The younger generation has its head stuck in the sand when it comes to credit card fraud

Monday 2 June 2008

The younger generation has its head stuck in the sand when it comes to credit card fraud

  • Under 50s blas when reporting card theft
  • Shredding personal information is less likely to happen amongst the young

Younger people and men are most at risk of Card and ID fraud according to research by Saga credit card. Those aged under 50 are most likely to have multiple cards, making it harder to spot unusual activity, and they also have a blas attitude to the risks of card and ID fraud.

Most people (94%) have a credit or debit card, with over four fifths (86%) saying they have up to four cards, and worryingly, more than half of them (55%) carry all of them around at once meaning their loss and risk of card fraud is compounded if they were to lose their wallet. According to APACS, card fraud rose by 25% in the past year, and the Saga study backs this up by also discovering that laissez-faire attitudes to card security are prevalent amongst younger people.

Over a fifth (22%) of 18-35 year olds use their second card less than once a year, compared to just one in six (16%) of the rest of the population who use it this infrequently. These long periods of inactivity mean card holders are less likely to spot if a card is missing or check their statements to see if it has been used fraudulently, and this age group is also most likely to have multiple cards. Moreover only one in ten (11%) of 18 to 34 year olds keep their cards in a safe place and only take them out when they need them. In comparison, a quarter (24%) of over 50s are conscientious in this way.

Of those people that have either lost or had credit/debit cards stolen in the past, again it is the under 50s that tend to be more blas. Just over two thirds (66%) say they reported the mishap as soon as they realised the cards were gone, compared to a significantly higher four fifths (78%) of over 50s. Women are generally more careful than men (75% vs 68%).

When it comes to keeping an eye on what happens to their credit cards, a massive 88% of 18-34 year olds do not object if their card is taken out of sight versus only half (45%) of over 55s who would make a fuss if their card was taken way when paying a bill.

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. There are a number of reasons why this could be happening–the younger generation are obviously more gung-ho and do not think that this kind of thing will happen to them, and also if something does ensue, they may be relying on financial institutions to reimburse them. 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."

On top of all of this, more young people are also at risk of ID fraud via use of a shared letter box which gives people outside the household the opportunity to take your mail. One in seven (15%) of 18-35 year olds have a shared letter box compared to just 3% of over 50s. Younger people are also more nonchalant about disposing of important documents that contain their personal information. Almost a quarter (23%) of under 50s do not shed bank statements and other personal information, compared to just one in ten (11%) of over 50s.


Editorial Notes:

Research carried out by Opinium Research for Saga Visa Card between 16th and 19th of May 2008 amongst a UK representative sample of 1,951 respondents.

List of countries included in the Visa Europe Region:

Andorra, France, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Belgium, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Faroe Islands, Monaco, San Marino, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Slovenia, Cyprus, Greenland, Luxembourg, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Estonia, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Turkey, Finland, Israel & Poland.

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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