Credit card fraud more likely to hit under 50s

05 June 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
People under 50 and men in particular are more likely to expose themselves to credit card fraud or identity theft, according to research by Saga credit card.

As most under 50s have multiple credit and debit cards, spotting fraudulent activity on their accounts is much harder. Also, with more young people living in shared accommodation and using shared letterboxes, their risk of falling victim to fraud is much higher.

Worryingly, the younger generation also seems to adopt a much more careless attitude towards the dangers of credit card fraud than the older generation, although according to APACS credit and debit card fraud increased by 25 per cent last year.

Of those questioned, 94 per cent own a credit or debit card, with 86 per cent of them saying they had up to four cards. In addition, more than half of participants admitted they carried all their cards with them at once, multiplying the risk of fraud if they were to lose their wallet.

Of those with multiple cards, over a fifth (22 per cent) of 18 to 34 year olds stated they only used their additional cards once a year, as opposed to just 16 per cent of the other age groups. Long intervals between card activities mean that it becomes less obvious if a card has been used fraudulently.

Just one in 10 cardholders between 18 and 34 keep their cards in a safe place and only get them out if they need to use them highlighting a need for credit card protection in case of loss or theft.

Of those who had lost one of their cards in the past, just 66 per cent bothered to report the loss straightaway, compared to a significantly higher 78 per cent of over 50s who took action immediately. The study also found that women were more cautious than men.

Also, the majority of 18 to 34 year olds would not object if their card was taken out of sight when paying in a restaurant or shop (88 per cent), whereas only half of the over 55s would let that happen without a fuss.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga Group Ltd commented: "Our study shows a worrying trend that men and younger people are generally less concerned about ID fraud than their older counterparts, and are not taking the steps to prevent fraudulent activity."

He recommended: "However, prevention is always better than cure, and we urge everyone to be cautious when using and handing over credit cards to strangers because fraud is on the increase."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd