LowCards Exclusive Study: Identity Theft Concerns Shifting Shopping Habits of Americans
Identity theft has become a major concern for the American consumer and is now having a significant impact on their shopping habits. These are the findings of an exclusive survey conducted on over 400 random individuals by LowCards.com.
Nearly 46% of the respondents were more concerned about identity theft today compared to a year ago, and another 48% were equally concerned.
Over 52% of people said they shy away from stores that have experienced a credit card data breach. The fear of identity theft is also impacting online sales, with over one-quarter of respondents (26%) saying they now limit their online transactions due to identity theft concerns.
Most consumers (56%) said they were taking active measures to protect themselves from identity theft. Nearly four in ten respondents (38%) claim they are checking their credit report more often than they did a year ago. One-quarter of those surveyed are now using cash for more transactions.
The survey reveals consumers are more concerned about the security of debit cards compared to credit cards: 29% of respondents are using debit cards for fewer transactions compared to only 19% for credit cards. This may have to do with consumers realizing there are greater protections on fraudulent transactions with on credit cards.
“The rash of credit card breaches at major retailers such as Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels and Sally Beauty seems to have hit home with the consumers across America, causing some real concerns. This is affecting the way we shop. Any store that encounters a security breach could suffer a serious erosion of future business,” said Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com.
Identity theft is affecting nearly one in five households. According to the survey, 17% of the respondents said they or someone in their household was a victim of identity theft in the last 12 months. Half of those cases (8.5%) were credit card theft. The latest U.S. Census reported there were 159 million credit card holders in the country. Thus, there would be an estimated 13.5 million cases of credit card identity theft in the United States over the last 12 months. This correlates with a Javelin Research study that showed over 11.6 million people were victims of identity theft in 2011.
The exclusive LowCards.com survey consisted of 427 randomly selected individuals from across the United States and took place between June 20 and June 25, 2014.