioed through to a barista, who wrote it on to a cup and handed it to the unsuspecting customer. 

Hidden cameras captured their ‘baffled’ reactions and the film ends with the line ‘Don’t make it easy for fraudsters. Set your privacy settings’.

You can watch the film – called Data To Go - by clicking on the image above.

[Related story: Why you should think before clicking 'Like' on Facebook]

The film has been launched by Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, which has also released new figures showing a 52% rise in young identity fraud victims in the UK.

In 2015, just under 24,000 (23,959) people aged 30 and under were victims of identity fraud. This is up from 15,766 in 2014, and is more than double the 11,000 victims in this age bracket in 2010.

People of all ages can be at risk of identity fraud but with growing numbers of young people falling victim, Cifas is calling for better education around fraud and financial crime.

Simon Dukes, Cifas Chief Executive, said: “Fraudsters are opportunists. As banks and lenders have become more adept at detecting false identities, fraudsters have focused on stealing and using genuine people’s details instead.

“Society, government and industry all have a role in preventing fraud, however our concern is that the lack of awareness about identity fraud is making it even easier for fraudsters to obtain the information they need.

“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.”
Commander Chris Greany, of City of London Police and the national co-ordinator for economic crime, added: “We have known for some time that identity fraud has become the engine that drives much of today’s criminality and so it is vitally important that people keep their personal information safe and secure. 

“In the fight against fraud, education is key and it’s great that Cifas and its members are taking identity fraud seriously and working together to raise awareness of how the issue is now increasingly affecting young people through the launch of this film.”

Organisations such as City of London Police/Action Fraud, Get Safe Online, HMG’s Cyber Streetwise campaign, Financial Fraud Action UK, and Cifas members including BT, Coventry Building Society and Secure Trust Bank are all supporting the campaign.

For more advice and information on the latest scams and how BT can help, go to bt.com/scams.