The credit card details of thousands of Britons are being sold on the Internet by hackers intent on committing identity fraud.
At least 400 credit card numbers are sold per day, along with other personal information such as dates of birth and mothers' maiden names, The Times said.
A credit card number fetches one dollar (0.83 euros) in Internet chatrooms, whereas a card with a three-digit code is traded for five dollars.
Additional security information can add 10 dollars to the asking price and a working personal identification number can raise the cost to 100 pounds (175 dollars, 145 euros), the newspaper said Saturday.
The thieves were not just targeting consumers who bought goods online, showing that Internet-based firms were not the only ones at risk which held personal information about customers.
The Times said the online fraudster gangs were thought to be operating out of eastern Europe and southeast Asia.
Card Cops, a US-based firm which monitors "Internet relay chatrooms" where the stolen details are traded, said it was aware of the details of 300 to 400 British customers a day at a conservative estimate.
"We monitor hundreds of rooms but we don't see all the operators. These people go from one forum to another. It's a growing problem," Card Cops head Dan Clements told the newspaper.
Alun Michael, the government's e-commerce minister, said: "These findings are disturbing and we will look at them very seriously."
Britain's newly-formed Serious Organised Crime Agency said that computer crime was "among its priorities" but would not say how it intended to tackle the problem.