AAA Consumer Pulse Survey: One in Three Floridians Victim of Identity Theft in Past Two Years

By  //  October 12, 2017

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identity fraud occurs every two minutes

ABOVE VIDEO: Fraud expert Frank Abagnale, the real man from the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” offers 10 easy steps to beat identity thieves.

(AAA) — In the wake of several high-profile data breaches, consumers are concerned about the possibility of their personal and financial information landing in the wrong hands.

Nearly one in three Floridians (31 percent) have been the victim of identity theft or fraud in the past two years, according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey.

The most popular crimes committed by identity thieves include fraudulent credit card use, ATM withdrawals, and tax refund theft. In 2016, $16 billion w as stolen from 15.4 million identity fraud victims in the U.S. (Javelin Strategy & Research, 2016 Identity Fraud Study).

AAA Consumer Pulse Identity Theft Study

Identity theft is taking its toll on consumers. AAA found that the majority of Floridians share concerns about becoming victims of identity theft (35 percent very concerned, 55 percent somewhat concerned).

These concerns have lead to low levels of trust in institutions we provide our personal information to on a frequent basis. Nearly half of (47 percent) Floridians have low levels of trust that gas stations would keep their information secure.

One in four consumers have low trust that ATMs (24 percent) can keep banking information out of the hands of identity thieves.

When asked about shopping, one in five (20 percent) Floridians have a low levels of trust that online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores (18 percent) would keep their identity secure.

While over half (58 percent) of Floridians said they only have chip-based credit cards, a majority of shoppers (78 percent) reported they had shopped at stores in the past 3 months that did not have an activated or working chip card reader.

Identity theft is taking its toll on consumers. AAA found that the majority of Floridians share concerns about becoming victims of identity theft (35 percent very concerned, 55 percent somewhat concerned).

Additional findings from the report showed that Floridians are taking steps to prevent identity theft:

  • Monitor bank accounts/credit card transactions (76 percent)
  • Receive email alerts on suspicious transactions (62 percent)
  • Check credit score (50 percent)

Of the 31 percent that had been affected by identity fraud, they also took steps to prevent identity fraud from happening again in the future:

  • Self-monitoring of credit/accounts (55 percent)
  • Froze or cancelled specific cards/accounts (51 percent)
  • Enrolled in credit monitoring system (32 percent)

“Every two minutes another consumer becomes a victim of identity fraud, “ said Josh Carrasco, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “It is vital for consumers to take steps now to keep their financial and personal information secure. One way to prevent identity theft is to sign up for a credit monitoring service. AAA members can sign up for ProtectMyID free of charge.”

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AAA Tips To Prevent Identity Theft

  1. Sign up for a credit monitoring service. AAA members receive essential ProtectMyID coverage – a $79 value – for free. Included in this member benefit are daily credit monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, identity theft insurance, and lost wallet assistance. Go to AAA.com/IdentityTheft for more information.
  2. Review your credit card statement, bank account, and credit report regularly. Be on the lookout for any unauthorized transactions and report them immediately.
  3. Do not respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (this includes your name, birthdate, social security number and bank account number) over the phone, by mail, or online.
  4. Securely store your debit, credit and medical card information. Select PIN numbers that are easy for you to remember and don’t let anyone else see the number when you are entering it.
  5. Do not carry any record of your PIN number in your wallet. Shred credit card statements, receipts, or any medical records containing sensitive information before disposing of them. Also, ensure your credit cards and debit have been updated to include EMV or “chip” technology.

About the AAA Consumer Pulse Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Florida from September 28, 2016 – October 6, 2016. A total of 400 residents completed the survey. Survey results have a margin of error of ± 4.9 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida. Click here to read the complete survey.

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