Lost credit card claims rise 19 percent at end of 2010

The number of consumers who reported their credit cards lost at the end of last year rose considerably compared to the rest of the year, a new report indicates.

According to PNC Bank, lost or stolen credit card claims among their customers jumped 19 percent in November and December 2010. Mark Ford, consumer credit and debit card expert for PNC Bank, said the sharp rise may be an indication that the stress of the holiday shopping season can cause consumers to be forgetful at times.

"Holiday shopping can be a hectic experience," said Ford. "Losing a credit or debit card, whether by theft or by accident, is often a preventable problem."

To avoid misplacing them, the financial services organization recommends never leaving a wallet or purse unattended. In addition, when credit cards are handed to a retailer for a transaction, consumers should be sure that they see it being used at all times.

Anyone who loses their credit cards should review their financial statements immediately to ensure charges haven't been made without their knowledge. These could adversely impact their credit scores if consumers are unaware of them and they aren't addressed.