Beginning in 2003, Cardbeat periodically featured a series of questions about consumers’ perceptions and experiences with identity theft and fraudulent activities. The questions were repeated several times since then. Since 2006, many States enacted security “freeze” laws and identity theft protection bills that require institutions to notify consumers when their personal information has been compromised. In the light of several well-publicized data security breaches at vendors in the past year, this topic, again, has moved to the forefront for retailers and credit card issuers.
In this issue, we once again queried consumers about identity theft and fraudulent activities, focusing our comparisons primarily on the survey results from December 2007. We asked respondents about their understanding of identity theft (before and after the information below was given); their personal experiences and expectations of future likelihood of identity theft/fraudulent activities happening to them; whether (and how) their perceptions may impact their shopping and card usage habits; and what measures they take to protect their personal information. We expanded the scope of the previous surveys to also explore consumers’ expectations about mass credit card data compromise and their usage of fee-based fraud alert or monitoring services.
Data included in this report were gathered using a web survey administered to 522 credit card users in the U.S. during December 2009.
1. A Note to Readers
2. Highlights from Study
2a. Executive Summary
2b. Credit Card Concerns and Consumer Understanding of Identity Theft
2c. Scale of Identity Theft Issue
2d. Scale of Fraudulent Activity Issue
2e. Expected Responses to a Mass Data Compromise
2f. Role of Responsible Parties With Identity Theft
2g. Satisfaction With Responsible Parties' Actions