Millions of online job seekers in Britain have become victims of crime as many have their personal details stolen by online hackers.

Monster, an online recruitment company, told AFP reporters the hackers had taken confidential information from its database including telephone numbers, email addresses, user names, passwords and some basic demographic data.

Users around the world could have been affected, including the 4.5 million reportedly registered with, the British arm of the US-based global website.

It is however not clear exactly how much information has been taken and from how many users.

The hacking comes after the details of 25 million child benefit recipients went missing in 2007, in the largest data loss in Britain.

On Friday Monster issued a statement to users telling them to change their passwords the next time they log onto the website.

According to Monster, the information stolen from the site did not include national insurance numbers, personal financial data or resumes.

Investigations have been conducted and corrective steps are being taken.

According to security experts, many people use the same passwords for multiple online accounts; this means that hackers could use Monster information to access emails or bank accounts.