Better Business Bureau Web Survey Reveals Consumers Focus On Wrong Issues In Their Concern About ID TheftFriday, September 7th, 2012
Fear of lost or stolen credit cards ranks as the highest identity theft concern among consumers. However, more serious and costly threats are considered less worrisome, according to a poll by the Better Business Bureau in August 2012.
Thirty percent of the respondents ranked credit card loss or theft as their greatest ID protection concern. Another 23 percent worried hackers would steal credit card and personal data from a business database. Rated least concerning, by 14 percent of those responding, was the disposal of personal papers in the garbage. Also low on the anxiety list was use of credit card information online (18 percent) or on the telephone (15 percent).
“Losing or having a credit card stolen is certainly a worry,” said Kim States, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona. “However, credit card companies have elaborate security programs to quickly stop credit access and limit consumer financial exposure to fraudulent use. On a rating scale, credit card loss is towards the less distressful end, though it should always be guarded against.”
States explained that consumers should be most worried about the material they have the most control over, their personal papers in the trash. Yet, he said, this was the area where the fewest expressed concern.
“Papers with personal data and credit card numbers on them can be a treasure trove of information for fraudsters, and a serious risk to consumers,” said States. “Shredding these types of documents is essential for any type of personal identity protection plan.
“Personal documents that are not shredded can be used without any safeguards or the consumer’s knowledge until the person’s credit score suffers or a bill appears from use of a credit card that the consumer never applied for.”
Hackers getting access to business databases is a growing concerning and one that will likely continue, States noted. However, businesses continue to take action and improve their security.
“Consumers need to take control over what they have their hands on,” urged States. “Guard credit cards and shred any documents with personal information. These are two actions every person can take to lessen the risk of their identity being stolen.”
For more consumer tips, visit www.tucson.bbb.org.