‘Tis the season to be wary as number of lost and stolen cards peaks during festive season

Nationwide warns customers to keep their cards safe and lookout for suspect ATMs

20 November 2014

Shoppers are being warned to stay alert and routinely check their balance this Christmas as Nationwide Building Society figures highlight a festive spike in the number of lost and stolen credit cards.

The average customer spent approximately £500 last December, according to data released by the Society. However, soaring purchases led to an increase of more than a third (36%) in the number of cards reported lost and stolen over the Christmas period compared to the summer period1.

This rise is due to more people losing their cards while out shopping or, worse still, having details skimmed at ATMs or stolen by opportunist fraudsters who have a greater chance of success during the busiest time of year.

John Crossley, Nationwide Head of Credit Cards, said: “Paying on a credit card can help spread the cost of Christmas. However, customers could find their plans put on hold if they can’t find their cards or worse still the card is stolen.

“Criminals target ATMs at this time of year because of the increase in use, tied with the fact that in the holidays, people are much less likely to check their balances. This is why we would advise that customers check their accounts regularly and shield their PINs at ATMs and at the counter in order to limit their chances of being defrauded.”

Beyond the high street, Nationwide is advising customers shopping online to ensure they are using genuine websites or risk being left disappointed on Christmas morning if their gifts don’t arrive. However, should the worst happen, customers may be able to reclaim money back through the Section 75 rule under the Consumer Credit Act. If, for example, the item is faulty or the goods are not received the credit card provider may be jointly liable for the loss suffered by the customer. This could make it easier for customers to get their money back for items costing between £100 and £30,000. Nationwide data shows there was close to a 50 per cent increase in the number of Section 75 claims received in January compared to December2.

Nationwide’s John Crossley added: “Section 75 is a very valuable rule that should provide peace of mind. Should the goods not arrive or be faulty, then there is a good chance of getting your money back.”

Nationwide offers the following hints and tips to customers in order to protect them and their money:

  • Check your account regularly
  • Shield your PIN when using your card in public
  • Never release your PIN to anyone, even if they claim to be from your bank or building society
  • Take care of your card and keep it in a safe place
  • Your financial services provider will never ring you and ask you to move your money
  • Never let your card out of your sight, such as behind a bar
  • Be vigilant over the websites you use and look for the padlock symbol as a sign of authenticity

Notes to Editors

1 Comparison between Christmas Period (November, December 2013 and January 2014) and summer period (June, July and August 2014).
2 Comparison between number of claims in December 2013 and January 2014.

About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as the second largest savings and mortgage provider in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 17,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 17,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.