Consumers More Worried about Identity Theft Than Holiday Overspending
According to a new study from CreditWise from Capital One, identity theft and financial fraud are the biggest concerns for the holiday shopping season. Thirty-seven percent of respondents were worried about identity theft, even more than spending too much money.
Forty-one percent of respondents said they had been a victim of fraud during the holidays or knew someone who had experienced it. This was the driving factor behind their concerns. The most common experiences were credit card fraud (48%) and identity theft (33%). One in six consumers said they were more worried about fraud this year than last year.
Consumers believe the holidays are a risky time to shop. A staggering 85% said this time of year is riskier than most, and 26% said Cyber Monday is the most dangerous day of the year.
In a separate study from McAfee, 53% of consumers said the stress of the holidays could lead to unsafe online shopping practices. More than half of shoppers were willing to buy from an unfamiliar website in order to get a good deal.
If you are concerned about financial fraud over the holidays, make purchases from brands you trust. Use a service such as PayPal to act as an information barrier between you and the merchant. Maximize your credit card rewards to make up for the potential loss in savings, and monitor your accounts over the next few months. Report unauthorized activity to your card issuer right away, and get a new card if necessary.