Losing your wallet could cost you your identity, warns Capital One

20 July 2007
If you lose your wallet, it could cost you more than just your spare change, according to new research by Capital One.

The study showed that more than 46million people leave home each day carrying enough information on them to allow a thief to steal their identity.

43 million of use carry our credit and debit cards in our wallets, 24.5 million take our driving licenses with us wherever we go, and 1million keep banks statements in our wallets. Four million have medical cards, 1.5million carry payslips and 23.5 million carry old receipts, and it is very dangerous, warns Professor Martin Gill Criminologist from Perpetuity, a division of the University of Leicester.

He said: “Identity theft is a serious issue, and one that can leave us exposed to a range of crimes. Would-be thieves only need a few snippets of information to start stealing an identity.

“By getting hold of personal information such as our address, bank details and date of birth a canny criminal can begin to create chaos within a matter of hours – applying for credit cards, securing loans, buying a mobile phone, applying for benefits for example - all under the stolen identity.

Capital One is now urging people top be more careful about what they carry around in their wallets

“We’d urge everyone to have a thorough clean-out of their wallets and handbags to ensure they are only carrying the essentials, said Sanjiv Yajnik, Principal Managing Director, Capital One. “By taking a few simple steps we can protect ourselves against the risk of identity theft.”

“Anyone suffering from identity theft knows the stress and strain it can inflict, that’s why Capital One offers a named adviser for customers to provide advice and help at every stage of the resolution process. We are on-hand to help in every way possible.”

Find out more about Identity Theft