An investigative report into the state of Britain's independent laptop repair shops has exposed some alarming behaviour on the part of repairmen mining broken computers for customer's personal and banking information.
The expose comes from Sky News which points the finger at a number of laptop repair shops including the likes of bigger chains such as Micro Anvika and
One Sky News researcher simply unplugged a RAM stick from a laptop to see if the the shop would diagnose the simple fault. All the shops under investigation except one charged more for work that did not need doing, including Micro Anvika and PC World (with some going so far as to replace the laptop motherboard!).
Smile, you're on candid camera!
Revival Computers in London came out worst of a bad bunch, with its staff unearthing documents of Sky's researcher in a bikini, copying the data onto a portable USB drive and opening a text file on the laptop with fake Hotmail, Facebook and NatWest login details.
One technician at Revival Computers attempted to access the (fake) Natwest account. And was (unfortunately for him) caught on the surveillance camera that was cleverly installed within the laptop.
"I'm really quite shocked, both in the range of potential problems this has revealed - people overcharging, mis-describing the faults - but also people attempting to steal personal details," said Richard Webb, an e-commerce investigator for Trading Standards
You can see the full, shocking report over at Sky News.