Public urged to be cautious of people posing as journalists asking for personal information

Stock photo.

MEMBERS of the public have been advised by Limerick Gardaí to be wary of strangers who come up to them in the streets asking for personal details under false pretences.

This follows reports of people approaching to members of the public while out in parts of Limerick City and County claiming to be journalists and asking for information.

Recently, a man was outside a business premises on the outskirts of Limerick city when he was approached by another man claiming to be a journalist and asking if he could take the man’s picture.

The man agreed in the moment, but later on that day was wondering why his picture had been taken and by whom, as the man had not provided any identifying documentation.

Crime Prevention Officer at Henry Street Garda Station, Sergeant Ber Leetch, said that she would be highly concerned about identity theft in a situation like this.

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“Afterwards, the man wondered why his photograph was taken. I was wondering the same and the only concern I have is of identity theft.

“That alleged journalist did not show any identification. He could have been anybody. He could have asked the man for his name and address and date of birth.”

She advised anyone who was approached in this way to ask for identification and, if in doubt, that a genuine journalist will be able to provide them with some sort of proof that they are who they say they are.

Sgt Leetch also urged people to be careful about who they give their details to, as scams can happen in person as well as online or over the phone.

“Some people will pass over details without thinking of their safety,” Sgt Leetch said.

“Do not give any personal details to anybody. And remember, a scam can happen in person, not just online or over the phone.”