Women could be at increased risk of financial fraud because they carry critical financial information in their handbags, a new report from Equifax has suggested.
As many as eight in ten women carry their credit and debit cards at all times while more than one in five women keep their National Insurance number with them.
Meanwhile, almost a third keep receipts for purchases and bank deposits in their bag.
Fraudsters often piece together individual pieces of financial information to commit identity fraud, warned Equifax spokesperson Neil Munroe.
"Women are carrying around enough information for a fraudster to apply for loans, mortgages, credit cards and bank accounts in their name," he said.
"Information is our greatest asset these days," he added.
In the first three months of 2007, the incidence of application fraud for financial products such as credit, loans and insurance increased by 21 per cent, fraud prevention service CIFAS recently revealed.
Find out more about identity fraud
© Adfero Ltd