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Feb 09,2007
Despite identity theft concerns, consumers not taking preventive action
by Bend Weekly News Sources

New research shows identity theft tops consumer concerns about crime

Identity theft remains a top concern for consumers although they are not taking immediate steps to prevent it, according to new data released this week by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). According to an NCPC survey conducted by Harris Interactive, identity theft and credit card fraud top the list of crimes about which adult Americans are extremely concerned.

This finding further supports the latest information from the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Complaint Data report in which identity theft topped the list of consumer complaints for the seventh year in a row. Yet, people with high levels of concern about identity theft are no more knowledgeable about the issue than those who are less concerned (57 percent versus 56 percent of other respondents) about how to prevent it.

Identity theft outranks concern over such crimes as credit card fraud, burglary, and robbery. The NCPC survey of 813 adults, conducted by Harris Interactive in November 2006, also found that

  --  Two-thirds of adult females (66 percent) see identity theft as a major

      problem, compared with 47 percent of adult males.

  --  People who feel increasingly vulnerable on the Internet are more

      likely than their counterparts to see identity theft as a major

      problem (80 percent of those who feel more vulnerable than a year ago

      compared with just about half of those who are less afraid or feel

      unchanged about Internet vulnerability.

  --  Fourteen percent of respondents report that they have at sometime in

      their lives been victims of identity theft -- which represents over 40

      million adult Americans.

  --  Twenty-four percent of respondents knew someone who has been an ID

      theft victim.

  --  Those who know ID theft victims are significantly more likely to be

      most concerned about that crime -- 31 percent versus 24 percent of all

      other adults.

  --  People could name a variety of preventive actions that might prove

      helpful:  shredding (destroying) sensitive personal documents,

      avoiding use of Social Security numbers, taking care not to give out

      personal information on the phone (including credit card and Social

      Security numbers), avoiding giving out computer or other passwords,

      and refusing to give out personal information via the Web, among


  --  The African American community appears to be disproportionately

      victimized by ID theft:  31 percent report being victims compared with

      14 percent of the population overall, and 45 percent know family

      members or close friends who are victims, compared with 25 percent of

      the general population.

NCPC, a national nonprofit organization known best for its icon McGruff the Crime Dog, has built consumer awareness of ways to prevent ID theft through a series of TV, radio, and print public service advertisements launched in June 2005, along with a consumer handbook for ID theft prevention, available free online.

Handbook: Preventing Identity Theft - A Guide for Consumers

Brochure: Identity Theft
1755 times read

Related news
Americans at risk of financial crime - Even in their own households by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Feb 28,2007

Lawmakers propose new Social Security card by UPI posted on Feb 12,2008

Former Bend Man Sentenced in Identity Theft ‘Fast Track’ Program by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on Oct 02,2006

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 10 votes)

  • The reason why most people are not taking action is because there is a lot of misinfomation out there on the subject. Because most people are only aware of Financial/Credit Identity Theft, they either think if they have bad credit it cannot happen to them or that their bank will take care of it for them and that is simply wrong. That is because ther are four other types of Identity theft that make up the majority of the problem. The other types are: Driver's License ID Theft Social Security ID Theft Medical ID Theft Character/Criminal ID Theft It those areas that affect people far worse than Financial/Credit ID theft and those have nothing to do with those 17 digits on that piece of plastic or the numbers your bank knows you by. If you want to know more about this, feel free to e-mail me at brndonjking@yahoo.com or go to the following website: www.brandonjking.info
  • (Posted on May 30, 2008, 10:11 am brandon king)

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