Residents in the north-east have been warned about the dangers of identity theft after wheelie bins were stolen or moved in the region.
Instances of bins being displaced from their storage area and contents being rummaged through have been reported to police in Garioch.
Officers are concerned that this has been done in order to gain personal details so that identity theft can be carried out.
Criminals can use information such as someone’s name, date of birth, bank details or current and previous addresses to commit fraud.
They can open bank accounts, obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits or order goods in your name.
Fraudsters can also take over your existing accounts, take out mobile phone contracts or obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.
A statement from police warned north-east residents to “ensure you safely dispose of all items of mail/paperwork by shredding or burning to prevent this happening to you.”