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

Unused credit cards expose holders to greater fraud risk

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Brits with unused or emergency credits cards are twice as likely to fall victim to identity theft or fraud, research reveals.

One in three Brits has at least one credit card that isn’t used, whether it’s been slung in drawers, lying at the bottom of a bag or lost somewhere in the home.

It’s estimated there are as many as 40 million forgotten credit cards, with those being scammed seeing an average loss of £1,100 according to Credit Karma.

It said credit cards are typically forgotten if they’re only used in emergencies, once the 0% interest deal is up or if the account was just taken out for a balance transfer.

And as the cards are unused, it means holders aren’t checking their balance or statement regularly so they won’t see if someone is spending on their card.

One in five credit card users admit they don’t know how to close down their unused accounts, and a similar number aren’t sure how to check their balances or even how many credit accounts they have open.

Akansha Nath, credit expert at Credit Karma, said: “There can be some advantages to having open lines of credit that you’re not using day-to-day – many people have a card ‘in case of emergency’ and having a long-standing relationship with a credit provider can make you more attractive to some lenders, provided you’re managing any payments.

“However, these forgotten cards could also pose a risk to your financial health, as they can be used fraudulently without you realising, and make it hard to keep track of payments, both of which could impact your credit score. It’s worth taking the time to audit all of your open lines of credit by looking regularly at your credit report. This gives you an overview of all the agreements in your name, any activity associated with them and which ones you might be able to close.”

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.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

It’s time to get your finances in shape for summer, and moving your cash savings to a higher paying deal is ...

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

The experts’ guide to sorting out your personal finances in 2021

From opting to ‘low spend’ months to imposing your own ‘cooling-off period’, industry experts reveal t...

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.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
One in five people find error in their credit report

One in five people who checked their credit report found an error with a fifth not bothering to get it...