Millions could be exposing themselves to ID fraud by failing to cancel their unwanted credit cards with lenders.
Alert provider MyCallCredit is warning consumers that merely cutting cards up does not guarantee that personal details cannot be obtained.
With some 70 million credit cards currently in circulation among 30 million adults, director Alison Nicholson said: "Each credit cardholder has an average 2.3 cards.
"If just one in ten of those cardholders has a card they don't use that's three million people who are needlessly increasing their chance of becoming a victim of ID fraud."
If credit cards are not used for a period of time they become inactive, but they still remain live until the expiry date if the lender is not informed of a wish to cancel.
New cards are usually issued automatically, but holders of an inactive account will not necessarily receive a monthly statement.
Consumers could become victims of fraud without realising, while MyCallCredit estimates it takes up to 200 hours and could cost £8,000 to rectify the situation later.
MyCallCredit advises writing to lenders to cancel unwanted facilities as soon as possible.
"ID fraud is one of the fastest growing types of fraud in the UK but people can protect themselves from the inconvenience and cost of being a victim by simple administration of their finances," said Ms Nicholson. To read more about credit card protection, click here.
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