According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, nearly one in three Floridians (31 percent) have been the victim of identity theft or fraud in the past two years. The most popular crimes committed by identity thieves include fraudulent credit card use, ATM withdrawals, and tax refund theft.
(In a 2016 Identity Fraud Study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million identity fraud victims in the United States.)
Low level of trust
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey revealed that 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 safe, and one in five (20 percent) have a low level of trust that online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores (18 percent) would keep their identity secure.
Chip-based credit cards
New chip-based credit cards have been invented to keep personal information secure, however, with 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.
Steps being taken
Floridians, however, are taking steps to prevent identity theft. Of the 31percent that had been affected by identity fraud, they also took steps to prevent identity theft from happening again in the future by:
- Self-monitoring of credit/accounts (55%)
- Froze or cancelled specific cards/accounts (51%)
- Enrolled in credit monitoring system (32%)
“Every two minutes another consumer becomes a victim of identity fraud,“ said Josh Carrasco, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group.
AAA Tips to prevent identity theft
- Sign up for a credit monitoring service.
- Review your credit card statement, bank account, and credit report regularly. Be on the lookout for any unauthorized transactions and report them immediately.
- 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.
- 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. 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.