Financial identity theft and fraud has grown significantly over the past decade, according to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, Evaluating Security and Privacy Issues for Financial Services.  Overall, more than half of internet households in the 2016 survey have experienced fraud or identity theft.  This represents a significant increase over levels seen in 2014 and 2006.  In terms of the type of fraud, the largest proportion – about three in ten – say someone used their credit or debit card account number for unauthorized purchases online or by telephone.  About one-fifth indicate someone used their lost/stolen credit or debit card for unauthorized purchases.  One-tenth or fewer mention other violations such as misuse of their online or email accounts, misuse of another financial account such as a checking account or loan, use of their personal information to open new financial accounts, and usage of personal information obtained via social media for fraudulent activities.

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Genie M. Driskill, COO of SYNERGISTICS, stated, “The numerous high profile security breaches reported in the media over the past decade have heightened consumers’ awareness and concern with financial security and privacy.  Our data confirms that ID theft and fraud is on the rise and consumers are justifiably concerned.  Incidence of fraud has increased an astounding 71% since 2006.  This only serves to underscore the urgency for providers in addressing this ongoing assault on consumers’ financial lives.  Staying ahead of fraudsters and hackers is the ongoing challenge for providers who need to communicate and demonstrate the depth of their commitment to protecting their customers’ financial information.  Organizations that address these issues will have a competitive advantage while those who neglect them will suffer the consequences.”

These are among the findings from SYNERGISTICS study, Evaluating Security and Privacy Issues for Financial Services, featuring online interviews with 992 consumers age 18 or older.  This study evaluates consumer experience with security and privacy issues related to financial accounts and services.  Consumer reaction to education and communication programs, security measures, and privacy policies is also assessed.