GAMING shops across Dorset have been inundated with calls after Sony warned PlayStation Network users their personal data may have been stolen.

Worried users fear credit card details, passwords and email addresses could have been taken by hackers who attacked the company’s online service.

But store bosses have told them all they can do is wait for information from Sony and remain on their guard against possible scam telephone calls and e-mails.

“Keep calm and don’t panic is the best advice I can give,” said a local store manager.

“There is nothing we can do on the ground – people just have to keep in touch with Sony and be patient while they try to work out exactly what has happened.

“We have had quite a few calls from concerned customers because it has affected a lot of people.”

PlayStation Network is Sony’s online service where users can play online or buy games and extra content.

Those who simply play will not have provided credit card details because the service is free but their email addresses and passwords may have been stolen.

Access to the service was suspended last week after Sony discovered account information was compromised between April 17 and 19. The service is still unavailable.

Sony’s head of communications for Europe, Nick Caplin, said information was “compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorised intrusion into our network”.

He added: “For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility.” Sony has been criticised by some gamers who said the company should have warned them earlier that data had been taken.

But others said they trust Sony to deal with the problem and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Ben Croucher, 22, visiting Bournemouth, said: “I use PlayStation network so it is a bit annoying that it has been suspended but I’m not too worried about the data thing – I will just be careful with emails.”

But Pippa Jones, 21, said: “I think they should have warned people as soon as it happened. Bank accounts could have been emptied in that time.”