Wellies and credit cards

Posted by Jessica Searle in Identity Theft on 11 June 2013 - Jessica worked as a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile until 2013

From Glasto to Creamfields, this year’s festivals are back. But revellers beware... there's not just a risk to your shoes, beverages, and in some instances dignity... but also your identity!

It is possible that with only 'three items of personal identification [required] to be able to steal an individual's identity', this summer's festivals could cost you more than just the price of the ticket and your beer money.

At festivals, and other summer events, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and let you guard down. There are a series of pointers which can help you to minimise the risk.

Firstly, only take the necessities. Do you really need all of your credit and debit cards? If you are going in a group why not consider combining funds? Either way, keep all items close upon your person – possibly in a bag with a zip – and only carry the amount of cash that is really required, so not the entirety of your student loan!

If you do take a pack of credit cards, keeping them in separate pockets or swapping one with your friend ensures that if one is lost or stolen you still have access to your money. Having the phone numbers of your bank written down somewhere will also mean that cards can quickly be cancelled.

With the abilities of smart phones increasing at an alarming rate, the information stored on one of these little devices can also give scammers all the details needed to start buying goods or signing up to services in your name.

The same can be said for tablets and other, similar devices. Keeping them password protected can be your first line of defence.

According to research by Halifax, 60% of festival-goers will take expensive technology with them, but only 22% will have these covered by insurance.

Although fairly obvious, try not to leave valuables in unattended tents or cars, possibly using lock-up areas if provided by the festival organisation. Or if not, even in your slumber storing items at the bottom of your sleeping bag.

Martyn Foulds of Halifax says, “Many of us wouldn’t consider heading off on a foreign holiday without insurance cover these days. But when it comes to festivals – particularly in the UK – people are less likely to check if they are fully insured, just as they should when abroad.”

So it is advisable to double check your contents insurance, or possibly take out travel insurance for these little trips. Before leaving taking pictures of the items you are taking, and storing them on a device which will not be coming with you – keeping receipts as proof of purchase can also help to speed up any claim.

In the event of such a loss, immediately reporting the item as lost or stolen to the police, and requesting a crime reference number will aid you in any claim.

But mostly importantly, have a good time, making the most of the Great British weather this festival season... and remember to break out those wellies!!

Jessica Searle is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile and has a degree in English Literature from the University of Exeter. You can contact her at jessica.searle@checkmyfile.com

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