‘Scammers’ are buying second-hand laptops to carry out identity fraud using personal information which the previous owners believed had been wiped clean. A recent investigation revealed that fraudsters can retrieve passwords, bank statements, e-mail accounts and bank log-ins from computers which had been ‘formatted’. A spokesman from Get Safe Online commented “This information would be like gold dust to a fraudster, ‘formatting’ a computer is like ripping out the contents page of a book – all the chapters are still there, it’s just harder to find. If you want to be totally sure that no-one can get anything off your hard drive, the best thing to do is take it out of the computer before you sell it and smash it to pieces”.  PLEASE BEAR THIS IN MIND WHEN SELLING YOUR COMPUTER OR OTHER DEVICE WHICH IS CAPABLE OF STORING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION