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'Few lost wallets are handed in'

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New research suggests that most people who lose a wallet are unlikely to see it again, which means they could use the extra cover provided by their home insurance for personal belongings taken outside the house.

A social experiment carried out by card and identity protection firm CPP showed that only a fifth of people who found a wallet would try to track down the rightful owner and return it.

The CPP team 'dropped' a total of 100 wallets and purses - each containing £10 in cash, as well as photographs, tickets, receipts and stamps - in five cities across the country.

The wallets also held several business cards, each with phone numbers linking to the researchers.

Out of every 10 wallets only two were handed in, and out of these just half still had the original £10.

All wallets returned in London had the cash intact, but none of those handed back in Birmingham contained any money.

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP, said: "Losing your wallet or having it stolen is a highly stressful experience and causes great inconvenience and worry.

"With the vast majority of people carrying their credit and debit cards, as well as vital personal information, in their wallets, millions of people are putting themselves at risk of fraud."

© Press Association 2010