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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Eight million chip'n'PIN pals at risk of ID fraud

Press release: 27/08/2009

One in five Brits tell friends and family their PIN numbers, leaving themselves open to chip-and-PIN fraud.

New research from LV= home insurance has revealed that in the past 12 months, over eight million adults [1] have given their chip and pin details to someone else to make a purchase on their behalf or get money from a cash machine for them – with a quarter (24%) of these falling victim to fraud. One in three Brits (34%) say they have been asked to pay for goods or take money out on someone else’s behalf.

Experts warn that by sharing pin numbers with others, card users are exposing themselves to fraud and seriously weakening the security of the chip and pin system.

The research shows that ID fraud 'hotspots' such as websites, petrol stations and cash points are among the most common locations for people to use friends' and families' cards, with the most popular ‘pin pals’ being spouses or partners, although children (20%), parents (17%) and friends (15%) are also commonly relied upon to make purchases on other people’s behalf.

Businesses themselves need to pay closer attention as 98% of people who have used someone else’s card said they were not caught, leaving retailers open to being targeted by fraudsters.

To help assist the growing number of people affected by ID fraud, LV=’s home insurance policy now includes free access to an Identity Fraud Helpline, staffed by specially trained expert advisors who will explain what to do if you think you may have been a victim of identity fraud.

The chip and pin system was introduced in 2004 to help increase security and reduce fraud but it would appear it has had the opposite affect with over one in ten [2] card owners saying they are more lax with their details because of the system.

ID fraudsters can quickly clock up many thousands of pounds of purchases by cloning a card and banks may refuse any kind of refund if the card owner has shared their pin with others.

This is because in the event of ID fraud, card users sharing details may be considered to have acted ‘without reasonable care’ by banks who will then refuse to pay out to cover stolen funds.

By far the worst offenders are younger people with over one in three (36%) of the under 35s admitting they have asked someone else to use one of their cards.

The most common location for ‘borrowed’ cards to be used is at a cash machine. For those people passing on their card details for someone to buy something on their behalf almost one in ten (9%) have told someone the details over the phone, 7% have written them down, 6% have given them face to face in a public place and a few have even sent the details to someone in an email or text message.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: “It’s concerning to see the numbers of card-holders who are so lax with their card details, even if they are sharing them with their friends and family. We would strongly urge all card-users not to tell anyone their pin number. Not only does it undermine the security of your account and increases the risk of ID fraud but also card holders could end up out of pocket if they are found to have shared their card details.

“We’d urge any customers who think they might have become a victim of identity fraud, to call our Identity Fraud Helpline for help and support.”

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[1] According to the research, 20% of card holders have given out their card and pin number to someone else. 85% of these have done so in the past year. According to the Office of National Statistics, the resident population of the UK is 52,042,000. Therefore 52,042,000 x 0.20 = 10,408,400 and 10,408,400 x 0.85 = 8,847,140

[2] Optimum Research


LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

LV= employs over 3,800 people, serves around 3.6 million customers and members, and manages around £7 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK’s largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008, total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

The research was carried out by Optimum between 22nd -26th June 2009 among an online sample of 3,002 UK adults. Results were weighted to be representative of the UK population.