Identity fraudsters are searching through household bins looking for personal details to use to their advantage, warns a grandmother-of-two.
Carole Roebuck Mitchell says her grey bin has been targeted three times now, along with everyone else’s on Barnes Road where she lives.
Bin bags have not only been rifled through but the grey bins have been tipped upside down and rubbish strewn everywhere by the thieves.
Carole said: “We don’t leave any personal stuff in the bin but there are plenty of people who do. You can tell that this is what they are looking for as they are only going through paperwork.
“It’s just a mess. Our rubbish is collected on a Monday and most people put their bins out the night before. The binmen refuse to take the rubbish unless it’s in the bin.
“We are concerned about identity fraud because we have been victims of it before a few years ago.
“We used to shred paperwork but we burn it now. However, other people might not have that option.”
Carole, 60, who lives with her husband Gary and her granddaughter and grandson who have special needs, said: “The neighbours are talking about clubbing together to get security gates for each end of the alleyway to stop it happening.”
A spokesperson for Lancaster City Council said: “The council has received a number of reports over the last few months from residents in the West End of Morecambe reporting that their bins appear to have been looked through during the night.
“On receiving reports and when necessary we have visited the area to clean up the resulting mess.
“Although there is no evidence to date as to what people might be looking for, as a precautionary measure, we would urge all residents to shred personal documents which might lead to identify theft before placing them in their bin/box.
“We would also advise that they leave their bins out for collection before 7am on the actual morning of collection to prevent people from having access to their bins during the night.”
Sgt Lindsay Brown of Morecambe Police said: “We are aware of this happening, also in the Brook Road area of Morecambe, but we have been unable to catch anyone yet.
“It shows the state of things at the minute. It could be that people are looking for scrap clothing, which can be sold for £1.50 a kilo.
“There is also the issue of identity theft. We would advise people not to put items in the bin with personal details on, including phone numbers, addresses and bank account details.”
Anyone with information should contact Sgt Ade Knowles on 101.