‘Thwart the scammers by protecting personal data’

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Police are urging Larne residents to guard against identity theft by taking steps to ensure that personal details do not fall into the wrong hands.

The public have been advised to be vigilant when discarding anything that contains personal information, including bank or credit card statements. The PSNI have said they received several reports recently of people being contacted and told they have been the victim of identity fraud.

“After further investigations, this is believed to be a scam and enquiries are continuing,” said a spokesman, adding that the callers asked their victims to produce a crime reference number.

Scammers need to obtain only sparse personal details, whether by tricking people on the phone, or by stealing data.

“Personal information can be used by fraudsters to steal your identity and commit crime,” said the PSNI spokesman.

“Your information can be obtained from old documents such as bank statements, credit card bills and debit card receipts among others.

Everyone needs to be very careful when storing or disposing of personal information, including details of bank or building society accounts, passports, driving licenses, credit card statements, and receipts from debit card purchases.

And if moving house, remember to have your mail redirected and the relevant people informed of your change of address.

“Identify theft is a serious matter and people should review how they look after records of their personal details and should never disclose such information to any unauthorised persons. Remember, be careful what you do with your personal information and who you give it to.”

Anyone who has concerns, or information about this type of crime can contact the local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000. PSNI crime prevention advice is free.