Some computer repair shops are illegally accessing personal data on customers' hard drives and even trying to hack their bank accounts, a Sky News investigation has found.
In one case, passwords, log-in details and vacation photographs were all copied onto a portable memory stick by a technician. In other shops, customers were charged for non-existent work and simple faults were misdiagnosed.
Sky engineers created a simple, easily diagnosable fault by loosening the connection of the internal memory chip. This prevented Windows being able to load. To get things working again, the chip would simply need to be pushed back into position.
The investigation targeted six different computer repair shops. All but one misdiagnosed or overcharged for the fault.
The most serious offender was Revival Computers in Hammersmith, West London. Shortly after identifying the real fault, an engineer called our undercover reporter to say the computer needed a new motherboard, which would cost $200.
The surveillance software then recorded one technician browsing through the files on the hard drive, including private documents and intimate vacation photos, including some of our researcher in her bikini.
A second technician then copied photos and passwords from the laptop on to a memory stick.
One of the documents copied contained a text file with passwords for Facebook, Hotmail, eBay and a NatWest bank account.
shop workers caught with laptop webcamera while "repairing" the laptop.