You are here: Home - Credit Cards & Loans - News -

Brits’ overloaded wallets leave them vulnerable to fraud

Written by: Emma Lunn
People are taking unnecessary risks by carrying several items containing sensitive personal information, according to Equifax.

A survey of more than 2,000 people by the credit reference agency found that nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of Brits carry at least two debit or credit cards in their purse or wallet, and nearly one in four (38 per cent) carry three or more cards.

Three in five people (60 per cent) carry a debit or credit card and their driving licence, making their purse or wallet “a prize draw” for fraudsters.

It takes just three key pieces of information to steal a person’s identity: their name, address and date of birth.

Driving licenses contain all the required information, so great swathes of the UK population are leaving themselves hugely vulnerable to becoming a victim of fraud, especially pertinent given the 11 per cent year-on-year rise in muggings reported by the Office for National Statistics.

Once someone’s identity is compromised, fraudsters will attempt to access the victim’s bank accounts, as well as potentially taking out loans, credit cards, and mobile phones contracts in their name.

Worryingly, 2 per cent of both 18 to 24-year-olds and 45 to 54-year-olds carry a list of passwords in their purse or wallet, with 1 per cent of the male population (more than 255,000 people) admitting to doing so.

Keith McGill, head of fraud at Equifax, said: “In an era where fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated methods, there’s a clear and present threat of identity theft for all of us. We can never truly eliminate the risk but by taking sensible measures, the level of threat can be greatly reduced.

“People are taking unnecessary risks by carrying items containing sensitive personal information such as driving licenses, National Insurance cards, and even written lists of passwords, making them walking targets for would-be fraudsters. We urge them to think carefully about what they take out with them on a day-to-day basis, and only carry what they really need.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Seven ways to get help with energy bills this winter

We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system. When this kick...

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week