THE bank details of 40 million people have been reportedly recorded by a former British cop who plans to charge victims to see whether their details are available.
Colin Holder, a retired detective, has spent more than $324,000 scouring the internet for stolen personal bank details of millions of people.
Credit card details, bank account numbers, home addresses and PINs are all available according to Mr Holder.
It is not known how many Australian details are stolen.
The data comes into criminal hands as result of “phishing”, where internet users are duped into revealing over their key details.
Mr Holder claims the highly sensitive information is readily available and traded over the internet.
"About six months after I retired, I was contacted by an old source who said he was seeing a vast amount of credit card and other personal data being exchanged between criminals, and what could he do with it,'" Mr Holder told.
Mr Holder has since created a website- www.lucidintelligence.com - where people can search to see whether their details are for sale.
He said he will only charge those whose details have been stolen.
"This project is costing me £6,000 a month to operate, and I'm only charging to help recover those costs," Holden said.
"In 90 percent of cases, the searcher will never have to pay a penny."
Lloyd Borrett, an internet security expert and marketing manager at Australian anti-virus company, AVG, said users have to be vigilant with their private details.
“The key thing all of mailware is that they are always trying to slowly rip people off, gathering parts of their identify and information of the person, whether it be bank records, tax file number, phone numbers, everything,” Mr Borrett said.
He said AVG users around the world reported 560 million “mailware events” in June alone proving the threat to users.
Mr Borrett said internet users needed up-to-date anti-virus software to combat new mailware and virus attacks.
“If you think someone might have your details, contact the bank and change them, if you think about it the bad guys have got contacts and they can do far more that we think,” he said.