Unused store and credit cards increase ID fraud risk

30 June 2006
According to new research from MyCallcredit, one in three credit or store cards held in the UK is no longer in active use, which could leave the account open to abuse.

The credit report service says that 31.5 million people in the UK hold an average of 2.4 personal credit or charge cards each, which leaves a lot of unused accounts dormant and therefore at risk.

"A fraudster can quite easily use [a dormant lending account] to rack up debts in someone else's name without fear of early detection," said Callcredit director Mel Mitchley.

"The risk is not just with existing credit facilities, it's also with ones offered to people through direct mail," she continued.

"If you've been pre-approved for a credit or store card and you throw that information in the bin without shredding it you're handing a fraudster an open invitation to impersonate you and get credit in your name."

Ms Mitchley said that the problem could be avoided, or at least mean ID theft would be caught earlier, if people kept a close eye on their credit record and were vigilant in shredding documents containing personal information regarding loans or credit card applications.

To read more about credit cards, click here.

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