Empty your wallet before you head for the festivals this summer

The UK is hosting some of the biggest festivals in the world, and the season is now underway. However, with hundreds of thousands of people attending the events they can turn into hotspots for fraudsters, scams and crimes. ID fraud expert Equifax is therefore urging individuals to only take the few items that they need to festivals this summer so that they can enjoy the music without the threat of falling victim to theft or identity fraud.

Although festivals are relatively safe events, theft was the most common offence reported at Reading Festival in 2016 and theft from a person was the second most common.1 Whilst it is distressing to have physical possessions stolen at a festival, if debit or credit cards are stolen the impact could be long lasting. Reports show that there were over £96m worth of losses due to lost and stolen credit cards in 2016, compared to just £44m in 2010, which highlights the growing threat of this crime.2 The risks of having a credit or debit card stolen at a festival include financial problems like having cards cloned or credit applications made in the cardholder’s name by fraudsters.

Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax comments, “Music festivals are a very exciting part of the summer, but it’s important to stay safe at all times and remember that a crime doesn’t necessarily have to take place at the actual event to leave you out of pocket. Stolen credit card details can be sold online or used to commit identity fraud at a later date. This type of crime may not become obvious until days, weeks or even months after the festival has ended. So it is vital to stay alert.

“There are a few steps that you can take to keep your financial information and identity safe at festivals. For example, put a lock on your mobile phone and download the ‘find my phone’ app so that if it does go missing you can track it down. And it makes sense to only take one bank card and very little cash rather than your whole wallet. It might even be worth taking out a prepaid card – then if the worse does happen you’ll only lose the value on the card. Contactless card fraud hit £14 million in losses last year3, so keeping your contactless spending to a minimum will help to prevent unauthorised activity.

“Only taking the few essential items you need can reduce the overall risk of theft at a festival. You will, therefore, be able to enjoy the fun, music and time spent with friends without having any concerns about becoming a victim of identity theft.”

Note:For more on festival crime statistics and security please visit the Equifax festival crime infographic.



3https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/UKFinance_2017-annual-fraud-update-FINAL.pdf - page 8


For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: equifaxbtocteam@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax Inc. (Equifax) is a global information solutions company that uses unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs 10,400 employees worldwide.

Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK.

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.