A spate of crimes involving contactless bank cards has prompted Lancashire Police to issue a warning.
Officers say a number of thefts from cars have resulted in bank accounts being milked by offenders.
A spokesman said: “Recently a number of crimes have been reported to the police involving the theft of handbags from cars that were left on show.
“It appears the cars have had the window smashed and the bag stolen just to get hold of the card.
“The offenders have gone on to use the contactless cards at different shops and stores, buying goods to the sum of £30 each time resulting in financial loss in a very short time.”
Police say account holders should be aware of the vulnerability of contactless cards and take extra care with their security.
“Never leave them in a handbag or wallet in your unattended car even if it is locked,” added the spokesman. At home, keep them in a safe place together with car keys, mobile phones and tablets.”