Advice regarding Identity theft in Ireland

Sue Ellen

Read an interesting U.K. article on identity theft (see attached files) where it would appear to be a much bigger problem than in Ireland. Is it only a matter of time before we suffer as much?

What's the best advice for anyone in Ireland who suddenly find themselves being the victim of this horrible crime? Report to Gardai and relevant banks? Get a copy of your credit rating in case it has been affected? Check that your post has not been affected?

Google shows this and this RTE article looks good if a little dated at nearly 2 years old. I don't see any immediate advice on

Any other sound advice out there?


Banking and Payments Federation give this advice to avoid becoming a victim

Identity Theft
Tips to Keep Your Identity Safe from Thieves
Criminals commit identify theft by obtaining key pieces of personal information, such as social security numbers, driver license numbers or banking details in order to pose as someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit or to purchase goods and services using the victims’ name. Identity theft can also provide a thief with false credentials to take over the victims bank account or to make applications in their name for new bank accounts, cards or loans.
One of the biggest problems with identity theft is that the crimes committed by the fraudster who has stolen the ID, are often attributed to the victim. If your identity is stolen, you may have difficulty applying for loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is sorted out. You should carefully guard any personal information that might allow a thief to impersonate you.
  • Keep important personal documents, plastic cards and cheque books in a safe and secure place. Keep cheque books and cards separately. We consider valuable documents to include your passport, birth certificate, driving licence, plastic cards, card receipts, financial statements and even utility bills. Without access to this information a criminal will find it very difficult to pretend to be you.
  • Dispose of financial statements, card receipts and other personal documents with care. Rip up or preferably shred any such documents before putting them in a bin.
  • Always check bank statements and check receipts against your statements carefully. If you find an unfamiliar transaction, contact your card issuer or bank immediately.
  • Guard your cards. Don’t let them out of your sight when shopping. Report lost and stolen cards or suspected fraudulent use of your card account to your bank or building society immediately. Keep a note of your card issuer’s telephone number so that you can report lost or stolen cards as soon as you notice they are missing.
  • Share personal information unless you are entirely confident that you know with whom you are dealing. Be particularly cautious if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank or from the police. When confirming security information, your bank would only ever ask for specific characters within your password and not your whole password. Ask callers for their phone number, check it and call them back. Also, be wary when responding to e-mails requesting information about you. If in doubt, ask for proof of identity or undertake your own checks.
  • Disclose your card PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone.
Other Tips
  • Be aware that your post is valuable information in the wrong hands. If you fail to receive a bank statement, card statement, utility bill or other financial information, be sure to contact the relevant bank or service to confirm that one was sent out.
  • How easy would it be for somebody to intercept your post? If you receive a credit card application and you don’t use it, rip it up before disposing of it.
  • If you move home, make sure you contact your bank and all other organisations and provide them with details of your new address (the Post Office redirects post on request).
  • Aim to only use your password and credit card number while using a secure connection on a website only and not via an email, which can be intercepted.

Brendan Burgess

Hi Sue Ellen

Interesting. I read about it a lot in the UK papers and it often features on BBC radio programmes.

But it seems less common here. Credit cards are occasionally misused, but other than that, I have seen very few reports on it.



Frequent Poster
Hi Brendan,

My view on that would be 'give it time' or should I say 'give them time' :(
My guess (and it's only that) is that it's much less common in Ireland for a few reasons:

  1. There are economies of scale for crime too and a smaller market and not worth targeting;
  2. The €40 stamp duty fee on credit cards means very few people have more than one;
  3. Historically, identity verification controls for opening accounts were stricter after the legislation due to Veronica Guerin's murder;
  4. There are nearly 50% more ATMs per capita in the UK, so more potential for skimming machines.


Frequent Poster
We are told to rip up statements, but when I recently sold my house, the solicitor require statements and bill's going back years to prove to the revenue that it was my principle residence


Registered User
We are told to rip up statements, but when I recently sold my house, the solicitor require statements and bill's going back years to prove to the revenue that it was my principle residence
Online? I can get years of statements for bank, electricity, gas etc.


Statements can be scanned and still used for evidence of PPR.

Utilities are well used to requests for copies of such statements also.


Frequent Poster
We are told to rip up statements, but when I recently sold my house, the solicitor require statements and bill's going back years to prove to the revenue that it was my principle residence
You are advised to shred documents before you dispose of them, not to destroy all your personal documents! You should retain financial documents for at least seven years and store them securely, preferably in a fire proof box or cabinet.