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YouTube has a strict take-down policy on videos advertising illegal services

Someone's identity could be yours for $25

Identity thieves have turned to YouTube to advertise their wares, although the video sharing site has been taking down the videos as fast as they appear.

In one video the seller, who never reveals his face, offers full identity dossiers for $25 (£17) a time, or five for $100 (£67).

The dossiers contain the subject's name, address, social security number, driving licence details, sex, mother's name, occupation, age, car licence plate, date of birth and net worth including any real estate and liquid assets.

"It's crazy. I talked to this guy via email and he said he would sell me the details in exchange for a PayPal deposit," said Brian Sullivan, online crime correspondent at news web site MSNBC.

"His ad even had a disclaimer that the information could only be used for marketing purposes, and cannot be used for illegal activity."

Sullivan said that the growing commercialisation of identity theft was down to companies storing too much information on customers. Companies often collect information that has no relevance, and store it for ever, making customers more vulnerable.

YouTube has a strict take-down policy on videos advertising illegal services, and any such sites should be reported immediately.

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