80 percent of Americans say they are concerned about identity theftMortgagePress.comBankrate Inc., Federal Trade Commission, Internet, online banking
Bankrate Inc. released the
findings of a national poll which found that eight out of 10
Americans are concerned about their identity being stolen.
Furthermore, over one-third (34 percent) of Americans know someone
who has been a victim of identity theft. The poll is included in
this month's segment of Bankrate's Financial Literacy Series:
Protect your identity. To view Bankrate's Financial Literacy
2008—Guide to Building Personal Wealth, go to www.bankrate.com/financialliteracy.
According to the Federal Trade
Commission, there were approximately 800,000 consumer
complaints filed in 2007. Of those complaints, 32 percent involved
identity theft. The total dollar amount in reported fraud losses
was over $1.2 billion.
"Identity theft is a growing concern among Americans, but there
are steps consumers can take to protect themselves," said Julie
Bandy, editor in chief at Bankrate.com. "Bankrate's guide prepares
consumers with the advice they need to keep their assets safe and
protect their identity."
Other key findings of the poll include:
•Of the 77 percent of respondents that have Internet
service, 36 percent avoid Internet shopping.
•Eight out of 10 Americans express worry about having their
•One-third of Americans (34 percent) know someone who has
been a victim of identity theft. In the Northeast, it's closer to
one in four (28 percent), while in the West almost one in two
people (44 percent) know an ID theft victim.
•Respondents who reported themselves as concerned about
identity theft were more likely to shred documents, (82 percent),
versus those who are not concerned (52 percent). Notably, people
who are uneasy about identity theft were much more likely to keep
tabs on their credit reports. Fifty-three percent of concerned
folks do it versus 30 percent of the unconcerned variety.
•Women (83 percent) were significantly more likely to
destroy sensitive information than men (69 percent).
•Only two out of 10 Americans (19 percent) have used the new
credit freeze services to protect their credit.
•The Internet tops the list of ID theft anxiety-instigators,
with 45 percent of people fearing online fraud the most, while 25
percent rank leaks from businesses as their primary concern.
•Out of those who answered the survey, 77 percent have
Internet access. Of those with Internet, 36 percent say they try to
protect themselves from fraud by not shopping on the Internet.
Nearly half (48 percent) avoid online banking.
For more information, visit www.bankrate.com.