Britons careless with credit card pins


A new study by Which? has revealed that one in 10 Britons (or 3 million credit card holders) write down their pin or pass it on to a close friend or family member. In addition, a third were found to keep this information in their handbag or wallet, with a similar proportion keeping a note of their code somewhere at home.

The consumer watchdog's survey of 1,045 adults also revealed that more than four-fifths believe that they would receive a refund if they fall victim to a street credit card crime. However, Which? noted that providers will only agree to this if they are satisfied that the cardholder has not behaved carelessly. The majority are likely to place making a note of a pin number in this category. "The results show that too many consumers are putting their finances in jeopardy by not taking simple precautions," said Which? credit card expert Martyn Saville. "Writing down your pin is like leaving the door open when you leave the house."

Avoiding being targeted
Britons can take a number of steps to ensure that their pin numbers do not fall into the hands of a credit card criminal. Although individuals with several cards should not have the same four-digit code for all of them, picking something easy to remember for each one is well worth the effort. As Mark Bowerman, of the UK Cards Administration, told Which?: "There's no reason for anyone to have a pin that they can't remember. You should change it to something more memorable, which you can do at most cash machines." By following this advice and other well-known tips, such as ensuring the pin is entered discreetly while withdrawing cash, Britons will hopefully be able to minimise their chances of suffering the agony of credit card fraud.

Published: 5 May 2010