Man orders a coffee. But when he sees what she wrote on the cup—he sees the real danger

January 13, 2018 3:14 pm Last Updated: January 14, 2018 8:55 am

A British coffee shop was having a promotion—and offered a free coffee to everyone who liked their Facebook page. As expected, that day countless people entered the cafe, smartphones at the ready, saying they’d liked the page and were here to redeem their coffee.

But as the baristas doled out the paper cups, the customers were in for a shock.

As the customers picked up their coffees, they didn’t just get their names called out.

The cashier revealed all sorts of information, from their current job titles to what bank they use, to birth dates, or the school they went to, and even someone’s mother’s maiden name.

“Martin that went to South Thames College?” one called out.

“You know I’m a Christian as well??” he replied, incredulous, as he read the bullet points of information written on his cup.

The customers were shocked.

“How did you know that?” one asked. “I don’t understand?” said another.

No one really expects this level of invasiveness while buying a cup of joe—but that was the point.

The cafe had teamed up with fraud prevention organization Cifas to show people how easy it is for complete strangers to glean a plethora of personal information on you in the time it takes to make a coffee. With one Facebook like, they were only a search term away from having a ridiculous amount of data compiled.

The hope is that, via this experiment, people would become more aware of what details they are sharing online—and whether they are sharing too much to the point where they are at the risk of identity fraud.

Start by setting your privacy settings,” Cifas wrote in a Facebook post. 

Here are some tips on how to limit your data trail:

Google and Facebook are some of the biggest ad publishers, and the data they have on your will determine much of the advertising that follows you around on the web.

If you go to, you can see who the social network thinks you are and the profile it has built of you for its advertisers.

If you go to, you’ll be able to see the profile Google has built up for you.

Amazon is now also getting into the ad network game, and you can see their settings here

Experts also recommend checking the privacy settings on your chosen browser, and even using multiple browsers and multiple search engines instead of sticking to just one.

Data on the Go

You're more at risk of identity fraud than you think. Sharing personal details like your date of birth, address and phone number can make you vulnerable. Don't make it easy for identity fraudsters. Start by setting your privacy settings. –

Posted by Cifas on Tuesday, July 5, 2016